OLLA News & Events

Message from a Thankful President

Hello Opera Leaguers:

We have much to be thankful for as we approach Turkey Day. Let us count the ways.

Discounted tickets heralded by Board member Gary Murphy brought members together to the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills for The Poet in Exile musical program sponsored by Marilyn Ziering. Gary conducted a tour of the recently built theater, and we socialized at the reception following the performance.

Gatherings for Norma have been happening all over the town. Leaguers are particularly interested, not only for the exquisite and emotional music but to pat ourselves on the back for donating $125,000 to participate in underwriting the production. Louis Bernstein spoke at the gathering at my home in Hancock Park. And of course we had wine, cheese, sweets and camaraderie. Be sure you attend a gathering to meet your neighbors and learn about the current production. You can read more about gatherings in our upcoming winter edition of BRAVO. It'll be the cover story!

We had a sweet turnout for the November 15 Norma seminar. Over a hundred people enjoyed a coffee reception followed by two prominent speakers. Simon Williams, Professor of Theater and Arts at UC Santa Barbara, presented a historical view of Norma. For over 175 years the title role has both challenged and inspired many of the world’s greatest sopranos. Duff Murphy, attorney and host of KSUC’s Saturday Morning at the Opera, played various excerpts from the opera highlighting the divas familiar to us all, Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horn.

What could be better than champagne in a formal garden and refreshments in the salon? That was what you missed if you didn't make it to the elegant musicale at Anne Combs' home. It was truly Downton Abbey style complete with antique furniture, Persian carpets and lush draperies. We enjoyed selections of songs about deception performed by talented, charismatic performers Jaime Chamberlin and Todd Strange. Don't miss Todd in Long Beach Opera's production of Candide. Big thanks to Anne Russell and Thomas Shepard for organizing the event.

I'm very thankful to LA Opera for inviting the League board of directors to their Artist Forum on November 17 featuring Anne Bogart, director of Norma. Held in the swank Founders Room at the Dorothy Chandler, we schmoozed for a few minutes before taking our seats for an insightful, engaging chat between Ms. Bogart and LAO CEO Christopher Koelsch.

The piece de resistance of the month was the jewelry and jacket trunk show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, hosted by Carol Henry and organized by Kathy Crandall and Mimi Rotter. Wow! You should have seen the lovely ladies playing dress-up and and comparing their purchases. The unique jewelry was designed by a famous designer Masha, whose art pieces are collectables. Wait until opening nights when the Leaguers show off their fashionable jackets and necklaces. It wasn’t just a frivolous exercise in shopping but a deliberate effort to raise money for the bus fund, which provides transportation for underprivileged children to attend dress rehearsals. The hard work of the volunteers resulted in a financial success. Thank you to all who participated.

By the way, you can see photos from the above events on our Facebook page. Be sure to head there now at facebook.com/operaleague and Like us if you haven't already.

Yes, we Opera Leaguers have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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Author: Thomas Lady
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