I had the pleasure on Monday to attend an exciting, comfortably elegant luncheon held at Marche Moderne South Coast Plaza, for a very special announcement made by the beautiful and enigmatic Elizabeth Segerstrom, along with Philharmonic Society President and Artist Director, Dean Corey.
During the presentation, the always charismatic yet down to earth Corey cheerfully announced that the Philharmonic Society has added to its 2010-11 season, a rare, one-night-only West Coast recital performance by opera superstar Renée Fleming. The event will be held as part of the Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom Select Series, which offers five concerts by artists of the highest international stature at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Perhaps the most exhilirating aspect of the April 5 performance announcement was the fact that the concert will be made accessible to the entire community thanks to a majority of the tickets being made available for only $25, with tickets in the orchestra section starting at $85. For an artist of this caliber, these ticket prices are unprecedented! `
Ms. Fleming’s program will have something for everyone, with a mix of popular program repertoire including everything from beloved operatic arias, to Broadway hits, to a diverse assortment of contemporary artists including one of my favorites, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
The April 5 concert will be held at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa at 8pm. Tickets are available through either the Philharmonic Society box office at (949) 553-2122 or online at www.philharmonicsociety.org; or at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts box office at (714) 556-2787.
Last October, the hubby and I took a relaxing stroll over to Balboa Island to check out the first annual Marine Avenue Business Improvement District’s free outdoor concert. In an excellent first effort to engage, entertain and inspire merchants, residents and visitors to come out and have some fun, the BID decided to take a leap of faith and block off a section of Marine Avenue between Hershey’s Market and Wilma’s Patio to hold the free concert.
We got there a little early, and as we staked out a spot by a tree in front of the Post Office, the featured band “Big Wed,” which includes members from the legendary “Surfaris” surf band started tuning up. I recognized a few of them from the annual Balboa Island Parade and if their tune up was any indication, it was going to be a good concert.
At first there was just a trickle of people lining the sidewalks, some bringing beach chairs or blankets, securing their spots on the street and sidewalks. Having been on the planning side of events like this, the thin crowd made me a little nervous for the concert organizers, but soon, the audience increased and excited little kids began to join the ranks in the front of the stage.
The energy in the crowd also grew and as the band got started it just got better. Kids and parents were dancing, the older folks bobbed their heads and everyone looked to be having a great time. Despite the slight October chill, it was good, ol’ fashioned fun in the sun. I couldn’t help but think how lucky we are to live in this community.
The inaugural event was such a success, that another was planned. So grab your beach chairs and blankets and head on over Thursday, April 7 from 5:00 to 7:00p.m. when another free concert will be held in the same place, this time featuring a swing dance band. If you don’t live on the island and want to avoid the traffic, there is plenty of parking in the lot at the beginning of the bridge and it’s a short walk down Marine Avenue.
Lynn Selich is a marketing and public relations consultant residing in Newport Beach. You can reach her at [email protected] or via Facebook at Lynn Selich-Columnist.