Malibu Seen: There’s Something in the Aria

Star and manager Placido Domingo gets his arms around all things opera with Isabel Allende at the Music Center’s Opening Night bash. 

Malibu opera lovers — like Richard and Cindy Troop — conjured up a roaring standing ovation for the new season of the Los Angeles Opera. “It was great,” said Richard Troop of the opening night of “Macbeth,” “and I loved all those witches with their brew.”

Music fans donned their very best as they look forward to a production company lineup that keeps getting stronger every year. 

The evening kicked off with a VIP cocktail reception while servers made the rounds with specialty canapés. There was just enough time to catch up with fellow neighbors before the bells rang, inviting everyone to take their seats. Seventy-five-year-old General Director Placido Domingo was in rare form in the company’s first production of the Verdi opera, backed up with a great supporting cast. 

It was full of sound and fury upon learning of Lady Macbeth’s death, followed by Shakespeare’s immortal words that “Life is a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing.”

Of course, the wicked witches were on full view with their rats’ tails and heavy makeup. 

After a rousing ovation, the gussied-up group made its way into the tented outside pavilion, which was aglow with twinkling star lights and silver bowls filled with fresh flowers and fruit. 

The band played on as we tucked in to a specially prepared gourmet feast of Brussels sprout leaves and duck comfit salad with black truffle vinaigrette, mustard crusted beef loin, pared with braised beef with thyme reduction and potato rissole with squash blossoms and baby fennel. There was plenty of fine wine to wash it all down, topped by Macbeth tartan butterscotch mousse and pecan meringue. The band played as guests worked off their dinner by dancing into the night.

A few days later, the celebration continued at a private residence in Malibu, with local opera VIP Mark Stern in attendance for a special performance.

It was a sensational send off for the 2016-17 season, which marks the opera’s next 30 years. 

Up next: Popular favorite Philip Glass returns in a new production. Akhnatan ascends to the throne of Egypt along with his bride Nefertiti. He brings with him worship of only one god — the Sun God. 

Other productions include “The Abduction from the Seraglio” and roaring ‘20s Turkish delights on the Orient Express. If you like your operas intense and short, there’s “Salome” in February and March, followed by all-time fave “Tosca” in April and May. There’s plenty to choose from, and that’s something to sing about!