Observing a musical milestone
August 10, 2012
“Rawhn, I want you and Orllyene to do the VIP seating for the Three Tenors at Dodger Stadium next month.” It’s Tibor Rudas, former boss, old friend and famous producer on the phone. A month later Orllyene, and her staff of University of Southern California Music Majors, escort the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Henry Kissinger to their seats. My contribution to the event is arranging for the Trojan Marching Band to play at intermission.
Zubin Mehta will be conducting an orchestra the size of Albania. Upstage from him, will be a choral ensemble of 100 elegantly attired men and women.
Later in the afternoon, the Secret Service pays the stadium a visit. President Bush and Barbara Bush will be attending. They will be seated in the front row alongside Tibor and Lee Rudas.
Domingo’s voice resonates to the uppermost row of bleachers. Carraras draws us in with his romantic gentility. Pavarotti’s range and power exceeds perfection. The clarity of his voice is celestial. He wraps us around his little finger, flashes a smile, and we melt. Each of the Tenors playfully sparks off the other. They are having immense fun. Medley after medley of exquisitely crafted musical arrangements ripple out over the stadium. “Bravos” echo throughout the evening. Tibor has put together a show free of boundaries as operatic arias bump up against pop music. Most powerful of all is a tribute to Hollywood. When the Three Tenors croon “My Way,” a spotlight beam finds Frank Sinatra. He stands and waves. As the first strains of “Singing in The Rain” are heard, our eyes search for Gene Kelly, and there he is, smiling his heart out. The second half of the concert is as strong as the first. The richness of the orchestra and the magnitude of vocal talents are uncommonly entertaining. When the performance ends, encore follows encore. No one wants to leave, least of all The Three Tenors.
Orllyene and I retreat to the backstage area where a huge tent has been erected for a gala VIP banquet. I notice a shrouded figure sitting alone in the dark. It’s Bob Hope. “Mr. Hope, can I help you?” I ask. “I’m fine. I’m waiting to meet Placido,” he says. “May I join you?” I ask, and there I sit, listening as a show business legend recounts moments from his remarkable career.
Orllyene and I mosey over to where a line is forming for the banquet. A distinguished looking gentleman is being questioned by one of Orllyene’s ushers. Instantly she recognizes the guest. “I’m sure Mr. Gregory Peck’s name is on the VIP list. I hope you enjoyed the concert Mr. Peck,” she says and he nods, approvingly.
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Ron Walker lives in Smith Valley. He can be reached at email@example.com.