A Couple of Gatherers
Spotlight on New Opera League Volunteers
By Tom Lady
Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Opera League. We wouldn’t exist without them. Let’s meet a couple. No, really, they’re a couple.
Jessica and David Feldman, Gathering Hosts
“We recently hosted a South Bay gathering in our home. It was nice to meet new people, see some familiar faces and learn about Moby-Dick.”
David and Jessica introduced opera to their kids at an early age. One of the boys surprised his preschool teacher by correctly identifying the Carmen overture. The children were taken to see a dress rehearsal for Il Trovatore, managed to sneak down to third row center during the intermission, whereupon one of them exclaimed, “I want to sit here for every opera!”
Where are you from?
David: I was born in New York but transplanted as a teen with my family to Palos Verdes. I’ve been here ever since.
Jessica: Except for five years in Israel, I’ve lived most of my life in Southern California. Dave and I met as undergraduates at UC Irvine.
When did you become interested in opera?
David: I’ve always listened to a wide variety of music but did not listen to opera until I first started out as a physician. There was an opera greatest hits CD in the office that I started listening to. One thing led to another. I didn’t listen to much other music for several years.
Jessica: Our first opera was Rigoletto with my parents at what was then Opera Pacific in Costa Mesa. We always had a mix of classical music in my home when growing up, which included opera.
Why did you join the Opera League?
Jessica: David and I have been LA Opera subscribers since 1999. The Opera League was always at the periphery of my awareness. I finally signed us up last year after picking up a brochure and realizing what exceptional benefits and opportunities were available. We feel that opera as it exists currently cannot survive without continuous support from motivated members and listeners.
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
David: It’s important to provide your efforts to organizations that cannot function without volunteers. Not everyone is able to volunteer, and those who can, should do so. Besides the League, I volunteer for the local city government and our synagogue.
Jessica: I’ve always given my time to wherever my family has been involved, from school, sports and PTA when children were at home, to our synagogue as well.
Favorite opera? Favorite song, from an opera or otherwise?
David: My favorite opera is Don Giovanni. My favorite song is “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” from A Night at the Opera by the Marx Brothers. A close second would be “Vesti la Giubba” from Pagliacci.
Jessica: My favorite opera is Lucia di Lammermoor, though I do have strong feelings for Grendel. My favorite song is “Voi Che Sapete” from The Marriage of Figaro. One of my bucket list items is to sing the “Mad Scene” from Lucia.....without scaring the neighbors.
David: I play the piano (poorly) and indulge in photography.
Jessica: Theater, traveling, college counseling, cooking, and the Kings hockey team.