Los Angeles Opera & Placido Domingo Awards Dinner

We were privileged to attend the final performance of Thais, Jules Massenet’s opera,  starring Placido Domingo & Soprano, Nino Machaidze.  The Russian beauty was perfectly cast as the “most beautiful courtesan” in Alexandria . Besides possessing a glorious voice & figure, her acting ability was superb. She managed to convince the audience that she could transform herself from a sensuous siren, who renounced her sins, and became a Saint.  As for Domingo, he was excellent in his portrayal of Athanael, the Monk whose mission in life was to convert Thais to God.  His voice and energy transformed the seasoned baritone, into the young, powerful performer he will always be.

Placido Domingo presenting Award to Composer Lee Holdridge

You can catch the beauteous Nino in La Traviata by Verdi, at the L.A. Opera opening on Sept. 13th.  She will portray the glamorous Violetta; and Domingo will appear as the father of Alfredo -- her handsome lover.  Some of the other operas to be performed this year include Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and Florencia en el Amazonas by the recently deceased Hispanic composer Daniel Catan.  We have seen this gorgeous, mystical opera a few years ago, and recommend it highly.    

Placido Domingo, Honoree Lee Holdridge, Alicia Clark (Founder) & Monica

After the performance of Thais, we attended the 16th Annual Placido Domingo Awards Dinner, presented by the Hispanics for the Opera.  This organization, founded by our good friends, Alicia & Ed Clark, has been successful in increasing  the Hispanic audience every season This event pays tribute to the great cultural legacy of Hispanic artists. This year, their honoree was composer, Lee Holdridge, born in Haiti, to an American father and Costa Rican mother   We recently attended the world premiere of his Opera, Dulce Rosa at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica, conducted by Domingo, and were thrilled.  Besides composing many concert pieces and other operas, Holdridge has won six Emmy Awards, including Beauty and the Beast and East of Eden   Kudos to Monica Gutierrez Roper, who chaired the elegant event, and the hard working members of the Hispanics for the Opera.  Who, like moi, know that grand opera is the most beautiful, pure and exciting form of entertainment ever.   

Marc I. Stern, Chairman L.A. Opera Board of Directors & Columnist Marci Weiner

Soprano Nino Machaidze as Thais

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