The official opening of the social scene in Los Angeles is the LA Opera's Weekend Gala, which brings out the opulent operaphiles from our arts and entertainment community. Among those attending the opening night performance of Beethoven's Fidelio (the only opera he ever wrote) were billionaire philanthropists Eli and Edye Broad, Sid and Mercedes Bass, Michael and Jane Eisner, playwright, David Mamet, and Dennis and Elizabeth Tito ( fresh from his high flying trek to the International Space Station. And speaking of being "out of this world", what a performance by soprano Anja Kampe as Lenore! Not easy to break through Beethoven's orchestral outbursts, and still retain her feminine qualities, (even though she is disguised as a man in most of the opera).
|Mr. & Mrs. Eli Broad with Marta and Placido Domingo|
We must admit that the first act had us a bit drowsy - with the muted sets and mundane costumes- but we were blown away by the exciting video presentation, which opened act two. The three-dimensional animated special effects by Sergio Metalli, depicting a horrendous Spanish prison cell, were stunning. Klaus Florian Vogt as Florestan portrayed the tortured prisoner with proper pathos and despair, and later elation, when he is reunited with his faithful wife.
|Melissa Joan Hart, Kellie Martin and her daughter, Maggie, at "Baby Love"|
Besides the two principal artists making their debut with the L.A. opera, Music Director James Conlon welcomed Grant Gershon, for his debut season as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master. And the prison chorus did him proud with their rendition of "Oh what joy, to be able to breath with ease in the open air." But the best musical note was issued by Placido Domingo, who announced that over $1.5 million dollars was raised, to secure the position of the Los Angeles Opera Company as one of the finest in the world.
|Mr. & Mrs. Michael Eisner at L.A. Opera Opening Gala|
"Baby Love", a song of a different era, was the theme of the Annual Baby Love luncheon hosted by the March of Dimes at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Over 300 guests, including pregnant Melissa Joan Hart, Kellie Martin and 7 month old daughter, Maggie, pregnant Constance Zimmer, and Fred Savage and son, Oliver, were on hand to purchase goodies from the boutique, featuring items from Born Free, StorkSak and Homemade Baby, to name a few. 25% of the profits benefited the March of Dimes, who is committed to improve the health of babies.
|Fred Savage & his son Oliver at March of Dimes Fundraiser|
Did you know that this organization was founded in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt? Among their successes during the last seven decades, was research, which led to the Salk Polio Vaccine . Other celebs in a family way, enjoying this family day, included Jodie Sweetin (Full House) (who is expecting her first child any day, and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, who is expecting twin boys in November. She revealed that actress Angie Harmon just threw her a fantastic baby shower. Seems that Baby Love is going strong on the Hollywood Beat.
|Soprano Anja Kampe (Fidelio) with Mr. & Mrs. Milan Panic who underwrote the Production|