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MUSIC NEWS : PERFORMING ARTS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, DANCE, OPERA : A Heart-Shaped Benefit

February 11, 1996|Daniel Cariaga

Southern California followers of the American mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade are accustomed to hearing her live at least once a year--she last appeared here at the Hollywood Bowl in July. So they were no doubt disappointed when the singer canceled her scheduled appearance in Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutte," opening at L.A. Music Center Opera, Feb. 27.

At least some of her fans can take heart, however. Though she said at the time of the cancellation that she was withdrawing for the "personal reason" of wishing to spend more time with her teenage children, at home in San Francisco, she will sing on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this month.

On Wednesday, Valentine's Day, Stade appears in an on-stage fund-raiser for L.A. Music Center Opera. Previous on-stage fund-raisers have featured such artists as Garrison Keillor, Carol Neblett, John Denver, the Smothers Brothers and Barbara Cook. Performing with Stade this week will be the celebrated nightclub/cabaret? performer Bobby Short. The duo will offer music appropriate for the holiday.

Said Short, on the phone from New York last week, where it was 12 degrees above zero: "It's been years and years since I've played out there," adding that he is looking forward to being in L.A.

Short brings, for his solo set, a bassist and a drummer, and will play "love songs, mostly, both the sweet and the bitter." At 69, the pianist says he still enjoys the artistic rewards of playing before an audience.

Short said he doesn't know yet if he and Stade will perform together, and she was not available for comment, but the collaboration will definitely happen, promises a Music Center Opera spokesman. Then, after their appearance, the band Art Deco and his Society Orchestra will play for dancing on the Pavilion stage as guests are served dinner.

Tickets for the event are pricey--$350 and $500--the money goes to Music Center Opera, and a large portion of the ticket-price is tax-deductible.

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ALL IN THE FAMILY: Retiring in mid-season from the Los Angeles Philharmonic after 41 1/2 years, flutist Roland Moritz played his final concert with the orchestra last Sunday, then concluded his service for the orchestra on Tuesday by participating in the Debussy/Ravel recording sessions led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.

He joined at the beginning of the 1954-55 season, during the tenure of Alfred Wallenstein, and lasted through the directorships of Eduard van Beinum, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini and Andre Previn.

"It's been fun," said the 71-year old flutist, whose father, bassoonist Frederick Moritz, played with the Philharmonic for 47 years.

"Now I'm going to have different kinds of fun," naming skiing, sailing and playing chamber music among those activities.

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