Opera on the Great Lawn 2017

In the True Spirit of Virginia Robinson: Opera on the Great Lawn

A truly magical, balmy summer evening of music and dining was presented as “Opera on the Great Lawn” at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on Saturday night, June 24, 2017. Ann Petersen and her husband, Dr. Leslie Pam, graciously orchestrated the event to share their love of opera with the Friends of Robinson Gardens and guests. The magnificent voices of Ashley Faatoalia (Tenor) and Katherine Giaquinto Powers (Soprano) were accompanied by the brilliant musicians, Douglas Sumi on piano and Helen Zheng Altenbach, who played the cello. They performed a selection of opera’s “greatest hits,” including O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, Una Furtiva Lagrima from Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti, and, Soave Fanciulla from La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini. The evening was reminiscent of the many times over the years Virginia Robinson offered her estate to host the opening night party for the Hollywood Bowl Patrons.

The performers were provided by Pittance Chamber Music, an organization that presents performers from the L A Opera Chorus and the L A Opera Orchestra in smaller, more intimate settings. The singing and music were so enchanting that, at times, birds in the nearby magnolia tree joined in.

Following the performance on the Great Lawn, dinner was served in the Rose Garden overlooking the Tennis Court. The Kitchen for Exploring Foods served a most delicious dinner. The menu included fresh grilled corn soup, grilled rib-eye steak, seared salmon barigoule with artichoke, summer chopped salad, and seasonal grilled vegetables. Dessert was a trio of chocolate bouchon cake, butterscotch budino pudding, and a miniature lemon tarte. Deeply hued, gorgeous flower arrangements by Andrey Yun adorned the tables.

Opera on the Great Lawn was an incredibly unique combination of artistry set in an historic venue that sublimely demonstrated why the Virginia Robinson Gardens is enchanted.

Post By Evie Carlson and Marcella Ruble
Members of the Friends of Robinson Gardens

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