The spotlight shone brilliantly, a welcome sight to the hundreds who sat in the audience as the world-famous Andrea Bocelli took to Segerstrom Hall stage for the Candlelight Concert on Nov. 30. It was a special evening that brought together again numerous philanthropic individuals, families and companies – including South Coast Plaza – to raise funds for Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Led by honorary chair Elizabeth Segerstrom, co-managing partner at South Coast Plaza, and co-chairs Carol Perry and Britt Meyer, the event provided critical funds to benefit the center’s artistic programming and education initiatives as well as new endeavors such as ballet commissions, productions, and world premieres.
”This year’s 47th Candlelight concert marks the beginning of a new, exciting chapter for us all here at Segerstrom Center for the Arts,” Segerstrom said. “We’ve all grown exponentially in this past year, inspiring us to set the bar even higher for all that’s to come! Segerstrom Center for the Arts has always strived to bring the best of the best, both nationally and internationally, to our audiences here in Southern California – but now ‘coming together’ has an all-new meaning, and in such, we are working to ensure the year ahead marks a time for wonderful innovation and revolution in our programming.”
The gala began with a 13-song performance by Bocelli that included memorable duets with singer Pia Toscano and opera sensation Maria Aleida. The sweetest duet, no doubt, was a rendition of “Hallulejah” with Bocelli’s nine-year old daughter, Virginia Bocelli, during which Bocelli provided accompaniment with an acoustic guitar. He later gifted the instrument to the center to auction off.
Following the performance was the dramatic unveiling of the opulent dining hall, the immersive design of which was inspired by an Italian palazzo, surrounded on three sides by arched windows that simulated the effect of looking out at a verdant landscape. Chef Ross Pangilinan of South Coast Plaza’s Terrace by Mix Mix created a menu with a nod to Italy, while Chef Tony Esnault and Pastry Chef Germain Biotteau of Knife Pleat, also at South Coast Plaza, presented the holiday season-inspired dessert.
Candlelight remains the performing arts center’s top philanthropic event. Its return to Segerstrom Hall was especially poignant, symbolizing resilience and optimism in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts has always strived to bring the best of the best, both nationally and internationally, to our audiences here in Southern California – but now ‘coming together’ has an all-new meaning, and in such, we are working to ensure the year ahead marks a time for wonderful innovation and revolution in our programming.