James Conlon's mission: Revive operas banned by Hitler

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In a city that often shows scant regard for history, the Los Angeles Opera is undertaking an extraordinary project of reclamation. Under the banner "Recovered Voices," James Conlon, in his second season as the company's music director, is reviving operas suppressed by the Nazis.

Next Sunday Conlon, 57, is to conduct the project's first fully staged production, a double bill of "Der Zwerg" ("The Dwarf") by Alexander Zemlinsky and "Der Zerbrochene Krug" ("The Broken Jug"), which Viktor Ullmann composed not long before being interned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. (He died two years later in Auschwitz.)

Though such works have been unearthed in Europe at least since the 1970s, they have yet to take root in America, where Conlon has for years extolled their virtues. But "Recovered Voices" has already raised nearly $5 million to stage some of these operas.

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