LA Opera Gala

Placido Domingo and Emmy Rossum Open the LA Opera Season in Style


As part of the Sept. 17 LA Opera Gala, a.k.a. the “White Night Opening Night Celebration” for the Los Angeles Opera, Emmy Rossum of TV’s “Shameless” chaired an after-party for the “Aria” support group for young professionals. No stranger to the opera, Rossum’s early career included singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s Children’s Chorus and at age 18, starring as Christine in the movie, “Phantom of the Opera.”

“I brought 20 people about my age here tonight,” said the 25 year-old Rossum. “They were on the edge of their seats, just laughing and enjoying the opera.” On a mission to help raise awareness of the opera to a younger generation, she added, “Themes in opera are so universal that anyone of any age can understand.” 

In the case of “Eugene Onegin,” staged at L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Placido Domingo, the LA Opera’s general director, described the night’s opera as a tale of bad timing, of a couple whose passions are never in sync. “First she wants. Then he wants,” he said. “They don’t time.”

During the after-party, Domingo introduced conductor James Conlon and the cast, who joined guests for dancing, drinks and desserts. The hall was a  winter’s fantasy with all white furnishings, flowers,  draperies and backdrops. Laser lights cast a colorful glow, as servers passed out shots of honey vodka, with added treats including mini-pastries and sorbet-filled macarons perched upon a massive ice sculpture.

For the opera’s major supporters, the $1,500 to $5,000 per person gala started with a pre-performance dinner in the courtyard, where a model offered guests champagne from circular racks of champagne glasses surrounding her.

Champagne glass in hand, Laurence Fishburne said he always buys season tickets for his wife, actress Gina Torres, who studied opera and sang in musical theater. “We’ve made it a ritual to be here,” he said.    

The night’s patrons included Eva and Marc Stern, Harold and Geraldine Alden, Yuki and Alex Bouzari, Leslie and John Dornan, Lenore and Bernard Greenberg, Harold and Penny Ray, Milena and Milan Panic, Jane and Michael Eisner, Nancy and Barry Sanders, Carol and Warner Henry, Cat Jagger Pollon, Harriet Rose Bathurst Norman, Em Green and Christopher Walker.

Photo: Placido Domingo and Emmy Rossum at the LA Opera Gala, where Rossum paired a Johanna Johnson gown with a jaw-dropping diamond and emerald necklace by Piaget. (Credit: Kristian Dowling/LA Opera) You’ll find more party photos in the photo album, which includes a close-up of the necklace.

The album of 40 pictures from the LA Opera Gala can be found here.



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LA Opera Gala

Published Sept. 18, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA