Simon Boccanegra Opening in Los Angeles
Stana Katic of “Castle,” Ian McShane of “Deadwood” and Gale Harold of “Queer as Folk” were among those celebrating the Feb. 11 Los Angeles Opera premiere of “Simon Boccanegra,” starring Placido Domingo at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Following the opera, they joined 200 other guests, many dressed for the occasion in black tie, for the after-party on the Pavilion’s fifth floor.
And for this particular opening, everyone felt the celebratory mood. Although opera star Placido Domingo and conductor James Conlon have worked together many times all over the world, “Simon Boccanegra” marked the first-ever team-up for an opera by Giusseppe Verdi.
So the first order of business for Domingo on taking the podium was to thank donors for making the Verdi collaboration possible at the Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo serves as general director and Conlon as music director. “We were waiting, James and myself, because even though we have worked across the years on many occasions, this was our first Verdi together,” Domingo said. “So to have the pleasure to do it here it was really, really extraordinary.”
Also addressing guests, LA Opera’s chairman Marc Stern recounted Domingo’s many accomplishments, which include 138 roles, 3,500 career performances, 100 opera recordings and 12 Grammy awards, then adding, “Honestly, all of that was nothing more than a rehearsal – or a warm up – for what (Domingo) did tonight,” Stern said of the singer’s performance in the night’s title role.
Continuing, Stern told Domingo, ”I’m sure I can speak for everybody in this room, for everybody in the audience – You moved us in a way that rarely if ever happens.”
Stern also noted his concern at Domingo’s fall in the death scene, which appears to be a real one. “Every one of us,” Stern said, “we wait for the curtain to open, and when you come out, if you think the ‘Bravos’ are louder than usual, they are.”
Before the evening ended, Domingo introduced cast members to party-goers, who also included Carol Henry, president of the opera board, production underwriters Geraldine and Harold Alden and additional contributor Barbara Augusta Teichert.. The other production underwriters were Ann and Gordon Getty and the Blue Ribbon support group for the Music Center. Rolex was acknowledged as the official timepiece of the LA Opera.
Spotted, too, in the audience was Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz of “Inglorious Basterds,” who stayed to greet Domingo backstage.
Photos, from top: Stana Katic of “Castle,” left, with soprano Ana Maria Martinez at the Simon Boccanegra Opening in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Opera music director James Conlon, left, and Los Angeles Opera general director Placido Domingo (credit: Steve Cohn/ Steve Cohn Photography)
IN OTHER LOS ANGELES SOCIETY NEWS:
Published February 13, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA