"The Reform Tenor" LA Weekly's Best of LA People 2011

Ask Kazakhstan-born tenor (and occasional vaudevillian) Timur Bekbosunov about Achim Freyer's controversial staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle last year, and he will tell you it was completely misconstrued by Los Angeles. "He was an artist accused of shoving his ego at the opera," he says. "It was very organic with the music of Wagner, a surreal fantasy that transcends reality itself. In the end, he felt misunderstood and compromised his vision." You could never call Bekbosunov an artist of compromised vision. Though classically trained, he practices "reform opera," rejecting the elitism and orthodoxy of high art. "Opera is an art form, not a history museum," he says. Bekbosunov moved to L.A. fi

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All photos are by Sandra Powers, unless indicated otherwise.