Every now and then the week’s events seem to have an unplanned theme. Such was the case recently, which is why I’ve proclaimed the third week of September as culture week — with an emphasis on music.
The cast of Opéra Louisiane’s production of “Falstaff” entertained at Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera’s first luncheon of the season Sept. 20 at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Welcoming the performers, who were accompanied by pianist Michael Borowitz, was BRAVO President Annette Seng.
Now “Falstaff” has come and gone, but it’s not too late to catch opera legend Plácido Domingo. At the luncheon, Russ Chapman shared information with members on Domingo’s 50th anniversary performance with the New Orleans Opera Oct. 12. If you’re interested, check out the website, http://neworleansopera.org/placido-domingo.
Opening Night Gala
Later that evening, I trekked downtown to Stroube’s where the Baton Rouge Symphony League was hosting its Opening Night Gala prior to the first Masterworks Concert of the orchestra’s 64th season. Featured artist for the concert was multi-Grammy-nominated Chinese violinist Cho-Liang Lin, whose performance was co-sponsored by the Baton Rouge Chinese Culture Club, Baton Rouge Chinese Association and the LSU School of Music.
Betty Schwartzberg, who again chaired the gala, continues to amaze me with her stamina. Conductor Timothy Muffitt was making the rounds, visiting with patrons before heading over to the River Center Theatre and his pre-performance talk. It was good to see Edith Kirkpatrick and some of her friends having dinner, as well as Sue and Bob Rainer. Since this was the end of my partying for the night, I sat a few minutes and had a nice visit with league members Jan Attinger, Paris Yegge, Susan Love and Alexis Thompson.
Symphony League brunch
Two days earlier, the Symphony League hosted its annual brunch for members and guests at the home of Jenny Gray. More than 60 women were joined by Baton Rouge Symphony Executive Director Alan Hopper, Muffitt and Assistant Conductor David Torns, who all expressed their appreciation of the league’s generous support over the years.
As always, the food at this event was scrumptious. Kudos to brunch co-chairwomen Melissa Facundus and Nicole Wester.
CFA thank you
Later that evening, Community Fund for the Arts Campaign chairman Jim Brandt and wife Janie rolled out the welcome mat to their home for a party to thank those who helped make the 2012 campaign a success. Attendees included board members of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, CFA cabinet members, CFA contributors and CFA member organizations.
The Community Fund for the Arts Campaign is a united arts fund drive that raises operating support for 14 arts and cultural organizations in Baton Rouge.
Alliance thank you
Another cocktail party thanking those who stepped up to make its fundraising efforts successful took place Sept. 19. This one was hosted by Christel and Bill Slaughter for supporters of the Companion Animal Alliance, which in just three years has tripled the number of dogs and cats saved from euthanasia. Its inaugural Fur Ball raised more than $80,000. So, yes, they all had something to celebrate.
What this group of animal lovers has accomplished is, quite simply, music to my ears.
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