While attending Columbia University, Marsha was introduced to the vast and exciting world of opera. The first live performance she witnessed was Wagner’s masterpiece, Lohengrin, at the historic "old" Metropolitan Opera House just before the Met moved to Lincoln Center.
“We went up in a freight elevator, top row. So high that they called them the nosebleed seats.” The angle was so steep that Marsha was unable to see Lohengrin ride off on his swan at the end. “I promised myself I’d go for better seats!” And so, her opera journey began.
Marsha eventually found herself walking through the doors of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 2004 for a performance of Bizet’s riveting opera, Carmen. Since then, she has remained a loyal audience member and dedicated contributor to LA Opera.
During her time with us, Marsha has seen a wide breadth of productions. In addition to the classic operas, some of her modern favorites include Akhnaten, Einstein on the Beach, selections from the Recovered Voices initiative, and last fall’s Omar. “It pushed me to see more contemporary takes on socially relevant issues…Omar was exceptional, and I truly hope LA Opera will stage it again.”
When asked why she has donated to LA Opera for so many years, Marsha shared, “I think supporting the arts is critical to a community and preserving its culture. Music and lore help unite a community. It was important to my now deceased husband, and it represents a way to keep his values and memory alive.”
She is adamant that “it’s a good cause,” and that the educational benefits LAO provides “helps build community and promulgate the art form.”
LA Opera is very grateful for the support Marsha has provided and hopes her story serves as inspiration for others to give in support of the future of this vibrant art form. She closed our conversation noting, “missing an occasional Starbucks venti and contributing to the opera might be the difference in the life of someone who’s inspired to become the next Callas or Pavarotti.”