507 Pacific Ave. Long Beach CA 90802 • Tel 562.432.5934 • Andreas Mitisek: Artistic & General Director

Marilyn Forever

by gavin bryars

Libretto by Marilyn Bowering 

More reverie than reality, Marilyn Forever, with its sultry, film noir musical pallet, is at once amorous and distant, accessible yet mysterious. This US Premiere is a celebration of Marilyn Monroe's life, flashed before our eyes through a series of Hollywood vignettes as told by the men who surrounded her. Join us to celebrate a true American icon known by all, desired by many, understood by few.

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About marilyn forever

Marilyn Forever examines Marilyn Monroe’s intellectual and emotional relationship to death and love. As the work progresses, the performance interweaves what is taking place on stage with the trajectory of Monroe’s life through relationships, fame and myth. Ultimately, the characters of the musicians as performers and men in Monroe’s life fuse with the forces that lead to her death. Marilyn Monroe is often looked at as a sex object, victim or fantasy. In this work, we are given through Monroe’s own voice, her combination of sensitivity and exhibitionism, allied to the narrative of the “chorus”, a view from the ‘inside’ of the conflicting emotions and ambitions of this compelling and timeless personality.


Gavin Bryars was born in Yorkshire in 1943. His first musical reputation was as a jazz bassist working in the early sixties with improvisers Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. He abandoned improvisation in 1966 and worked for a time in the United States with John Cage. Subsequently he collaborated closely with composers such as Cornelius Cardew and John White. His first major work as a composer was The Sinking of the Titanic (1969) originally released on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975 and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971), both famously released in new versions in the 1990s on Point Music label, selling over a quarter of a million copies. The original 1970s recordings have been re-released on CD by Virgin Records.

His first opera, Medea was first staged by the director Robert Wilson at the Opéra de Lyon and Opéra de Paris in 1984. Following the success of the original production, a revised version was given in concert in 1995 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His second opera, Doctor Ox's Experiment (based on a story by Jules Vernes and with a libretto by Blake Morrison) was staged by the Canadian film director Atom Egoyan for English National Opera in 1998. A separate production of Doctor Ox's Experiment appeared in 1999 in Dortmund, Germany. The third opera, G (libretto again by Blake Morrison), was commissioned by Mainz Opera and was premiered in February 2002, staged by Georges Delnon, in the newly refurbished Mainz Opera House.

Among Gavin Bryars' other works are three string quartets and a great deal of chamber music, much of it for his own ensemble. Since 2006 he has collaborated with Opera North Projects, initially with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) on Shakespeare sonnets Nothing like the Sun (2007) and subsequently on Mercy and Grand (2007-8) – a project on the songs of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Since 2006 he has worked with the Irish singer Iarla O'Lionaird on settings of eary Gaelic texts. Gavin Bryars has a particular association with dance and the visual arts: choreographers who have used his work and commissioned new pieces from him include William Forsythe, Lucinda Childs, Carolyn Carlson, Maguy Marin, Jiri Kylian, Siobhan Davies, Edouard Lock and David Dawson. His hugely successful collaboration with Merce Cunningham, Biped, was in the Cunningham Company's repertoire and played world-wide.

Among Gavin Bryars' numerous recordings are Three Viennese Dancers, After The Requiem, The Black River and Vita Nova on ECM New Series, The Last Days on Argo (1995), and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1993), The Sinking of the Titanic (1994), Farewell to Philosophy (1996), A Man in a Room Gambling (1997) and Cadman Requiem (1998) on Point Music. In 2000 he started his own label GB Records with an initial release of Biped. This was followed with a number of other albums: Lockerbie Memorial Concert (2003), A Man in a Room, Gambling (2003), Oi me lasso (2005), On Photography (2005), A Listening Room (2005), Glorious Hill (2007), Silva Caledonia (2008), Amjad (2008), Season of Mists (2008), I have heard it said that a spirit enters (2010), Live at Punkt (2010), I send you this Cadmium Red (2010), Al Suon dell'acque scriva (2010), New York (2010).

The Gavin Bryars Ensemble, founded in 1981, performs internationally, including appearances in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Czeck Republic, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Norway, Austria, Japan and Australia, as well as giving occasional concerts in UK.


