Opera League News & Articles

Remembering Dorothy Wait

A natural leader

It is with deep sadness that the Opera League of Los Angeles announces the passing of former president Dorothy Wait, who passed away on Christmas Eve 2020 after a short battle with cancer.

Dorothy joined the Opera League after moving to Los Angeles from Houston. She was an active volunteer in the Speakers Bureau (now known as the Community Educators), which led to a seat on the board of directors where she served as chair of several committees before becoming president in 2007.

During her two-year term, Dorothy sought to create a warm, nurturing environment for Opera League board members and volunteers. She oversaw a membership campaign that grew membership by 200 while increasing diversity within its ranks. She helped create a “Welcome” program for all new members to help engage them with the many volunteer opportunities available. She updated the League's gatherings to include piano concerts as well as speakers and recitals, the better to encourage more Opera League member participation.

Perhaps Dorothy’s biggest challenge as president was overseeing much of the advance work to prepare Opera League members for the 2010 Ring Cycle, the first Ring Cycle for LA Opera. The initial order of business was to present LA Opera with a League gift of $100,000. In addition, there would be a high demand for the League's Artists Services team: light walking, airport pickups and, most importantly, more than 50 cast dinners that required Leaguers to prepare and serve the artists and production team during the final long rehearsal days of each of the four operas.

Dorothy’s passionate commitment to the support of opera in Los Angles not only helped bring Wagner’s work to the stage, but her kindness as well as her passion to volunteer created lasting memories for League members.

Dorothy’s survivors include her four children: Ann, David, Julie and Jane, and several grandchildren.

If you would like to make a donation to the Opera League in Dorothy Wait’s memory, please our donation page.

If you would like to send notes of condolence, cards can be sent to The Family of Dorothy Wait, 13309 Woodbridge Street, Apt. 403, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

Click here to make a donation in memory of Dorothy Wait.

Author: Thomas Lady

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