Opera always opens the Los Angeles fall social season. But the Los Angeles Philharmonic season arrives soon after. Art Deco invitations to the Philharmonic gala Oct. 8 arrived last week. Committee chairs will reveal the party details Sept. 19 at a luncheon at Christie's on Camden Drive in Beverly Hills, hosted by Christie's Los Angeles Chairman Marcia Hobbs.
The symphony folk are joyous about this opening. American diva Kathleen Battle will join Esa-Pekka Salonen, Philharmonic music director, in concert. The program will begin with Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 followed by Battle singing Mozart's motet "Exsultate, jubilate." After intermission, Battle performs the song cycle "Honey and Rue," written expressly for her by Andre Previn, a former Philharmonic conductor. Salonen concludes the concert with Sibelius: "The Swan of Tuonela" and "Lemminkainen's Return."
Travel author Ferne Margulies will co-chair the benefit, joined by her husband, Stan, and Derek and Diana Lidow.
Guests will sip champagne during a silent auction before the concert and then dine and dance on the Music Center Plaza, at an Art Deco-themed party. Start your vitamins: This party takes stamina.
School Daze: The new Stark Residence Hall open house at Claremont McKenna College was making the crowd feel like freshmen. The six-floor, $5-million, 72-student hall becomes the 12th residence on campus. It's named for McKenna President Jack Stark and his wife, Jil.
The Starks and their family and friends were enthusiastic about the opening of the hall, which will be dedicated by trustees Oct. 9. That's fair: The hall is a gift from the trustees.
Golden Bells: A raft of philanthropists heads the honorary dinner committee for the Golden Bell Dinner on Sept. 17 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Among them: co-chairs Patty and Roy Disney, Richard Newman and Bunny Steinbaum.
Steve Allen will be master of ceremonies; comedian Al Franken will entertain. More than 400 are expected for the Portals annual fund-raiser to assist psychiatrically disabled and homeless people.
Raymond W. Holdsworth, president and CEO of the architectural and engineering firm Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, will receive the Golden Bell Award. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin will receive the Steve Allen Lifetime Achievement Award for humanitarianism.
Wild Night: "Do at the Zoo!" with its auction, dinner and concert, promises to give Friends of Child Advocates a wild ride. The location is Zoo Meadow. Guests are expected to hear the roar of the wild as they chomp on a gourmet picnic.
The evening features a performance by Ed Asner narrating "Peter and the Wolf." Also the "Cinderella Overture" will be played.
The evening will benefit one of Los Angeles County's most endangered species--children. Friends of Child Advocates is the fund-raising arm of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer program. CASA provides advocates for many of the more than 50,000 abused, abandoned or neglected children under the care of the Los Angeles County Dependency Court.
Circle Red: The Beverly Hills Family Y will celebrate its annual "Citizen of the Year" dinner dance Sept. 26 in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Real estate legend Jon Douglas will be honored citizen, and the Leonard Neil Orchestra plays for dancing.
Soiree: Charles C. Reed, chairman of the YMCA of Pasadena's Council of 2001 support group, and Gretchen and Bill Lofthouse have invitations out for an afternoon soiree Sept. 14 at Green Loft Ranch in Bradbury.
On Stage: Civic leaders will dine on the Probst stage at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Saturday to benefit the Gold Coast Performing Arts Assn. Larry Janss chairs the association's trustees. The mission is to develop and encourage excellence in the performing arts through support of the plaza's constituent performing groups: Cabrillo Music Theatre, Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory, Gold Coast Plays, Santa Susana Repertory Company and Young Artists Ensemble. Tickets are $150.
A Hunch: All it takes is a hunch to know that the charities are in full force at Del Mar Racetrack.
Among those who are watching the races and raising funds is the Center Stage Club of La Jolla Playhouse. They party Monday. The playhouse is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of its rebirth in new quarters on the UCSD campus in La Jolla. Some 75 will lunch in the Turf Club Il Palio Restaurant.
Others who chose Del Mar for benefits are Las Patronas, which traditionally stages the Jewel Ball to raise funds for scores of nonprofit groups, and the Children's Dental Health Assn. chaired by Glenn Thacher, which underwrites losses for the Children's Dental Health Clinic in Golden Hill.
Elsewhere on the Social Circuit
Aria!, the young professionals supporting the L.A. Opera and the L.A. Opera League, will honor sponsors and patrons Thursday at a martini reception to view highlights from Christie's auction of photographs. The photographs will be offered Oct. 9 at Christie's New York.
* Add in two more "Rent" benefits at the Ahmanson Theatre. The Wellness Community-West Los Angeles, which helps people fight cancer, hosts a fund-raiser Sept. 24 with a New York street theme supper on the Music Center Plaza . . . The Actors Fund of America will wait until Nov. 2 for its benefit.
* It's time for the Angels Attic de-acquisition sale--Saturday at 516 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. Dolls and dollhouses will be 25% off.