Houston’s Lynn Wyatt Joins Plácido Domingo Celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary
By Jason Grosgrain Photography by BFA and Patrick McMullan
THE SCENE: South Coast Plaza recently hosted an exclusive evening of Art, Excellence + Friendship in Orange County for 160 guests, including Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, Frank Gehry, Plácido Domingo, and Houston’s own Lynn Wyatt. Honored guests joined philanthropists, dignitaries, artists, cultural leaders and business executives at an extraordinary concert by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under maestro Valery Grgiev, followed by an intimate gala dinner. Celebrated South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary, the evening also honored the Segerstrom family’s extraordinary support for the arts.
THE VIBE: The concert featured performances of Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Ein Heldenleben and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3. An encore performance of the final movement of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky accompanied a montage in 3D, paying tribute to Henry Segerstrom’s artistic vision and South Coast Plaza’s unique beauty. At a private dinner following the concert, 8,000 cascading white phalaenopsis orchids decorated in the room. Six trumpeters heralded the beginning of dinner as guests arrived in the extraordinary venue. Wyatt greeted Maestro Gergiev and remarked, “The concert was thrilling. It was worth every mile I flew to get here. I would have walked every mile to hear that.”
Ralph Fiennes, too, spoke to the assembled diners. “It was just that beautiful,” he proclaimed. “Perhaps of all arts, music is the one that can sidestep language. Music reaches straight to the soul, putting borders and political and national differences out of focus. Music, I believe, is the great healer. It’s the great unifier.” Fiennes praised the Segerstroms’ commitment to Art, Excellence, and Friendship, which were in fact the thematic honorees of the evening’s celebration. The musical entertainment continued during dinner as pianist Denis Matsuev performed an improvisation on Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train, followed by Pacific Chorale’s renditions of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Let the River Run, a composition by Carly Simon.
THE CAUSE: The recent performance brought the friendship between the renowned Mariinsky Theatre and Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom full circle, after the Segerstroms orchestrated a three-week Mariinsky Festival in Southern California in 2006. Part of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s vibrant classical music program, the concert was the latest in the Elizabeth & Henry Segerstrom Select Series, sponsored by Elizabeth Segerstrom, co-managing partner at South Coast Plaza. South Coast Plaza is home to more than 250 prominent boutiques, critically acclaimed restaurants and the celebrated Segerstrom Center for the Arts, located in Orange County, California, in the city of Costa Mesa.