Advertisement

L.A. Opera History

November 28, 1998

Earlier this month, The Times printed two stories by Mark Swed on Placido Domingo taking over the L.A. Opera in the year 2000. Swed says that for more than 100 years Los Angeles had been an operatic Wild West served by itinerants like New York City Opera. He did not do his research.

When I first arrived in L.A. in 1941, opera was performed annually at the Shrine Auditorium under the auspices of the L.A. Philharmonic, who brought the San Francisco Opera here with international stars every year. In 1966 the Music Center Opera Assn. was created with John McCone as chairman and Lawrence Deutsch, my former partner at Adolph's, serving as president, and administration done by our Adolph's employees. We brought the principal New York City Opera company, not the traveling company, here in 1967 for one month, presenting 28 performances of 14 different operas at a cost to the Music Center of less than $1 million a year. We did this for 16 consecutive years, until 1982. It was then that the board decided to create its own company.

As a matter of record, Domingo sang for the first time at the Music Center in the NYCO production of Ginastera's "Don Rodrigo." L.A. had Beverly Sills, Norman Treigle, Carol Neblett, Robert Hale and many others in their prime, and they played to capacity houses. Hardly an operatic Wild West.

LLOYD E. RIGLER, President, Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, Burbank

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|