By Gayle Kirschbaum
BRAVO, the Opera League’s official publication has come a long way since the first issue in the spring of 2005. To celebrate the occasion, BRAVO editor Tom Lady had a sit-down with his predecessor Susan Heard to talk about how BRAVO has evolved over the years. For starters, you’ll definitely want to see how different it looks compared to thirteen years ago. Kudos to current editor Tom Lady, Assistant Editor Beverly Phillips, past Editor Susan Heard and all of the hard working team of Bravo volunteers, past and present, for enabling this growth.
While BRAVO has changed, the Opera League’s traditions of volunteerism and support and, along with that, camaraderie and warmth, have remained our bedrock since our founding in 1981.
As president, I attend a slew of opera-related functions throughout the year. And everywhere I go, there you are, the hearty Leaguer! Whether simply attending an LA Opera production or event, or volunteering to make a League event happen, our members reach out with a sincere hello and glowing smile, often paired with a warm hug or handshake. I have to say, it’s a an ineffable feeling to be able to walk into a huge glass hall like the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and right away feel welcome.
LA Opera CEO Christopher Koelsch often talks about the need for people to feel welcome in the opera house, to want to walk in the door. Guess what? That’s what you do! And what you do to encourage that through your support and membership in the League is nothing short of amazing.
You enable us to do so much more. We educate the opera neophytes as well as the aficionados. We take you behind the scenes at LA Opera and provide in-depth seminars and gatherings. We fund transportation for thousands of public school kids so they too can experience opera. And we interact with seniors, teachers and students of all ages at LA Opera workshops and other events. We provide sumptuous meals for LA Opera cast and crew during working rehearsals throughout the season. Picking artists up from the airport, chauffeuring them to their appointments, letting them lodge with us… All of these traditions of warmth and hospitality help form the bedrock of the Opera League.
As we immerse ourselves in yet another holiday season and celebrate the New Year, we look forward to spending another year with you. That means celebrating our Hemmings Gala that supports LA Opera’s Opera Camp. That means more seminars, more gatherings, more recitals and a preview with LA Opera of yet another season…
I wish you all a Happy 2019!
P.S. Don’t forget to “Like” the Opera League on Facebook!