Kick Off to the LA Opera Season Opening Gala


Placido Domingo, James Conlon Join in Kick-Off to the LA Opera 2012-2013 Season Opening Gala


Mary and Bob Estrin welcomed the LA Opera’s general manager Placido Domingo, conductor James Conlon, gala chair Jill Baldauf and others to their home last week to finalize plans for the upcoming Sept. 15 shindig, “Ignite!” LA Opera’s 2012-2013 Season-Opening Gala. (Note: To read about the Sept. 15 event, which has now taken place, click here.)

A fiery theme will pervade the party, which will start at 5:00 p.m. with a champagne reception, dinner and a fire performance on the Music Center Plaza. Guests will then proceed to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for Giuseppe Verdi’s “The Two Foscari,” where Domingo will sing his 140th role and Conlon will conduct.

This year, Stana Katic of TV’s “Castle” will chair the high-energy after-party.  Tailored to young professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of them members of the opera’s “Aria” support group, the soiree will continue with flaming cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing under the stars. 

“We’re expanding our base to a younger crowd,” said Baldauf, adding that the LA Opera had so much publicity after last year’s party that this year’s ticket sales have been brisk. “We had so much energy at our party last year and we want to keep that going.” 

An opera enthusiast, Katic can often be spotted at LA Opera performances throughout the year. She also attends operas worldwide.

On Aug. 28, Katic, using Twitter handle @Stana_Katic, weighed in on her upcoming role as party chair by tweeting “Looking 4ward 2 it.”

“Stana is a real opera fan,” said Baldauf. “We’re very excited to have her as chair of the ‘Aria’ party.” 

In other LA Opera news for the Twitter set, Heather Kaplan, aka @heather_amanda, won Opening Night tickets in the opera’s recent Twitter contest. In honor of Domingo’s landmark 140th role, the LA Opera challenged tweeters to express their favorite Domingo role in 140 characters or less.  

Here’s Kaplan’s winning tweet: Dear Samson: Here’s power to destroy the temple this once, next time, dont get seduced so easily. She’s only a mezzo…Sincerely, GOD #PD140

Opening Night tickets, including the pre-performance dinner, begin at $2,500. Specially-priced “Aria” ticket packages, including the opera and after-party, beginning at $225.

Call (213) 972-3612 for further information or click here.  You can also read about last year’s party here and see the pictures here.   

Rolex is the  2012-2013 Season Opening sponsor.


Top photo: Placido Domingo with event chair Jill Baldauf at the kick off to the LA Opera Season Opening Gala (photo: Steve Cohn/ Steve Cohen photography)

Center photo: Party-goers onstage at last year’s high-energy “Aria” after-party, which followed the 2011-2012 LA Opera Season-Opening Gala 

Bottom photo: From left, Bob and Mary Estrin greeted Placido Domingo at the kick off to the LA Opera Season Opening Gala, held at their home (photo: Steve Cohn/ Steve Cohen photography)



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Kick Off to the LA Opera Season Opening Gala

Published Sept. 11, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA