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ANN CONWAY

Center, Met Doing a Down-Under Duet

February 19, 1988|ANN CONWAY

Judy Morr, Performing Arts Center general manager, is touring Sydney and Melbourne with Jane Hermann, presentations director for the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

Seems the folks Down Under are celebrating their bicentennial year with major arts festivals. So Morr and Hermann are on the scene to check out possibilities for cooperative efforts--namely, to present the Australian National Ballet.

The Performing Arts Center and the Met are already involved in a cooperative effort--the presentation June 14-19 of the Paris Opera Ballet at the Center. The production will go to the Big Apple afterward.

A ghost of a chance?: Beverly Lambert, the breathtaking brunette who's knocking 'em dead as Marsinah in the Opera Pacific production of "Kismet" at the Center, confided recently that she will audition for the female lead of "Phantom of the Opera" after she returns to New York this month.

The Broadway production, which opened Jan. 26, stars Sarah Brightman, wife of "Phantom" composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. "Sarah will only play Christine for a few months," Lambert said. "I've been invited to audition--and I'm perfect for the part." Indeed. The petite soprano--who says her vocal range is a match for Brightman's--even looks like the exotic coloratura.

At the center of things: Henry and Renee Segerstrom will stage a luncheon at the Center Club in Costa Mesa April 27, when the king and queen of Sweden--King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sylvia--visit Orange County on the final day of their American tour.

The royal couple are traveling around the United States to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Sweden's first U.S. settlement--New Sweden--on the banks of the Delaware. Before the luncheon, which will be attended by Count Wilhelm Wachtmeister, Swedish ambassador to the United States (and dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Washington), and Margareta Hegardt, Swedish consul general to the western United States, the king and queen will visit Disneyland.

Guess who came to dinner? When former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick came to Orange County last weekend to speak to the Industrial League of Orange County, she stayed with old friends Suzanne and Jack Peltason, chancellor of UC Irvine.

On Valentine's night, the three dined on bouillabaisse ("to remind us of all the times we've spent in France together," said Suzanne) and talked about everything from Kirkpatrick's "new home in Bethesda, Md., to the time she spent recently at 10 Downing Street with Margaret Thatcher," Suzanne said.

"We talked about Jeane's new home because she calls me her 'decorator,' "Suzanne said. "I got out my decorating books, and she asked me what kind of faucets she should get, what color sink. She said she knew more about what to do in Panama than she did about her own kitchen sink."

As for the British prime minister, "Jeane said she visited with her for two hours and was very much impressed."

Did Kirkpatrick tell the Peltasons whether she would accept a nomination for vice president? "Oh, we didn't ask her about that. It's not the kind of thing you ask friends. They'd rather not talk about it."

They let George do it: Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, were on hand last Thursday when real estate developer Gus Owen of Laguna Beach replaced Coalson Morris as president of the Lincoln Club.

More than 300 club members watched Deukmejian take part in the changeover ceremonies at the Irvine Hilton & Towers. The event marked the third time a president has been named to the club, organized by Republicans 26 years ago to promote better government and to seek out and support candidates for government office.

Morris had been president since 1975. The first president was Dr. Arnold Beckman.

Owen was the Southern California director of Ronald Reagan's first gubernatorial campaign.

A pricey Barbara Walters: The Crystal Court at South Coast Plaza and Alcott & Andrews will split payment of the $25,000 fee that Barbara Walters is charging to speak about career opportunities Tuesday in the tony Crystal Court.

Robert Tate, Alcott & Andrews' merchandise manager, said he expects "thousands" to attend the free lecture at noon on the second level outside the store.

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