Unite4Good and Weekend at the Opera with Placido and Friends

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The Beverly Wilshire Hotel recently hosted the 4th annual Unite4Humanity gala presented by the Unite4Good Foundation, and sponsored by Powerteam International and Billionaires Row Champagne.

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The brightest stars in entertainment, business, and sports were recognized for their philanthropic commitments, while using their voices to promote positive change.

Amber Heard received the United Civil Liberties Award for her work with the ACLU, and was supported by her friends Cara Delevingne and iOTillet Wright. Other honorees included Paula Abdul (Music Award), Beverly Hills’ Housewives star Lisa Vanderpump (Trevor Project,) and Leeza Gibbons (Care Connection) to name a few. Gorgeous Wilmer Valderrama and Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington also were lauded for their philanthropic efforts.

Other notables included producer Walter O’Brien (Scorpion), who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and fashion designer Michael Costello who got his start on “Project Runway.” Kudos to Unite4Good, which encourages everyone to inspire, empower, share and love.

We were pleased to attend the 10th anniversary of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program at the Music Center. This program provides the opportunity for emerging artists to become stars on opera’s international stage.

Placido Domingo, in the dual role of conductor and soloist, was magnetic in both arenas. We particularly loved his duet with Sondra Radvanovsky from “The Merry Widow.” He even showed off his dancing skills, waltzing with the lovely soprano. By the way, she can be seen currently in the LA Opera’s production as Tosca (my favorite opera.)

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It would be impossible to list all the young rising stars, who performed excellently, but we were particularly impressed by tenor Joshua Guerrero whom we saw in “The Ghost of Versailles,” and bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee, who was the 2016 winner of “Operalia.” He has already debuted with the Met in Salome.

And last, but not least, bass-baritone Nicolas Teste from Visan, France, who portrayed the four villains in “Tales of Hoffman,” which we saw the following afternoon. This masterpiece by Offenbach also starred Korean soprano, So Young Park as the wind-up doll, Olympia, whose performance was magical.

We particularly related to the red-haired siren Giulietta, portrayed by Kate Aldrich whose throne was a gondola in Venice. The scene, music, and lush background were absolutely gorgeous. This was a weekend in opera heaven for us all.

 

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