Carol Henry, whose generosity has touched numerous arts organizations in Los Angeles, was celebrated at Camerata Pacifica’s gala on May 19, 2023, at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. The historic venue was transformed into a palace of baroque splendor for an evening of entertainment with Venezuelan-born male soprano superstar Samuel Mariño, who headlined a performance of baroque favorites with musicians of Camerata Pacifica, just days after his U.S. debut with the ensemble. Guests also savored a gourmet dinner and fine wines. The black-tie optional gala, which was entirely underwritten, raised more than $350,000 for the chamber ensemble.
“Carol Henry has been a pillar of support for music across the Southland,” said Camerata Pacifica Artistic Director Adrian Spence. “She is an avid concertgoer and arts booster who is incredibly passionate about the arts. She has served on the boards of numerous arts organizations, and regularly opens her Pasadena home for fundraisers and arts events. Carol, along with her late husband, Warner Henry, has also generously supported local music organizations large and small for more than 40 years, making her an invaluable part of LA’s cultural fabric.”
The celebration began with a festive reception in the courtyard of Vibiana with a coterie of performers, resplendent in lavish baroque robes and gowns, welcoming guests as they sipped champagne and specialty cocktails and nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres. Gala guests then entered Vibiana – bathed in pink uplights that drew the eye to the magnificent coved ceiling illuminated with stunning projections of the Sistine Chapel – and settled in for a concert by Camerata Pacifica featuring works by Baroque musical titans Handel and Bach. Mariño – hailed as “a rarity in opera” (New York Times), thrilled with his agile and sparklingly effortless lyric soprano voice. His comedic encore, the aria “Quella fiamma, che il petto m’accende” from Handel’s opera Arminio, featuring oboe player Nicholas Daniel, was an audience favorite.
Among heartfelt tributes from family and friends, Spence announced that in honor of Henry’s tremendous generosity, Camerata Pacifica’s music series in downtown LA will be known in perpetuity as “The Henry Family Chamber Music Series at Zipper Hall.”
Guest dined on a first course of wild mushroom, goat cheese and chicken bastilla tarts; a selection of entrees that included ginger black cod with jasmine rice, yellow curry and spinach; beef short rib with potato puree, Cipollini onions, haricots verts and Bordelaise sauce; and rosemary risotto cake with foraged mushrooms, braised greens and oven roasted tomato sauce. Dessert featured salted chocolate tart, caramel, honeycomb and vanilla bean cream. Lumen and Acre Napa Valley generously provided a selection of wines.
Among those feting Henry were her two sons, Will Henry and Mike Henry; Marc and Eva Stern; Jerry and Terri Kohl; Alyce Williamson; Jennifer Diener; James Conlon; Camerata Pacifica Board President Randy Shulman and his sister Phyllis Shulman; Titus and Valerie Brenninkmeijer; Susan Graham; Michele and Ruper Hemmings; Susan Keats; David Lessoff; William Kennedy; John and Holly Nuckols; Eric Small; Ben Cadwallader; and Terry Knowles and Marshall Rutter.
Carol Henry earned both Bachelor and Masters of Arts in education from Stanford University and taught in the Manhattan Beach school system until 1966 when she married Warner Henry. Carol’s volunteer career began with her involvement with the Junior League of Los Angeles in 1970. Since then, she has served on numerous community boards, including KCET Women’s Council, The National Council on Alcoholism, Cate School, Teach for America, Los Angeles Opera League, Pasadena Art Alliance and Art Center College of Design. Additionally, she has been a member of the Board of LA Opera since 1985 and served as president or chairman of the Executive Committee since 2005. On the Opera Board, she has also chaired the Development, Patron, Nominating and 20th Anniversary committees.
For information on Camerata Pacifica, call (805) 884-8410 or visit www.cameratapacifica.org.