LA Opera Ball 2014

Kate Walsh, Emmy Rossum, Bruno Bichir, Stana Katic Spend a Night at the Opera



Here are my favorite pictures from the Sept. 13 LA Opera Ball, which launched the 2014/2015 Los Angeles Opera season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with a production of “La Traviata,” a gala dinner and dancing. 

Click here to find my story in the “All the Rage” section of the online Los Angeles Times. You’ll also find the story on the newsstand in the print Image section on Sunday, Sept. 21.


The celebrities… 

Having just seen Kate Walsh – the cocktail reception’s official hostess – in “Fargo,” I so enjoyed talking with her. In her role as the former Las Vegas stripper Gina Hess, Walsh delivered some of the show’s most hilarious lines.  So now that I’ve see her comedic talents, I’m especially looking forward to seeing her in “Bad Judge.”  

A longtime enthusiast of the opera, Walsh attended the opera with producer Chris Case, her mom – (“My mother is the one who turned me on to opera,” said Walsh) – and more family members.

Walsh wore a Marchesa gown, while another opera fan – Emmy Rossum of “Shameless” – chose an Oscar de la Renta. (Rossum sang the role of Christine in the movie, “Phantom of the Opera.”)

Bruno Bichir escorted Stefanie Sherk, his brother Demian Bichir’s girlfriend, to the affair. All three have appeared in “The Bridge:” Bruno as Sebastian Cerisola; Sherk, as Alana Cerisola; and Demian (unable to attend the opera) as Marco Ruiz. I nearly didn’t recognize Bruno Bichir, as he’s grown a beard since I last saw him on the show. (He’s the duplicitous – but clean-shaven – businessman, in the process of betraying the Mexican cartel leader. Not too many good guys on “The Bridge,” are there?)  

Bichir’s interest in opera began, he said, when a friend cast him as an actor – not a singer (“I don’t sing at all,” he said) – in an opera at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico. Happy to attend the gala, he said he thought the night’s second act was the best he’s ever seen. 

Also a frequent patron of the Los Angeles Opera, Stana Katic of “Castle” headed backstage after curtain calls to greet Placido Domingo, the LA Opera’s general manager.

(As an aside, in the night’s production of “La Traviata,” Domingo sang the role of Giorgio Germont, the tenor’s father, who basically tells the ex-party girl soprano that her happiness isn’t as important as his daughter’s. Oddly enough, she agrees – but then, that’s the opera.)


 Zev Yaroslavsky … 

Just before the opera began, outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky conducted the Star-Spangled Banner. He later appeared as a supernumerary in Act Three and finally ascended the stage after the curtain calls for a special presentation.  

“Not only did you do a wonderful job of conducting the national anthem,” said LA Opera chair Marc Stern from onstage, “but those of us that watched carefully and those of us that were tipped off, saw you up there gambling, drinking, carousing and watching the dancers very closely.” He then added, “and frankly at the intermission, I was told by several of your family members that a great number of your constituents thought  you were appearing to be having much too good a time.”


To commemorate the occasion Stern and Domingo presented Yaroslavsky with a framed photograph of the performance. 



The celebrities are pictured on this page, along with Yaroslavsky, Domingo and the other stars of the night’s production: Nino Machaidze, Arturo Chacon Cruz, conductor James Conlon, director/production designer Marta Domingo and concert master Roberto Cani. 



Top photo: Kate Walsh, left, with Nino Machaidze, the night’s Violetta in “La Traviata” at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 

Second photo: Placido Domingo greets Stana Katic backstage on the night of the Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 

Third photo: Bruno Bichir and Stefanie Sherk of “The Bridge” at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera)

Fourth photo: Kate Walsh, cocktail party hostess, in Marchesa at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 


Fifth photo: Emmy Rossum in Oscar de la Renta at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 

Sixth photo: From left, Zev Yaroslavsky, Nino Machaidze and Placido Domingo at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 

Seventh photo: The stars of “La Traviata” from left, tenor Arturo Chacon-Cruz, conductor James Conlon, soprano Nino Machaidze, LA Opera general manager Placido Domingo, director/ production designer Marta Domingo, and concertmaster Roberto Cani at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo, Dan Steinberg/ AP/ Courtesy of the LA Opera) 

Eighth photo: Here I am with Bruno Bichir at the LA Opera Ball 2014 (photo,



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LA Opera Ball 2014

Published Sept. 15, 2014 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA