Unite4Good & Weekend at the Opera with Placido and Friends

The 4th annual Unite4Humanity gala presented by the Unite4Good Foundation, sponsored by Powerteam International & Billionaires Row Champagne, was held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The brightest stars in entertainment, business & sports were recognized for their philanthropic commitments, while using their voices to promote positive change.

Dr. Bill Dorfman presented award to Paula Abdul at Unite4Humanity gala (Photo credit: Ken Rochon)

Amber Heard received the United Civil Liberties Award for her work with the ACLU, and was supported by her friends Cara Delevingne and IO Tillet Wright. Other honorees included Paula Abdul (Music Award), BH Housewives Star Lisa Vanderpump (Trevor Project,) and Leeza Gibbons (Care Connection) to name a few. On the distaff side, gorgeous Wilmer Valderrama & Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington also were lauded for their philanthropic efforts.

Amber Heard received United Civil Liberties Award at Unite4Humanity Gala (Photo credit: Ken Rochon)

Other notables included Producer Walter O’Brien (Scorpion) who received the Lifetime Achievement Award& fashion designer, Michael Costello who got his start on Project Runway. Kudos to Unite4Good which encourages everyone to inspire, empower, share and love.

Placido Domingo with Soprano Diana Damrau at Young Artists Program (Photo credit: Los Angeles Opera)

We were pleased to attend the 10th Anniversary of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program at our own Music Center. This program provides the opportunity for emerging artists to become stars on opera’s international stage. Placido Domingo in the dual role of conductor & soloist, and was magnetic in both arenas. We particularly loved his duet with Opera Diva, Sondra Radvanovsky from The Merry Widow. He even showed his dancing skills waltzing with the lovely soprano. By the way, she can be seen currently in LA opera’s production as Tosca (my favorite opera).

So Young Park as Olympia in Tales of Hoffman (Photo credit: Los Angeles Opera)

It would be impossible to list all the young rising stars who performed excellently, but we were particularly impressed by tenor Joshua Guerrero who we saw in The Ghost of Versailles & bass-baritone, Nicholas Brownlee who was the 2016 winner of Operalia. He has already debuted with the Met in Salome. And last but not least, Bass-Baritone Nicolas Teste from Visan, France, who portrayed the Four Villains in Tales of Hoffman, which we saw the following afternoon. This masterpiece by Offenbach also starred Korean soprano, So Young Park as the wind-up doll, Olympia whose performance was magical. We particularly related to the red haired siren Giuletta portrayed by Kate Aldrich whose throne was a gondola in Venice. The scene, music & lush background was absolutely gorgeous. This was a weekend in Opera Heaven for us all.

Vittorio Gringolo (Hoffman) with Kate Aldrich (Giullietta) in Tales of Hoffman (Photo credit: Los Angeles Opera)

As a television personality, guest speaker, newspaper reporter and columnist and one of the social arbiters of Los Angeles, Marci Weiner has touched every aspect of entertainment journalism. She has appeared as guest reporter on TV shows including Joan Rivers shows, Eye on LA, and the USA Network. In addition, she has hosted her own segments on Soap Talk, Hollywood Style and Hotline after Dark. You may contact Marci for info and invitations at [email protected]