Celebrated tenor attends event

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — It's not every day that your lunch partner is the world-renowned tenor Placido Domingo, but that was the surprise waiting for some 40 wives of diplomats attending a special luncheon in their honor sponsored by the Church in Los Angeles.

Each year, the Southern California Public Affairs Council hosts several events for foreign diplomats to help familiarize these important representatives with the work of the Church. This year, a rare invitation came up to take a backstage tour of the Los Angeles Opera Company, located at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Placido Domingo, the general director of the opera company, was coincidentally presenting the new season of the L.A. Opera and agreed to join the Foreign Consul Wives luncheon and answer questions about his life and his career as a performer.

It is a life that Mr. Domingo says has brought him many rewards.

"One of my greatest blessings is that I am able to make people so happy doing something that makes me so very happy," he told them. "When audiences come to the theater, they leave their troubles outside. This is great gift to be able to give, if only for a few moments."

By polling the invited guests at the LDS Church-sponsored luncheon, Mr. Domingo found that of the 40 countries represented, he had performed in all but one of them.

"These consul events create lasting and irreplaceable friendships for the Church," said Ingrid Tate of the Southern California Public Affairs Council.

"By hosting these foreign representatives, the consul generals assigned to our country, their wives, and their staffs, they get to know us better and their governments embrace opportunities to be of help to the Church in conducting our humanitarian and missionary work."