Arts & Entertainment

LACC Honors Legendary Opera Star, Placido Domingo, Libaw Family at Gala

Jo Bufalino Libaw and Shawn D. Libaw. – Courtesy of Jo and Shawn Libaw

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), one of the nation’s leading choirs, honors three pillars of the arts and philanthropic fields, including opera legend Placido Domingo and philanthropists/Pasadena residents Jo Bufalino Libaw and Shawn D. Libaw, at Gala Bel Canto on Friday, March 24, 6 p.m. at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The celebration features heart-felt accolades and moving, musical tributes by guest performers: mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and soprano Lauren Libaw, the Libaws’ daughter and a former LACC chorister, as well as some 300 choristers from five LACC ensembles, led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson. The evening also includes a delectable, three-course dinner, exquisite wines and a dazzling live auction. Proceeds from the annual fundraiser benefit LACC’s artistic, educational and scholarship programs.

Placido Domingo. – Courtesy photo / Greg Gorman

Domingo receives LACC’s “Bel Canto Award,” which is being presented to him by LA Opera Chairman Marc Stern. LACC has a decades-long and storied history with Domingo, having performed with him on stage as well as under his baton on numerous LA Opera productions, including Tosca, Carmen, La Bohème and Il Pagliacci. Maestro Domingo’s support and encouragement of LACC’s choristers has created exceptional experiences and lifelong memories for hundreds of LACC’s young singers over the years. Domingo stated, “Los Angeles Children’s Chorus is a wonderful, wonderful chorus… the children sing so well and bring happiness and something beautiful to the Opera!”

The Libaws, recipients of LACC’s “Rebecca Thompson Founder’s Award,” to be presented by Edward S. Garlock, Managing Principal of Payden & Rygel, are treasured alumni parents, former board members and chairs, and are among LACC’s most passionate and abiding supporters. Their daughter, Lauren, spent 10 years with LACC and is currently pursuing a career in opera and the vocal art, receiving noteworthy reviews for her performances by the New York Times and The New Yorker. Through their leadership, advocacy and generosity, the Libaws have made possible for a generation of choristers the same extraordinary LACC experience that influenced their daughter so meaningfully. March 24, 6 p.m., at Millennium Biltmore Hotel in

Gala Bel Canto chair is Andrea Greene Willard (San Marino), and the gala committee members are Rashmi Bansal (Pasadena), Elizabeth Grossman Besch (La Canada-Flintridge), Andrea Bland (Pasadena), Hilary Kingston (Pasadena), Jena Liddy (Pasadena), Corina Madilian (Glendale), Cheryl R. Scheidemantle (Pasadena) and Helen Spitzer (San Marino).

LACC serves more than 400 children ages 6 to 18 from 50 communities across Los Angeles. In demand for its artistic excellence, LACC performs with such leading organizations as LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and POPS, Calder Quartet and Jacaranda.

LACC, recipient of Chorus America’s 2014 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the nation’s highest choral honor, shares its artistry around the globe, touring to North and South America, Africa, China, Cuba, Australia, Japan and Europe. The chorus is also the subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” and was featured on PBS’s “Great Performances,” BBC Radio and Public Radio International, among other credits.

Gala tickets are $375 per person with table and sponsorship packages available. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is located at 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90071. For tickets and information, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit

March 15, 2017

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