Opera adventurers gathered at Trusteeship member Beth Morrison’s eclectic loft in DTLA’s Arts District for wine, food, and thought provoking discussion prior to heading to the Redcat theater for the premier of the riveting new opera – Prism – part of LA Opera’s Off Grand Series, produced in partnership with Beth’s company, Beth Morrison Projects.
Given that, since 2006, Beth Morrison Projects has been an industry disruptor at the forefront of musical and theatrical innovation by commissioning and producing groundbreaking new works by living composers, members anticipated an amazing out-of-the box experience. And, Prism did not disappoint. It was a highly emotional experience – shaking you to your very core, reported Billie Greer, who attended along with members Diane Ingram, Kathleen Brown, Jennifer Ferro, Wendy Garen, Paula Holt, Beth Morrison and Martha De Laurentiis. Composed by the extraordinarily talented Ellen Reid, the opera focuses on a young woman’s struggle with the aftershock of sexual assault that leaves her in a near-catatonic state and her excruciating journey to take back her life. Earning rave reviews, Prism will be performed in New York early in the new year, as part of Beth’s Prototype Festival, which showcases numerous contemporary opera and music theater projects. So if you missed Prism in LA, see it in NYC in January and let Beth know you’re coming.
The reveiws are in and are smashing! A group of eight Southern California Trusteeship members and some of their friends enjoyed a whirlwind excursion to London, England where the focus of the trip was catching the pre-release show of member Dale Franzen’s Hadestown!
The group had the opportunity to take tours, visit museums, eat in private clubs and took out a great slice of the London pie! Here’s a glimpse of their itinerary:
Friday, November 9:
- 10:00 am Private tour of the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington and walk up to Royal Albert Hall. Kensington Gardens – depending on the weather more or less time with be outside on the walking tour: https://www.vam.ac.uk/ 2 hours
- Tour guide is Rachel Pearson. Kathryn Pretzel Shiels will also join the tour and both will meet you at the museum.
- Meet inside the Cromwell Road entrance to the V&A by the information desk, which is underneath the large blue Chihuly chandelier. As the museum only opens at 10am you shouldn’t rush to be early
- Harrods Early afternoon tea at 1:00 pm at Laduree.
- Behind the scene’s tour of Harrods at 2:30-4:00 pm
- Back to hotel to freshen up
- Dine-A-Round at the Royal Automobile Club 7:00 pm. Enjoy a glass of bubble in the Champagne Room before dining in the Brooklands Room for a 3 course dinner, (no jeans, no trainers, i.e. sneakers – this is a private club, like the Jonathan Club, and as such, you may want to dress up a bit. Gentlemen should wear tie and coat.)
Saturday, November 10:
- 10:00 am Suffragette’s Walk – The tour aims to give a general overview of the suffrage movement (100 year anniversary of all women receiving the right to vote), telling the stories and taking some of the locations associated with the campaign in the Westminster area. The tour will extend towards St. James Park, The Mall and Buckingham Palace – 2 hours. Meet by the statue of George Washington outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square. Alice will be your guide.
- Lunch on our own, make your way to the Thames River Cruise station at the London Eye – directions here: https://www.londoneye.com/visitor-information/
- 1:45 pm: Thames River Cruise. This event is very near the hotel so you can walk or take a taxi.
- 2:45 pm: London Eye.
- Back to the hotel to freshen up
- Dinner: 5:30 pm – The Terrace – National Theatre. You can either walk or take a taxi to the National Theatre. Your reservations are for 5:30pm sharp so please leave time to get to the theater. You may either walk or take a taxi.
- 7:30 pm London pre-launch performance of “Hadestown” at the National Theatre.
Some feedback from the attendees:
We loved having you all here! Thank you for coming. It was a treat to meet / see you. I hope you have been safe from the destructive and devastating fires.
Kathryn Pretzel Shiels Programms Chair IWF UK
Hadestown was fantastic – a huge hit!! And it was such a thrill to see it in London with the producer Dale Franzen and fellow members of the Trusteeship.
Wonderful to share London and Hadestown with y’all!
It was such a fun, exciting weekend and such a pleasure to get to know the great women who attended. Len and I were knocked out by Hadestown and couldn’t agree more with the rave reviews. Our walking tours were wonderful…so much so that we hired our guide, Rachel Pearson, for a private tour later in the week.
Kathryn did an incredible job arranging and hosting us. We loved spending time with Kathryn, Mark and the rest of the London crew.
Thanks so much for all of the planning, Julie and thanks to you great women for exploring London with us.
Talk about ticket of the year! It would have been nearly impossible to get your hands on tickets to the Joni Mitchell Tribute Concert, but because Trusteeship members, Rachel Moore and Lisa Specht have impeccable contacts (they are the contacts!) we were able to create a Trusteeship event around Joni’s amazing tribute!
Rachel and Lisa also hosted a champagne salute in the exclusive Founders Room at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where Trusteeship members gathered during intermission and shared their enthusiasm for the great performances.
One Member shared: “Joni Mitchell is 75! Birthday Tribute at Music Center with performances by James Taylor, Graham Nash, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Emmylou Harris, Seal and many others. Also celebrating Frances Arnold, 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the directed evolution of enzymes”! Appreciation to Rachel Moore and Lisa Specht for tickets and Zee Marzec for dinner.”
What a wonderful night!
“The tour and talk at the Downtown Women’s Center was really eye-opening,” reports Sophia Jackson, The Trusteeship Event Coordinator. Sophia further shared, “…as we were talking about a huge issue in everyone’s backyard: women who are experiencing homelessness in LA, we learned a lot of statistics about how many women are homeless, the reasons why, and how institutions like DWC are actively helping these women reintegrate into society.” The panelists, who were mostly Trusteeship members with some other LA officials joining in, was especially impactful and their knowledge and background really helped the our members and guests relate to this everyday issue.
It was also pretty amazing to learn that the founder of DWC was a past Trusteeship member, Jill Halverson! Kathleen Brown and Jill are still good friends, and Jill now lives in New Mexico.
Per the information listed below from Melissa Tillman, Chief Development and Communications Officer, are shared links with information on how to help support organizations like the DWC, their wish list for donations, and information on their upcoming event, “Dinner With a Cause.” This event is intended to further highlight the issue of homelessness, and Trusteeship members are welcome to attend.
From Melissa: “Thank you for the opportunity to host such a thought-provoking panel with the esteemed women of The Trusteeship. We appreciate your partnership in ending women’s homelessness and look forward to the group’s continued involvement with the Downtown Women’s Center. The panel discussion was very organized and thought-provoking, and we really enjoyed hosting your group!”
As promised, here’s a link to more resources and information about women’s homelessness, DWC’s wish list and information on our upcoming anniversary gala, Dinner With a Cause.