LA Opera opened its 2012/13 Season on September 15 with the Company Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's The Two Foscari, starring General Director Plácido Domingo (performing his 140th role and celebrating his 45th season in Los Angeles) and conducted by Music Director James Conlon. The evening was generously underwritten for the eleventh year by the Milan Panic Family with special production support from Barbara Augusta Teichert. Rolex continued their corporate commitment to LA Opera as the 2012/2013 Season Opening Sponsor and Official Timepiece of LA Opera.
Taking a cue from the fire breather who appears in the opera’s carnival scene, the Company celebrated the launch of the new season with a gala dubbed Ignite!, created by Gala Chair Jill Baldauf and Honorary Chair Mary Hayley, which raised more than $1.5 million for the Company
After arrivals on the red carpet, the festivities began with a cocktail reception and seated dinner for 320 guests on the Music Center Plaza. Guests were welcomed into a red- and orange-draped outdoor environment designed by Special Occasions Event Planning, with flame-shaped floral arrangements by Flaming Flower Productions. Wines were provided courtesy of Laetitia, LA Opera's still wine sponsor.
All audience members attending the performance were greeted at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with complimentary champagne courtesy of the Henry Wine Group, LA Opera’s sparkling wine sponsor.
After the performance, the Ignite! theme continued with an after-party for 430 guests featuring fire dancers from Zen Arts, fire pits, a s’more station, and dancing on the Music Center Plaza. Specialty cocktails, incorporating juice donated by POM Wonderful and presented by servers in flame-colored tutus, were created by Crave Cocktail Catering and Shotgun Promotions, and Urth Caffé provided a specialty coffee bar. The lighting was designed by Chris Werner Design, and music was provided by Wayne Foster Entertainment. Gift bags were provided by Bloomingdale's and designer Sue Wong.
The evening was hosted by Plácido Domingo, who welcomed Stana Katic, the star of ABC’s Castle, as the evening’s Honorary Gala Chair for ARIA, LA Opera’s group for young professionals. Other guests included Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz, actress Anna Gunn of AMC’s Breaking Bad and fashion designer Sue Wong. Gala guests included many of LA Opera’s most dedicated supporters, including Board Chairman Marc I. Stern and his wife Eva Stern, Chairman of the Executive Committee Carol Henry and her husband Vice Chairman Warner Henry, production underwriter Milan Panic, Barbara Augusta Teichert, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Marilyn Ziering, Alfred and Claude Mann, Ambassador Frank and Kathy Baxter, Aubrey and Joyce Chernick, Em Green, Kenneth and Beth Karmin, Susan Disney Lord and Scott R. Lord, Nancy and Barry Sanders, Catherine and Paul Tosetti, Christopher V. Walker, Esther and Abe Zarem, and Diane and Michael Ziering.