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La Traviata Music Worth Seeing & Celebrating!
April 17th, 2010 kicked off an ongoing series of bravos for the San Diego Opera production of “La Traviata.”
Opening night didn't’ go off without a hitch, though.
“We had no idea that our own Resident Conductor, Karen Keltner, would be stepping in for our ailing Maestro, Renato Palumbo. At only minutes after the 7 p.m. curtain time, Maestro Keltner was told that she was “on,” grabbed a No. 2 yellow pencil for a baton and courageously walked into the orchestra pit. She conducted brilliantly and was met with an enormous standing ovation,” Ann Campbell explained.
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Frank Goldberg with Mary Lyman and Lee Goldberg
Things “penciled out” brilliantly from there.
The full house enjoyed an outstanding performance. Among the smartly dressed crowd were David C. Copley, Jeanne Jones (in Jordan) and Don Breitenberg and Valerie and Harry Cooper. Valerie wore Lanvin with detailed sleeves, Karen Cohn wore a vibrant green Zac Posen dress, Iris Strauss in Oscar naturally, Sheryl and Harvey White, Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo and John Rebelo, while Zandra Rhodes wore her own colorful Zandra Rhodes and coordinating pink hair, of course. Zandra was accompanied by Salah Hassanein.
Also there were Lynda and Richard Kerr, Lee Clark and Dr. Jerry Pikolysky, Rusti Bartell Weiss, Colette and Ivor Royston, Lee and Frank Goldberg, and Iris and Matthew Strauss, who have donated something much needed for the opera newbies – an overhead translation monitor.
The Goldbergs were the Producers’ Circle Sponsors along with the Staver Family. Pam and Marty Wygod were “La Traviata’s” Title Co-Sponsors.
The opera opening was followed by a cast party with the stars at the U.S. Grant Hotel.
“’La Traviata’ was perfect opera!” said Lee Goldberg. “The voices and the scenery were beautiful. We were fortunate to have dinner with Alan Opie (the lead baritone) and his wife at the cast party, on stage, and found them to be delightful people. Alan played Alfredo’s father in the opera.”
Lee Clark and Jerry Pikolysky attended opening night, the cast party with the stars and two nights later, the 2010 onstage dinner.
They had this to say in summation: “’La Traviata’ is a passionate opera full of life, love and finally death, not at the hands of dueling swords but Violetta falling ill and finally her death is due to TB with her lover at her bedside. Our American artist Elizabeth Futral (Violetta) received standing ovations along with Marius Brenciu (Alfredo) Alan Opie (Germont) and the rest exceptional cast. Those of us fortunate enough to attend the onstage opera dinner were surprised with more contemporary songs performed by Elizabeth Futral and Alan Opie. Another exceptional and memorable evening.”
“Each year we celebrate and thank our Bravissimo Medal Patrons with a sensational onstage dinner,” Ann Campbell said. “The patrons sit on the stage amidst the sets and costumes, this year from ‘La Traviata,’ and dine on fabulous cuisine catered by The Hyatt La Jolla. Elizabeth Futral, who sings Violetta, and Alan Opie, who sings the role of Germont in our current production of ‘La Traviata,’ serenaded the attendees with songs from South Pacific and The Mikado. Everyone had a wonderful time with this special event to end the season.”
It was indeed special. For opera patron Richard Kerr, the onstage dinner invoked a happy flashback to childhood. He explained that his mother used to sing opera while cooking dinner.
The Onstage Dinner menu was done admirably by the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Wild Arugula Salad was followed by an Angus Beef Filet and Caramelized Spicy Shrimp served with Gouda Polenta, wickedly good, Grilled Asparagus and Roasted Plum Tomatoes followed by dessert. A Chocolate Lace Basket with Vanilla Gelato and Warm Chocolate Sauce.
Valerie and Harry Cooper, Title Sponsors of the Opera Gala season opening, attended all three “La Traviata” events as well.
Valerie had this to say: “Saturday night’s opening of ‘La Traviata’ was the conclusion to a wonderful season of SD opera. This was a gorgeous production with fabulous sets from the San Francisco Opera. Soprano Elizabeth Futral was a superstar with the most glorious voice, quite a beauty and she is American! Baritone Alan Opie was another standout playing the role of Germont. The energy continued at the cast after party that was held at The US Grant Hotel-so much so that some guests did not leave till almost one. Monday night’s onstage dinner for donors to the opera gave everyone the opportunity to see what is like to be amongst the set. Lucky we were to hear Elizabeth and Alan sing again while enjoying a lovely dinner catered from the Hyatt Aventine La Jolla. If you are not a subscriber, run to get your subscription for 2011 – it is going to be another great year staring off with Turandot.”
Two More Fun Quotes from the Evening:
From Ann Campbell:
"The opening night celebration cast party was especially “celebratory” as each member was announced and cheered for a spectacular performance, but none more than Maestro Karen Keltner who literally saved the day by stepping in for the ailing Maestro Renato Palumbo. As her name was read, the crowd went wild!"
On stage dinner:
"Each year we celebrate and thank our Bravissimo Medal Patrons with a sensation On-Stage Dinner. The patrons sit on the stage amidst the sets and costumes, this year from La Traviata, and dine on fabulous cuisine catered by The Hyatt La Jolla. Elizabeth Futral, who sings Violetta, and Alan Opie, who sings the role of Germont in our current production of La Traviata, serenaded the attendees with songs from South Pacific and The Mikado. Everyone had a wonderful time with this special event to end the season."