Marilyn Bowering is a poet and novelist who lives in British Columbia. She has received many awards for her work including designation of Notable Book by the New York Times, short-listing for the world-wide Orange Prize and the recent Gwendolyn McEwen poetry prize. In 2008, she was a Fulbright scholar. Her latest publications are the poetry book, Soul Mouth, and the novel, What It Takes To Be Human. Current projects are a novel, Pearl and the Storytellers Academy, and Threshold: an encounter with the 17th century Gaelic bard, Mairi McLeod. The libretto for Marilyn Forever is the result of a long-standing interest in Monroe’s intriguing personality. Marilyn Bowering says, “Growing up having the name Marilyn, was like having a stamp on your forehead—as soon as they heard the name, people would look at you differently. What fascinated me was that Monroe was sexy but not coarse—and she not only had a sense of humour but clear ideas about how things should be, in terms of love and art and beauty; and she never caved to conventional ideas about women.” Marilyn Bowering has a personal connection to Long Beach through her maternal great-grandfather who left his Ontario farm to move his family to the area in 1921.


In 1926 a girl was born in the charity ward at the Los Angeles County Hospital who would become one of the most celebrated and enduring icons of all time – Marilyn Monroe. Norma Jeane Mortenson’s childhood was volatile as she was passed from family members to family friends and frequently stayed in orphanages as a result of her mother’s mental health. To avoid another orphanage stay a family friend orchestrated a marriage proposal when she was sixteen years old. When her husband was sent to the Pacific with the merchant marine, Norma Jeane began working on an assembly line at an aeronautical plant.

In 1945 a photographer took a snapshot of the stunning brunette while at the factory and within months she became a successful model securing dozens of magazine covers and a screen test with 20th Century Fox. Studio executives, directors and photographers immediately recognized her ability to capture and hold the attention of anyone on the opposite end of a camera lens. By the end of 1946 her hair had become a platinum shade of blonde and her name was changed to Marilyn Monroe.

Over a little more than a decade Monroe captivated audiences through a multitude of comedic and dramatic roles. Audiences loved her breathy, blonde bombshell appeal combined with her light comedic approach in How To Marry A Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven-Year Itch and Some Like It Hot. She was serious about her craft and delivered believable, flawed characters in Don’t Bother To Knock and Niagara. She worked closely with Lee Strasberg at The Actor’s Studio who referred to her as one of the two students out of “hundreds and hundreds” that stood out above the rest. The other was Marlon Brando. In 1956 the New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther reported on her breakthrough role, “HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in Bus Stop. She and the picture are swell!” Although it didn’t get good reviews The Misfits is one of Monroe’s most staggering and indelible performances. She received a Golden Globe award for her performance in Some Like It Hot and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Bus Stop.

In 1962 Marilyn Monroe bought her first home in Brentwood and began decorating it with purchases from a trip she had made to Mexico. She died that same year in her new home under controversial circumstances. Regardless, Marilyn Monroe’s personal history, achievements and contributions have made her one of the world’s greatest icons. She inspired musicians, writers and artists like Madonna, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Joyce Carol Oates and Andy Warhol to name just a few with her timeless glamour and extraordinary character. More relevant today than ever Marilyn Monroe lived a life and left a legacy that continues to excite fans all over the world.


Marilyn Forever examines Marilyn Monroe’s intellectual and emotional relationship to death and love. As the work progresses, the performance interweaves what is taking place on stage with the trajectory of Monroe’s life through relationships, fame and myth. Ultimately, the characters of the musicians as performers and men in Monroe’s life fuse with the forces that lead to her death. Marilyn Monroe is often looked at as a sex object, victim or fantasy. In this work, we are given through Monroe’s own voice, her combination of sensitivity and exhibitionism, allied to the narrative of the “chorus”, a view from the ‘inside’ of the conflicting emotions and ambitions of this compelling and timeless personality.


Adam Flemming

Video Designer

Previous LBO designs include Tell Tale Heart/Van Gogh, Camelia la Tejana, The Paper Nautilus, and Maria De Buenos Aires. Regional productions include the Hollywood Bowl, South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Wallis Annenberg Center, and East West Players. National productions include Minneapolis’s Guthrie, New York’s Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, and Chicago Opera Theater. He is an Imagineer for the Walt Disney Company and faculty at UCLA. Recipient of the 2014 Ovation Award, 2014 LADCC Award, and 2013 LA Weekly Award for best projection designs of the year. Adam is an MFA graduate of CalArts and a Projection Category member of USA829. adamflemmingdesign.com

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Adrian Rosales


Baritone Adrian Rosales received his Master’s Degree in voice from USC, and is thrilled to make his LBO debut. Rosales recently played three roles in the world premiere of Paul Davies’ Carlota and covered Taddeo in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri with Opera San Jose. In 2014, he was a finalist in the Utah Festival Opera’s annual International Opera Competition and played Mercurio in Cavalli's La Calisto with Pacific Opera Project. In 2013, he received critical acclaim for portraying Tarquinius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia with Opera Brittenica, and played Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide at the Aspen Music Festival. www.adrian-rosales.com

