When Arlene Rosenthal, president of OperaArts, honored Hon. Raul Ruiz, M.D., member of Congress, 36th District, California, it was described as a “non-political event.” That was no surprise to his constituents who see Dr. Ruiz as a humanitarian more than a politician.
Nobody knows that better than Howard Marguleas, of Sunworld, the agricultural business he founded in 1976 with deep roots in the Coachella Valley. That is how Marguleas came to know Ruiz at a young age.
“Helping other people is what Raul has done since I knew him as a youngster. His parents were a hardworking and honorable family. Raul was always concerned about others, and after he graduated from medical school at Harvard University, he kept his promise. We observed Raul when he was a youngster and brought him into the packing house to supervise. He was always dedicated to helping other people, a commitment he believes in to this day.”
All of this came out during the “When I Rise” event at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells on February 9 when Barbara Keller stood by Dr. Ruiz for the dedication of his being this year’s Opera Arts honoree.
Arlene Rosenthal, with composer Joseph Giarrusso by her side, served as emcee for this Opera Arts event. This is a non-profit organization she calls “a small consortium of community residents and opera enthusiasts whose goal it is to present quality musical performances with an emphasis on opera and operetta. The emphasis is on our youth and senior citizens.”
The ballroom was was aglow with 130 guests who enjoyed a musical program after listening to Dr. Ruiz trace his life in the Coachella Valley. During his speech, he called attention to a group of high school students in the audience all in rapt attention, obviously inspired when he advised him, “You are the solution!”
Performing opera selections from Gaetano Donizetti among other composers were Jamie Chamberlin, soprano, and David Castillo, baritone, with Victoria Kirsch, pianist.
Rosenthal is known in Palm Springs and beyond for her nonstop commitment to the arts with more on the OperaArts agenda. The Fifth Annual Opera under the Stars takes place on the Rose Lawn at the Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel and Spa on Sunday, April 13, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For details, see www.operartspalmsprings.org