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L.A. Opera celebrates Verdi at 'Simon Boccanegra' party

February 13, 2012 | 12:40 pm

Placido Domingo and Stana Katic Opera star Plácido Domingo and conductor James Conlon have worked together all over the world. Yet “Simon Boccanegra,” which opened Saturday at Los Angeles Opera, marked the first time the two have teamed for an opera by Giuseppe Verdi.

At the opening night after-party on the fifth floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Domingo thanked donors for making that Verdi collaboration possible. Domingo serves as general director of L.A. Opera and Conlon as its music director.

“We were waiting, James and myself, because even though we have worked across the years on many occasions, this was our first Verdi together,” Domingo said. “So to have the pleasure to do it here it was really, really extraordinary.”

The boisterous applause following the production continued into the late-night buffet supper. Addressing the dinner guests, L.A. Opera Chairman Marc Stern ticked off Domingo’s many accomplishments, which include 138 roles, 3,500 career performances, 100 opera recordings and 12 Grammy Awards, then added: “Honestly, all of that was nothing more than a rehearsal -- or a warm-up -- for what [Domingo] did tonight.”

Stern also noted his concern at Domingo’s fall in the death scene, which appears to be a real one. “Every one of us,” Stern said, “we wait for the curtain to open, and when you come out, if you think the ‘Bravos’ are louder than usual, they are.”

Joining the after-party were Domingo's costar Ana María Martínez, Stana Katic of “Castle,” Ian McShane of “Deadwood” and Gale Harold of "Desperate Housewives." Also spotted in the audience for the performance was Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz of “Inglourious Basterds."


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Photo: Stana Katic of "Castle" greets Plácido Domingo. Credit: Steve Cohn / Steve Cohn Photography

[For the record: An earlier version of this post misidentifed Stana Katic in the photo caption.]