By Staff     4/1/2016

The grand opening of the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on March 19 drew Orange County community leaders to the campus for a classical music concert and gala dinner.

The 1,044-seat performing arts hall was the center of culture in Orange County, as opera stars Plácido Domingo, Deborah Voigt, Milena Kitic and others joined the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra for a classical concert that would be the envy of any opera house, anywhere. In a moving gesture, Plácido Domingo brought his hand to his lips, and knelt down to touch the stage after singing an aria from La Traviata.

The $80 million concert hall is named for the lead donors and driving forces behind its creation, Paul and Marybelle Musco. The Muscos are respected and admired local philanthropists, supporting art, culture, children’s and Catholic causes. Paul Musco was awarded the Bishop’s Award for Exemplary Business Integrity at Orange Catholic Foundation’s 13th annual Conference on Business and Ethics in 2015.

Other major donors include Bette and Wylie Aitken, who were also honored at last year’s Romance of the Mission gala in San Juan Capistrano as longtime supporters of Mission Preservation Foundation, and Chapman’s most generous supporters, Julia and Ambassador George Argyros.

The Catholic community was well represented at the important community event, with the Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange, Abbot Eugene J. Hayes, and a number of Fathers from St. Michael’s Abbey among the clergy enjoying the concert from a box right next to the Muscos.

After the concert, Chapman President Jim Doti and Chapman Chancellor Daniele Struppa led the well-dressed crowd gathered on the Aitken Art Plaza in a toast, which was followed by a beautiful dinner for donors and guests.