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Michelle Kwan meets Placido Domingo backstage at L.A. Opera

September 19, 2011 |  9:00 am


Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan has performed to numerous classical music pieces during her career on the ice. But until this weekend, she had never attended a live opera performance.

Kwan was on hand Saturday for L.A. Opera's season-opening production of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Kwan seemed particularly impressed by the ice-skating sequence in "Onegin" that takes place in the final act. For the scene, the crew has created several pairs of in-line roller skates that are decorated to resemble old-fashioned ice skates from 19th century Russia. The scene takes place on a wintry lake and features performers skating solo and in pairs.

After the performance, the Olympic medalist met backstage with Plácido Domingo,  conductor James Conlon and some of the cast and crew.

The 31-year-old Kwan -- a Southern California native -- said Saturday evening's performance was the first time she had seen an opera live. Kwan was the guest of Barry Sanders, a board member of L.A. Opera.

The staging of "Onegin" is an imported co-production from London's Royal Opera House and the Finnish National Opera.

"Onegin" continues performances through Oct. 9.


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-- David Ng

Photo: Plácido Domingo, left, Michelle Kwan and James Conlon backstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Credit: © Steve Cohn / Steve Cohn Photography