Okay, right off: no ghosts. Nor did I sneak a photo last night (because, as Letty from Ararat mentioned in yesterday's comments, I'm a piker). This is the salon at the Fenyes Mansion where, 100 years ago, Eva Scott Fenyes held entertainments, and where last night a more modern group of Pasadenans (Pasadenyites?) were entertained by the outstanding Repertory Opera Company.
I'm not a qualified opera critic, but I'm qualified to know when I've enjoyed myself, and I had a wonderful time at Music in the Mansion. I've seen/heard the LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which is truly grand. But to hear Puccini's "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" sung in the intimacy of a room like the Fenyes salon is a rare experience. A powerful voice quickly fills a room like that, then it has to go somewhere. So it fills the listener, brimming up through the body and pushing out through the tear ducts.
And if the Puccini doesn't get you, Rossini's Cat Duet will.
They're going to have two more concerts: May 6th (take your mom for Mother's Day) and June 3rd (what the heck? take Dad).
At intermission, we ate chocolates and sipped champagne while mingling with the performers and other audience members in the dining room. The chandeliers glowed. The mansion was briefly ours.
Update: per Jeannette Bovard, Media Consultant at Pasadena Museum of History: "Information from the Collections Department at the Museum states that the owl was stuffed by Dr. Adalbert Fenyes. One of his many hobbies was ornithology."