BEVERLY HILLS — Being at the head of the family business has its perks.
For Maria Cristina Buccellati, media head of the Italian jewelry house, it meant meeting legendary tenor Placido Domingo. Buccellati hosted the gala dinner following the Sept. 14 worldwide premiere of the Los Angeles Opera production of “Nicholas and Alexandra” at downtown’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
“I love opera, so it’s a thrill meeting someone like that,” she said of Domingo, who played Rasputin. “He has such incredible charisma.”
At the dinner, lead Nancy Gustafson, who plays Alexandra, turned out in a ruby, tourmaline and sapphire necklace and pendant worth $400,000. Such alignments are an increasing part of the culture at the 250-year-old house.
So, too, is reaching out to a younger generation of fine jewelry fans. “We are not just for old ladies,” Buccellati insisted during a visit to the signature boutique at Regent Beverly Hills a few days after the opera. Scanning the glass display boxes surrounding her, she added: “These pieces look younger; they can be worn with jeans. I do it all the time.”
She cited the gold watch Sarah Jessica Parker strapped to her wrist for the cover of a magazine this summer — within a couple of weeks, seven of the $24,000 timepieces had sold.