Fans mark Philharmonic music director’s debut

The atmosphere in The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall the evening of Sept. 27 was electric as the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s new music director Donato Cabrera made his debut.

For a nominal fee, the Founders’ Room was open to the public for a preconcert reception. Before the concert, Cabrera gave an informal brief synopsis of the new season’s first Masterworks program and answered questions.

Cabrera left the stage to change into his coat and tails, and the full orchestra came onstage to warm up.

Seen among the arriving guests were Rene and Tony Marlon, Mary McCarthy and Cam Ferenbach, Angie Wallin, Dennis Ortwein, Madelene Capelle, Phyllis Hendrickson, Ardene Larsen, Maureen Kane, Sondra Lynch and Shelia McKay.

The evening began with the Star Spangled Banner in commemoration of the anthem’s 200th anniversary of its composition. The musical program then turned to Richard Wagner’s “Overture to Der Fliegende Hollander.”

An event highlight was the performance of renowned soprano Deborah Voigt, a longtime friend of Cabrera. She sang “Du bist der Lenz” from “Die Walkure” by Wagner and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Abscheulicher” from “Fidelio.”

Following intermission, Cabrera opened with “Attack Sustain Decay Release” by Mason Bates, a new composer that the audience loved. Voigt returned to the stage to sing Jerome Kern’s “Why Was I Born” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine.” Followed by George Gershwin’s “My Man’s Gone Now” from “Porgy and Bess.” The concert concluded with Maurice Ravel’s popular “La Valse.”

A standing ovation brought Cabrera and Voigt back onstage to offer a rousing encore of “I Could Have Danced all Night” from “My Fair Lady,” resulting in more standing ovations.

To conclude the special evening, patrons including Diane Carlson and William Freyd, C.J. and Art Woollston, Denise and George Mehoc, Yvette and Ellis Landau, Patricia and Louis Fink, Juliana and Matthew McRae, Patrick Duffy, Charles Ressler, and Laura and Joe Essa were invited to the Founders’ Room for a “meet and greet” with Cabrera and Voigt.

Also attending were Dan Waite, Mari and Thom Landers, Sandra Frank and Vaughn Richards, Carolyn Sparks, Gayle Anderson, Tex Rexing and Jean McCusker, Rhoda Ring, Pamela Ring, Marilyn LaRocque, Susan and Steven Philpott, and Martha Gilmer, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra’s new CEO.

Guests partook of libations and an array of fresh shellfish, sushi, assorted hors d’oeuvres and passed canapes.

The concert was presented by Jeri and Rick Crawford. Jeri Crawford is the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s president and CEO.

Among the guests meeting the honorees were Ginger Land-van Buuren, Shelley and Robert Dublin, Patty and Richard Wright, Dorothy Flagler, Norman Forrester and William Griffin, Denise and Tony Romondo, Prisca and David Crawford, Cheryl Purdue, Zarhava and David Gerstenfeld, Mary Lin, Gay Goldstein, Mark Ricciardi, Sharon Lipscomb, and Karen and Randy Campanale.

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