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Sweet Ending for Dresden Philharmonic

January 27, 1994|ANN CONWAY

Society supporters gather with featured artists at the Center Club for a dessert buffet.

Members of the Orange County Philharmonic Society who attended the concert by the Dresden Philharmonic on Tuesday night at Segerstrom Hall were stunned by the photographs featured at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

Displayed on the center's mezzanine level by the Dresden Philharmonic, the pictures

showed the once-beautiful German city after it was reduced to rubble by controversial Allied bombing raids during Word War II.

"We bombed the hell out of that town," noted Jack Caldwell, the Orange County Philharmonic activist who with his wife, Nancy, will chair its Golden Baton Gala on May 21 at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach.

After Tuesday night's performance, about 90 philharmonic supporters gathered with the concert's featured artists--cellist Carter Brey, conductor Philippe Entremont and violinist Cho-Liang Lin--at the Center Club for a dessert buffet of apple cobbler and strawberry shortcake.

The undercurrent: the conflict between the philharmonic's Golden Baton Gala and South Coast Repertory's End of Season Auction--both on the books for May 21.

"We've asked SCR to reconsider their date because we've had ours on the books since last June," said a philharmonic spokesman. Not to mention the fact that the event will celebrate the philharmonic's 40th anniversary.

(South Coast Repertory is trying to reschedule. "We picked the May date because we've always tried to shoehorn that event into July," said Sue Ann Van Gemert, SCR's director of advancement. "But we're not locked into it. We're looking at other dates. We understand the problem.")

Meanwhile, the Caldwells are putting together an all-out smash, they say. The $200-per-person dinner will honor past Golden Baton recipients, including Henry Segerstrom, Donald Bren and Elaine Redfield, and feature entertainment by prominent local artists.

"We're going to get real nostalgic (at the gala)," Jack Caldwell said. "Forty years is a long time. I don't think the Orange County Performing Arts Center would have gotten started if it wasn't for the philharmonic."

How does it feel to be co-chairing an event with his wife? "Oh, we're having a great time," Jack said.

Deadpanned Nancy: "I'll tell you when it's over."


Partying with Opera Pacific: Celebrating publicly with opera stars Placido Domingo and Roberta Peters at recent post-performance bashes was great fun for fans of Opera Pacific.

And there were some private parties held this week that kept the confetti flying. On Monday night, Bud and Paula Lingelbach of Laguna Beach held a dinner for opera buffs who flew to the French Riviera in August to hear presentations by the Monte Carlo opera. (FYI: Opera Pacific has high hopes of collaborating someday with the Monte Carlo Opera. Their dream--a production presented in Monte Carlo and at Segerstrom Hall, with members of Monaco's royal family attending. Are we ready for Prince Ranier and Princess Caroline sitting resplendent in the First Tier? You bet.)

On Tuesday, Opera Pacific's director, David DiChiera, staged a dinner and concert in his Corona del Mar home for featured artists from "The Merry Widow." Among opera donors at the event was Sharon Jaquith, who almost fainted when opera stars Roberta Peters, Robin Follman and Fred Love sang "Happy Birthday" to her and presented her with flowers and balloons.

Also attending the dinner were New York composer Lowell Lieberman, who is working on an opera called "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and pianist Alain Lefevre, who will perform with the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom Hall next week.

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