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Exclusive Musical Experience with Independent Opera Company

Independent Opera Company is offering its audience an exclusive opportunity to attend an event that promises to be a delightful sensory experience. The event will feature an exquisite musical performance along with refreshments and drinks. Additionally, attendees will have the chance to interact with members of the company and get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes workings of the opera world. This invitation presents a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of opera and engage with like-minded individuals who share a love for the art form. With the promise of a memorable afternoon of music, food, and wine, the Independent Opera Company welcomes its audience to partake in this special event and create lasting memories.


Xavier Prado

Xavier Prado, tenor, a native of Chile and winner of both the Audience Choice Award and one of the top three prizes at the 2022 Palms Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Currently a finalist at 2023 Pasadena Vocal Competition, a semifinalist at the Loren L. Zachary Competition, and winner of the 2019-20 Beverly Hills National Auditions. Praised for his “truly stunning acting and vocals”, Mr. Prado has starred in leading roles in a number of new works and world premiers such as Don Quixote in the opera Dulcinea XL by celebrated composer Juan Colomer in January of 2019, under maestro Ignazio Terrasi and the Los Angeles Grand Ensemble. In 2018 he made his film debut with the lead role in an American television miniseries with a release date still to be determined. Mr. Prado performed the role of Ruodi in Guillaume Tell with opera Southwest, which was broadcast across the United States. As a Studio Artist in Sarasota Opera, he performed as Le Premier Commissaire in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites, as well as dozens of concerts and lead role covers. At Opera San Jose he sang roles in Le Nozze di Figaro and Streetcar Named Desire, as well as the role of Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri. Other performances include the leading roles in Don Pasquale with Pocket Opera, Fidelio with the Palisades Symphony, Die Zauberflöte with Guild Opera Company, Rigoletto with Pacific Lyric Opera, and La Bohѐme with Ridgecrest Opera Guild and the Palisades Symphony. Mr. Prado was the tenor soloist for a tour of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria. As a soloist, he has performed with and collaborated in a wide range of repertoire with different companies including such as the Opera Buffs, California Philharmonic, Golden State Pops Orchestra, Opera Chorus of Los Angeles & the Dream Orchestra, Livermore Valley Opera, Santa Barbara Choral Society, Cameretta of Los Angeles, Antelope Valley Symphony and Master Chorale, Ridgecrest Opera Guild, Pacific Palisades Symphony, and Opera en Castellano. Mr. Prado sang the leading role in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with the Pacific Lyric Association in their Fall 2019 season, followed by a recital series through the Consortium of Music Presenters of Southern California he presented until February 2020. His last public appearance for that year was in March as the tenor soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at The Soraya Hall with the CSUN Symphony and a grand union of chorales. In late 2021 he made his return to the post-pandemic opera stage in Il Barbiere di Siviglia as Count Almaviva with the Huntington Beach Symphony & in the title role in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kaschey The Deathless with Independent Opera Company. Other recent performances include the title role in Gounod's Faust with Huntington Beach Symphony & Romeo in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with in a joint production between Mission Opera & VOPA. Some upcoming performances following this show, will bring him back to the role of Romeo in Romeo et Juliette with the Lyric Opera of Orange County, and The Prince in Independent Opera’s production of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges. On the side of his music career, he is a passionate motorcycle enthusiast and violinist. He is heavily involved in the non-profit sector, currently serving as executive director of the Family Rescue Center in Canoga Park, CA.

Julia Behbudov

Julia Behbudov was born in Omsk, Russia. In 2001 she entered the music school, piano class. In 2008 she entered the musical college named by Shebalin. Since 2011 she was working at the Opera and Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg State conservatory named by Rimsky-Korsakov in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In 2012 she entered the Music Faculty of Herzen State University. Since Ms. Behbudov 2015 was the soloist of the International Academy of Music named by Elena Obraztsova under the artistic direction of Ildar Abdrazakov and the winner of nomination «The Best Voice of Academy».

In 2016 she was participating at International Opera Academy in Montecatini Terme, Italy. In 2017 she had an internship in «Academie Lyrique» at the Opera de Monte-Carlo. In 2019 she graduated with honors from the magistracy of the Music Faculty of Herzen State University. Ms. Behbudov was participating in different master- classes and studying programs on advanced training. Then she became a soloist of the Opera and Ballet Theatre at the Conservatory named by U. Hajibeyli in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Now Ms. Behbudov continues her musical career in Los Angeles, CA. She is thrilled to make her debut with Independent Opera Company in the role of Ninetta in The Love for Three Oranges by S. Prokofiev.

Ken Simms

Ken Simms is a proud member of Los Angeles’ opera community. A native of Los Angeles, he began his formal musical training as a youth with the California Boys Choir. After a long break which included attendance at the University of Southern California and several private occupations in the field of Finance, he began studying with William Bohn in 1999 until his retirement in 2001. He continued his vocal development, Mr. Richard Fredricks, Ms. Gail Gordon and Mr. Christopher Luthi. Mr. Simms has performed the principal baritone roles in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, La traviata, Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, Aida, and Otello, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, Puccini’s La boheme and Tosca, Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar’s Bride.

His most recent performance was title role of Rigoletto with Independent Opera Company in February 2023.

Alexis Wesley

Versatile actor/mezzo-soprano Alexis Wesley is a frequent performer with IOC. Equally at home in opera, oratorio, musical theatre, stage plays and film, she is also a writer and producer of independent film and theatre. Locally, she has performed principal roles with Pacific Opera Project, Mission Opera, The Definiens Project and IOC. Favorite roles include Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Charlotte (A Little Night Music), Prudie Cupp (Pump Boys & Dinettes), Miss Todd (The Old Maid and the Thief), Madame Flora (The Medium), Kashcheevna (Kashchey the Immortal), Spring Beauty (The Snow Maiden), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Princess Anhilte (The Gipsy Princess), Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette) and Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro). Favorite oratorio solo work includes Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Kodály’s Missa Brevis, Buxtehude’s Jesu Meine Freude and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She is a frequent soloist at churches across LA County. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she holds an MM in Voice from CSUN and is a graduate of the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in NYC. By day, she is a graphic designer.

Also Independent Opera Company Artistic Director Galina Barskaya.

Program will include music by C. Debussy, P. Tchaikovsky, S. Rachmaninov, G. Puccini and much more.

The venue is private residence in beautiful La Crescenta, close to Descanso Gardens. Seating is very limited and the location will be revealed upon purchase of the tickets.


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