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Press Release: LA Opera celebrates opening of season with Opera Ball

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 LA Opera celebrates opening of
2014/15 season with Opera Ball

(Los Angeles) September 16, 2014 —The Gatsby era came to life on the Music Center Plaza when LA Opera launched the city's social season on September 13 with the Opera Ball, a sold-out gala celebration marking the opening night of LA Opera's 2014/15 season. The Opera Ball raised $1.5 million to support LA Opera's world-class productions as well as its extensive educational and community engagement programs.

The gala celebrated the sold-out opening night performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, starring Plácido Domingo, Nino Machaidze and Arturo Chacón-Cruz, directed and designed by Marta Domingo, and conducted by James Conlon. The festivities began with a 5pm champagne and caviar reception hosted by Kate Walsh, star of the upcoming NBC series Bad Judge.

The opening celebration honored Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, one of LA Opera’s greatest champions, for his deep commitment to the company and to arts and culture throughout Los Angeles County. Mr. Yaroslavsky conducted the National Anthem at the beginning of the performance, made a special onstage appearance in Act Three, and received a commemorative gift from LA Opera Chairman Marc Stern during the curtain calls at the end of the performance.

Stern/Yaroslavsky, cast, Machaidze/DomingoMarc Stern and Zev Yaroslavsky; the cast of La Traviata; Nino Machaidze and Placido Domingo.

For photographs of the Opera Ball, please click here.

This year’s Opera Ball was led by longstanding Chair Mary Hayley, who was joined by Dinner Committee Chair Jill Baldauff and a new Opera Ball Vice-Chair, Catherine Marcus. 

About the Opera Ball
Drawing inspiration from the production’s Art Deco designs, the Opera Ball transported guests into a Roaring Twenties fantasy world. Following arrivals on the red carpet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the festivities continued with champagne and cocktail reception in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall. After the performance, 500 guests enjoyed a seated dinner, catered by Patina, with the cast on the Music Center Plaza, followed by an after-party featuring Prohibition-era cocktails and dancing.

Special guests included actors Emmy Rossum (a former honorary chair of LA Opera's ARIA opening night celebration), Michael York and Stana Katic.

Hayley/Zilkha, Baldauf/Marcus, Rossum/Walsh Mary Hayley and Selim K. Zilkha; Jill Baldauf and Catherine Marcus; Emmy Rossum and Kate Walsh

About La Traviata
In one of opera’s greatest romances, a naive young man falls head over heels for a glamorous party girl…until an unexpected visitor threatens to tear them apart. Conducted by Music Director James Conlon, La Traviata stars Nino Machaidze as the ill-fated Violetta Valery and Plácido Domingo as Giorgio Germont; the two recently appeared together at LA Opera in the leading roles of Jules Massenet’s Thaïs. Arturo Chacón-Cruz sings the role of Violetta’s young lover, Alfredo Germont. Although the opera was written in 1853, stage director and production designer Marta Domingo has updated the setting to the 1920s, with ravishing art deco-inspired scenery and costumes. Performances of La Traviata continue through September 28. For more information about the production, please click here.

LA Opera’s production of La Traviata is made possible by generous gifts from The Milan Panic Family and Barbara Augusta Teichert.

LA Opera Media Contacts:
Gary Murphy, Director of Communications and Public Relations
gmurphy@laopera.org | 213.972.7554

Shannita Williams, Associate Director of Communications, Social Media
shannita@laopera.org | 213.972.7347


Rolex is the Official Timepiece of LA Opera.
Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

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