The Valley Line: Books, elbow fractures and good times

November 16, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • (Left to right) Donna Sauer, Stela Fajtek, and Nina Ratliff, Oakmont League members, meet at the league's holiday fashion show luncheon. (Photo by Jane Napier Neely)
(Left to right) Donna Sauer, Stela Fajtek, and Nina Ratliff,…

Wow, there has been a fast and furious social buzz going on around town. I’ll try to catch you up on all the news.

I recently went to see one of the most glorious operas presented by the Los Angeles Opera — “Romeo and Juliette,” written by Charles Gounod and conducted this time around by Placido Domingo.

Beautiful, sumptuous, sensual, tragic — these are only a few words to describe this opulent production. Everything about this new rendering of the beloved Shakespeare story of star-crossed lovers is magnificent — lush costumes, sets, and lighting. The roles of Romeo and Juliette are sung by two attractive singers who truly bring this story, set in Verona, Italy, back to this romantic city. The role of Juliette is sung by Georgian-born soprano Nino Machaidze and Romeo is robustly sung by Italian-born Vittorio Grigolo, who was making his L.A. Opera debut in this role.


The chorus, under the direction of Grant Gershon, who is also the conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, is truly wonderful. There are many Valley area residents who sing in the L.A. Opera Chorus.

I hope that you opera lovers can find time to attend this opera. It is also an amazing opera for first-time opera-goers. Check out the L.A. Opera website for further information about the production.


Members and guests of La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild celebrated not only the guild’s 54 years of support of Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, but also the 100th year of this world-renowned hospital.

The occasion was the guild’s Book and Author Luncheon, which has proven to be a most successful fund-raising event over these many years.

The event took place at the Angeles National Golf Club. Even though the day was gray and cloudy, the vistas over the golf course with the beautiful mountains in the background were stunning.

More than 200 women and men came to meet authors Frans Vischer, Jennie Nash and Diana Johnson. Vischer, who was born in Holland, told guests about his journey from Holland to America when he was just a boy and did not speak English. Drawing was his passion and it was a beginning of communication in this new land. His love of drawing led him to a career with Disney and a delightful children’s book about the antics of his overweight cat. The book is humorously illustrated and is called “Fuddles.”

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