Malibu Seen

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Malibu opera lovers Richard and Cynthia Troop at the Music Center. Photo courtesy of Lee Salem Photography

GETTING IN TUNE

The Los Angeles Opera is off to a harmonious start. The 2004-05 season kicked off with Mozart’s masterpiece “Idomeneo,” featuring General Director Placido Domingo in the title role.

LA Opera Chairman and CEO Mark Stern, wife Eva Stern, Ginny Mancini, Richard and Cynthia Troop, Michael York and Blythe Danner were among those stepping out at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the opening night performance and a gala bash of Olympic proportions.

As soon as opera lovers took their seats, they were transported to the island of Crete. There, a shipwrecked king is forced to choose between sacrificing his beloved son or incurring the wrath of the gods upon his kingdom.

Afterward, the Greek theme continued as guests waltzed their way to the Grand Hall, which was decked out in grand style.

They savored a Greek feast prepared by Patina’s celebrated chef, Joachim Splichal. The Mediterranean-style spread included classics like greens with fresh feta, tomato and Kalamata olives, succulent beef kabob with red, yellow and green peppers, and a creamy egg galaktobouriko in filo dough. Opah!

The 2004-05 season marks a milestone for the company. The LA Opera will present a whopping 100 performances. That’s a 30 percent increase over last season. With favorites like “Carmen,” “Aida” and “La Boheme” on the way, there’s music in the air. And that’s something to sing about!

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Look for loads of locals coming soon to a theater near you. In November, Pierce Brosnan sheds his Bond role and hits the big screen in “After the Sunset.” The exotic cat-and-mouse caper co-stars Salma Hayek and Woody Harrelson. Leonardo DiCaprio takes off as a young Howard Hughes in “The Aviator,” which focuses on the reclusive billionaire’s obsession with experimental aircraft. British beauty Cate Blanchett and comeback kid Alec Baldwin round out the cast. The high-flying flick is a first for Gwen Stefani. The red-hot rocker will attempt to earn her acting wings by playing blonde bombshell Jean Harlow. In December, Malibu mom-to-be Julia Roberts appears in the splashy sequel “Ocean’s 12” along with celluloid super-studs Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

Finally, Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni team up in “Spanglish.” Tea tells Malibu Seen the role was demanding, but at least she didn’t have to travel far afield. Much of the film was shot right here on Carbon Beach. So take a look long look, you just might spot the surf on some familiar turf.