The Valley Line: Dominigo stars in a night at the opera

March 14, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Antonio Skarmeta, Chilean writer, who was an honoree at the Placido Domingo Award banquet held by the Los Angeles Opera and Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera, is photographed with Andrea Puente Catalan, widow of Daniel Catan who composed the music for the opera "Il Postino" which was inspired by Skarmeta's book, "Ardiente Paciencia." (Photo by Steve Cohn Photography)
Antonio Skarmeta, Chilean writer, who was an honoree…

It's hard to believe, but the first day of spring, March 20, is nearly here. We have already sprung an hour ahead and we are now thankfully into daylight saving time. I love having the sun shine later into the evening.

An afternoon performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, “Simon Boccanegra,” conducted by James Conlon, with the title role sung by Placido Domingo, was an exciting beginning to the 14th annual Placido Domingo Awards Dinner that was held in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The event, presented by Hispanics for LAOpera, was a grand affair. Ed and Alicia Clark were front-and-center as the events of the evening unfolded. Ed, who is chair of the Hispanics for LAOpera steering committee, welcomed the guests. Alicia, who founded Hispanics for LAOpera, stepped to the podium to introduce Domingo.

Domingo first introduced the cast of the opera, who were performing in what was a first production of Verdi's opera here in Los Angeles. Domingo then introduced the honorees: Chilean writer, educator, and diplomat Antonio Skarmeta and community leaders Nicandro and Betty Juarez, who are also members of the Hispanics for LAOpera board of advisors.


Skarmeta is the author of “Ardiente Paciencia” which inspired the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie “Il Postino” and composer and librettist Daniel Catan's opera, “Il Postino,” written in Spanish, which premiered in Los Angeles last year to packed houses each night.

During the opera intermission, I bumped into La Cañadans Barbara and Jack Dawson, who are devoted opera-goers who usually sit in the Founders Circle.

Chuck Terhune, the new publicity chairman for the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., reports that the group's first Happy Hour of the year was held at the home of Rob and Barbara McLinn.

About 100 association members turned out for the event, strolling through the gardens and home, sipping beverages and nibbling on appetizers.

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