Please enjoy the photos.
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La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Iris Strauss with La Traviata Baritone Alan Opie
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Valerie Cooper with Mary Lyman, La Traviata Soprano Elizabeth Futral, and Lee Clark
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Valerie Cooper and Mary Lyman ** Scott Johnston next to the beautiful dress worn by Soprano Star Elizabeth Futral
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Lynda Kerr ** Jeanne Jones with Scott Johnston
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - 'Opera Cheers' from Jerry Pikolysky
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Lee Clark chatting with Valerie Cooper ...about opera of course!
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Valerie Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Lynda Kerr
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Martha Gafford with Valerie Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Victor La Magna with George Gafford and Valerie Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Ian Campbell with Lynda Kerr
Harry Cooper with Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Lee Clark with Scott Johnston ** Star Guests
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Margo Schwab with Valerie Cooper, Mary Lyman, Soprano Elizabeth Futral, and Lee Clark
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Lynda Kerr offering a sweet
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Above and below, Soprano Elizabeth Futral with Jerry Pikolysky and Harry Cooper
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Jerry Pikolysky with Margo Schwab and Harry Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Ann Campbell with Stephen Ferruolo
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Richard Kerr with Nat Cohen
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Lynda Kerr
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Scott Johnston
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Steve Rosenberg and Rusti Bartell Weiss with Jerry Pikolysky
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Richard and Lynda Kerr
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Richard and Lynda Kerr with Elizabeth Futral's opening act costume .....a 30 pound dress!
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Lynda Kerr offering sweets again
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - San Diego Opera President David Kleinfield with Baritone Alan Opie, San Diego Opera's General Director and Artistic Director Ian Campbell, and Scott Johnston
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Jerry Pikolysky with Soprano Elizabeth Futral, Harry Cooper and Richard Kerr
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Valerie Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - John and Janie Pendleton
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Scott Johnston with Jerry Pikolysky and Harry Cooper
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - John and Janie Pendleton with Teresa Hixson
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Iris Strauss with Mary Lyman, Lee Clark, Valerie Cooper, Lynda Kerr and Rusti Bartell Weiss, all surrounding Elizabeth Futral's opening act gown
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Elizabeth Futral getting to have a good laugh with friends!
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Lynda Kerr with Iris Strauss
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Ann and Ian Campbell
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Baritone Alan Opie with his wife
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - A second costume
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Frank and Lee Goldberg with Mary Lyman
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Iris Strauss and Valerie Cooper
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Mary Lyman with Matthew and Iris Strauss
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Valerie Cooper and Mary Lyman
La Traviata Onstage Dinner - Steve Rosenberg and Rusti Bartell Weiss
La Traviata Cast Party with the Stars - Guest with Resident Conductor, Karen Keltner, designer Zandra Rhodes and Baritone Alan Opie
The San Diego Opera has many special events throughout the year until the 2011 season.
To learn about and participate in San Diego Opera’s upcoming events, please visit www.sdopera.com .
reported by Margo Schwab
photoshopped by Scott Johnston
...... and as you can see, we had fun too!
Margo Schwab with Lynda Kerr ** Baritone Alan Opie with Scott Johnston
M with Lynda Kerr and Valerie Cooper
The Social Diary is proud to be new Opera Fans!
The Social Diary
would like to recognize
for his recent prestigious award, the L'Ordre de Saint-Charles,
received from HSH Prince Albert II at the Monaco Palace.
(photo courtesy du Palais Monaco)
At Monaco's National Holiday on November 17th , 2009 Max Gurney was the only American receiving the promotion to Officer of the Saint-Charles Order by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Prince's Palace in Monaco.
Max Gurney has been a resident of La Jolla since 1993, after having served Pan American World Airways for 45 years.
Max was based in Monaco by Pan Am and lived there for over 10 years and is presently representing the Principality of Monaco as an Honorary Consul. He is also an associate member of the San Diego Consular Corps.
Together with Tony Haymet, Director of Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, Max Gurney was able to successfully bring about the effective partnership of SIO and the Monaco Institute of Oceanography.
Albert II of Monaco formalized the cooperative agreement between the two Oceanographic Science Research facilities and was awarded the 2nd Revelle Prize on October 23 in La Jolla.
And on June 10th, Max Gurney will be celebrating his birthday at the Monaco Palace with good friends Lee Clark and Dr. Jerry Pikolysky and HSH Prince Albert II.
Photoshopping and Photography Services
Photos on this website available if it is of you
available by The Social Diary
Email Commentary to be added
* Margo Schwab, more formally known as Margaret E. Schwab, has
produced, written, interviewed and photographed for various media
organizations since 1989. Schwab attended Holton Arms School, La Jolla Country Day School and La Jolla High School. Schwab has a B.A. from Scripps College, spent a business internship with S.A.I.C., Science Applications International Corporation, and earned a Masters of Business
degree, M.B.A., from the University of San Diego by way of Claremont Graduate School .
Schwab additionally took college courses from Harvard University, and Syracuse University. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also
continues to support animal organizations and the prevention of people and animal abuse. Schwab is the editor of The Social Diary.
Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston of The Social Diary are pleased to announce partnerships with the Arthritis Foundation of San Diego County, Country Friends, the San Diego American Heart Association, and the San Diego Humane Society.
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