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Applause for the Pacific Symphony

Art of Dining 2016 Executive Committee

Salons Provide Elegant Backdrop for the Arts

It was enough to make a culture vulture swoon.

Not only did Pacific Symphony patrons hear the ethereal strains of a 1715 “Titian” Stradivarius violin, they cruised a museum-quality collection of art glass during a salon at the Laguna Niguel home of Stan and Dolores Sirott.
“It’s such a treat to hear violinist Cho-Liang Lin and view this remarkable collection,” said Ginny Davies. “The only thing I don’t love is that I don’t live here all the time!”

Indeed. Guests enjoyed select wines, a light lunch and the chance to ogle a rainbow of Tiffany treasures before convening in a sun-dappled living room to hear Lin play Bach. “There’s nothing more reminiscent of 18th- and 19th-century traditions than being in someone’s home and seeing great art, hearing great music,” said symphony President John Forsyte. “We are so grateful for everything the Sirotts bring to the symphony.”

At another salon, Pacific Symphony’s principal flutist, Benjamin Smolen, played his rose-gold flute before members and guests of The Symphony 100 during its annual membership tea at the Laguna Niguel home of Darrellyn Melilli, president. A question-and-answer period followed.
The support group’s yearly dues of $1,000 go toward underwriting two classical concerts each season, Melilli told guests. “And we get to choose what we want to underwrite,” she said.  
Founded 12 years ago, The Symphony 100 was created to bring together women “who share a love of symphonic music and want to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the arts,” Forsyte observed.

Magical Night: With a lively reception at the Center Club and attendance at “The Illusionists: Live from Broadway” in Segerstrom Hall, members of the Rising Leaders Council of Segerstrom Center conjured up a magical evening to benefit Disney Musicals in Schools, an outreach aimed at helping low-income students achieve equitable access to the arts. Last year, Segerstrom Center was awarded a $100,000 grant from Disney to bring the program to area schools. The invitation-only council – comprising 30- to 40-year olds who ante up $5,000 per year dues – seeks to “bring the next generation of leadership to Segerstrom Center,” said council chairman Bill Meehan of Newport Beach.

Arty Party: From scarlet bouquets to ruby goblets, everything was coming up rosy at the post-performance bash celebrating the opening of “Red” at South Coast Repertory. Theatergoers met up at Room & Board, a contemporary furniture emporium, to dine, sip libations and watch art students whip brushes dripping with red paint across a giant canvas, a homage to John Logan’s Tony Award-winning bio-drama about the volatile abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, portrayed by Mark Harelik. Starring in the play has reinforced his belief that art is the “equivalent of compassion,” Harelik said. Art requires reflection that takes observers “inward, where they find compassion for themselves and others.” Underwriters were Sophie and Lawrence Cripe, and Jean and Tim Weiss.

Cast Blast

Tossing back heady drinks dubbed Astaire and Rogers (a blend of vodka, lemon and grenadine), ballet lovers continued to salute the dance of the silver screen after viewing the U.S. premiere of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Choré” at Segerstrom Hall. “What we’ve seen is Maillot’s conceptual fantasy of the dance history of the Hollywood musical,” Segerstrom Center Vice President Judy Morr said. Among guests at the Café Rouge cast party for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo: Patricia Ward Kelly, whose husband, dance legend Gene Kelly, was portrayed by Lucien Postlewaite in the 75-minute tour de force. “‘Choré’ is a moving and magical piece. ... Maillot is a master with a big heart and evokes the spirit of Gene in a beautiful and compelling way,” she said. The two-day engagement was underwritten by Michelle Rohé.

Arts Buzz

'Art of Dining' to be staged on new OCMA site

“Be prepared to be wowed!”

That’s how Jennifer Segerstrom describes her excitement about the Orange County Museum of Art’s first benefit on its new property adjacent to the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

The contemporary art museum’s $1,250 per person annual Art of Dining will be staged May 21 under a tent on the emerald green lawn fronting the “Connector” sculpture by Richard Serra. Set to open in late 2019, the museum will honor sensual-imagery artist Marilyn Minter of New York at the upscale foodie gathering, famous since 1988 for its wine and gourmet pairings set in an art-charged atmosphere.

Inspiration for gala décor will be the work of once-controversial Minter herself, whose first West Coast exhibition will be on display at the museum’s current location in Newport Beach.
“We will work to incorporate images and themes from her body of work,” said Segerstrom, one of the event’s nine-member executive committee. “We are excited to weave Minter’s seductive, highly visual concepts and colorful commentary into the room. Given our canvas is the interior walls and ceilings of a tent, we have an amazing array of options to project.”
Last year’s event netted $440,000. Also on the committee: Marsha Anderson, Susan Etchandy, JoAnn Fanticola, Teri Kennady, Deborah Lake, Twyla Reed Martin, Tracy Schroeder and Jennifer VanBergh.

Party Watch: Pacific Symphony marks its 10th year at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at two landmark social events: an exclusive celebration with soprano Renee Fleming when she launches the new season Sept. 13, joining maestro Carl St.Clair and the symphony for Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs,” and on Sept. 22, with a splash preceding a performance by Van Cliburn-winning pianist Olga Kern performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Party details are in the works. Stay tuned. And mark those calendars.

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