If you read the entry down below of April 2, 2006 (“Placido Domingo, Where Were You?”), you will be familiar with that sorry story.
I am here to tell you that it’s going to have a happy ending.
I consulted with what’s called hereabouts a “personal injury” attorney, the kind that works for free and a hefty chunk of the proceeds. I was assured that we had a case and a right to quiet enjoyment pertaining to the show, and it would cost us nothing.
But I decided to hold off, and wait for a reply to my letter.
I can now report that I have received a gracious letter of apology and regret from LA Opera, with the notation that they are not responsible for operating the house, L.A. County does that, and also provides the front-of-house staff. It came with an invitation to attend any future performance as their guests.
Then I got a letter from the County. They investigated the matter and rendered their apology too, and a note suggesting that in today’s employment climate, it can be difficult to take the kind of action that perhaps ought to be taken.
I have responded by saying that we have decided to accept their apologies, and expressed the hope that perhaps our unfortunate experience will be used for the benefit of future training classes for house and security staff. Audiences ought to be able to go to the bathroom without running the risk of being assaulted by security on their way back to their seats, between, or even dare one say, during arias.
I have asked LA Opera if we might attend the first performance of their upcoming LA TRAVIATA, by Giuseppe Verdi, on June 7th and they are pleased to do this for us. They asked me to erase the posting, but I said no, it needs to remain as a cautionary tale for the good of LA Opera and all future patrons. I said it should never happen again to anybody.
I said goodbye to the lawyer chap, who sounded quite sad, and instead we are making plans for the June 7th opening, dress-up time, black tie, and Miyuki wants to wear her classic summer Kimono outfit.
I don’t know if Maestro Domingo had a hand in this, but I hope so. I like to believe that art wins out in the end.
So we got dressed up again, kimono and all, and off we went.
La Traviata is an easier to follow story, and of interest was that this production was put together by The Maestro’s wife Marta, (and came under some criticism from the buffs.)
The sweet sad melody of the prelude sets the tone for the entire opera, and we came out with beautiful arias ringing in our heads. We did enjoy ourselves, but I noticed that nobody came to greet us. Dinner was being set up after the show, for the big donors I guess. But not invited.
We went home by way of our new favorite neighborhood seafood and oyster bar – the Hungry Cat at Sunset and Vine.
And plan to attend Andre Rieu’s next concert hereabouts next December. Not for serious music snobs, I guess, but he can certainly teach producers of the classics a thing or two about infecting an audience with enthusiasm and goodwill.
Andre Rieu