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Andreas Mitisek

Stage Director

Since 2003, Mitisek has been LBO's Artistic & General Director. Recent LBO directing credits: The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, King Gesar, Macbeth, Tell-Tale Heart, Van Gogh, The Paper Nautilus, Ainadamar, and Maria de Buenos Aires. Recent LBO conducting credits:Thérèse Raquin, I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, The Death of Klinghoffer, Camelia la Tejana, and The Fall of the House of Usher (co-production with COT). Other conducting credits: Joruri in Tokyo, Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera), Madama Butterfly (Orlando Opera), Jane Eyre (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) and Eugene Onegin (Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile). Mitisek has also conducted the Austrian and Italian premieres of Nixon in China. In 2012, Andreas joined Chicago Opera Theater as General Director.

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Bill Linwood


Bill Linwood is the Artistic Director of the acclaimed Canadian new music ensemble, Aventa.  Recent conducting highlights include the North American premiere of Anders Nordentoft’s opera On This Planet and the world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ Marilyn Forever.  With a long-standing interest in the music of Scandinavia, he has presented several New York City premieres, including Rolf Wallin’s Strange News, Simon Steen Andersen's Black Box Music and Poul Ruder's Abysm.  Current activity includes an appearance at the Adelaide Festival 2015 and the development of Theatre, a new opera from UK composer Michael Finnissy, to premiere in 2017.


Dan Weingarten

Light Designer

Dan Weingarten has designed MacbethThe Paper Nautilus, Ainadamar, Maria de Buenos Aires, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (2011), Akhnaten, Orpheus and Euridice, Nixon in China, Good Soldier Schweik, Cunning Little Vixen, Winterreise, Anne Frank, and Macbeth for Long Beach Opera. He has designed numerous other plays, musicals, operas, and ballets around the country. He is the recipient of the LA Drama Critic's Circle Angstrom Award, the LA Weekly Award, the Garland Award, and the Dramalogue Award. He is also part of the Lighting Theatre faculty at California State University Northridge.

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Danielle Marcelle Bond

Marilyn Monroe

With LBO: The Death of Klinghoffer (British Dancing Girl/Austrian Woman/Swiss Grandmother),  King Gesar (Narrator), Tell Tale Heart (Neighbor), Macbeth (Second Witch). Other roles include: Carmen, Dido in Dido & Aeneas, Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Siebel in Faust, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Amahl’s Mother, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Flora in La traviata, and a Reporter in the world premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Ms. Bond also has an extensive oratorio repertoire and has recorded for film, TV and video game scores. For information on future engagements, please visit www.DanielleMarcelleBond.com.

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Robert Norman


Mr. Norman has been praised for comedic skills with “impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor.” In 2011, Robert was an L.A. District winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is a proud alumnus of both OperaWorks and the Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist Program. Recent engagements: Goro in Madama Butterfly and Caius in Falstaff (Opera San Jose); Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire (Opera Santa Barbara, Union Avenue Opera, Townsend Opera, Fresno Grand Opera); Remendado in Carmen (Opera San Luis Obispo). www.robertnormantenor.com


Lee Gregory

Rehearsal Director

Lee Gregory has sung The Captain, The Death of Klinghoffer (LBO); William, The Fall of the House of Usher (Long Beach & Nashville operas, Chicago Opera Theater); Silvio, I Pagliacci (Arizona Opera, Opera Omaha); Nixon, Nixon in China, Leporello, Don Giovanni, Figaro, Le nozze di Figaro (Eugene Opera); Schaunard, La bohème (Michigan Opera Theatre); title role, Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Theatre of the Rockies); Junius, Rape of Lucretia, Maximilian,Candide (Toledo Opera); Mercutio, Roméo et Juliette (Opera Columbus); Prince Paul, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, (Opera Boston); Carl Magnus, A Little Night Music, Wilhelm, Ghosts of Versailles (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis).


Jamie Chamberlin

Marilyn Monroe

Soprano Jamie Chamberlin is thrilled to be returning to LBO after appearing as Lucy in Moscow, Cherry Town. Chamberlin made her LA Phil debut in Salonen’s Wing On Wing, and LA Opera roles include the Cretan Woman (Idomeneo), and High Priestess (Aida). She has sung with LBO, Pasadena Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Opera Santa Barbara, Fort Collins Symphony, and Opera UCLA. She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Anne Sexton (Transformations) in the Merola Opera Program (SFO). Most recently, Opera News praised her “fresh sounding, expressive soprano” on Terrain of the Heart; song cycles of Mark Abel, currently available on iTunes. www.jamiechamberlin.com