Domingo has special connection with 'The Queen of Spades'

A different kind of music was celebrated across town from the “Rock Star” preem Tuesday as the Los Angeles Opera season opened with Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” at the Music Center.

At the gala benefit on the plaza afterward, co-chair Nancy Daly Riordan said: “I love having Placido Domingo (as the artistic director). He raises the level.”

As part of the L.A. Opera’s outreach to Hollywood, more industry folk will be mingling downtown, fellow co-chair Sherry Lansing said.

“My husband is directing one and Maximilian Schell is directing another,” Lansing said referring to the double bill of “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” and “Gianni Schicchi” that William Friedkin will helm and “Lohengrin,” which opens next week with Schell as director.

Domingo, who played the role when he began singing Russian operas, said he chose ” ‘The Queen of Spades’ because I have a special connection with it.”

The gala was underwritten by Robert and Kelly Day, who was also the gala chairwoman, and raised $1 million. Among the more than 600 guests at the gala were Friedkin, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Diane Lane, Ginny Mancini, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hyde Pierce, Doris Roberts, Schell and Hans Zimmer.

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