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About Us

"A little memory ~~ a little dream

            Un piccolo ricordo ~~ un piccolo sogno"


Salve ~ Hello ! 

I am Francesca Taylor, founder of Opera Italia LA!
My admiration for classical opera was a gift to me from my grandfather, Francesco Gaetano Bonaro, a quiet, soft-spoken man who loved music, and loved opera most of all. He didn't sing, nor play an instrument -- he simply had an ear for music, and loved to listen to it. Sometimes on the radio (he had an old antique radio cabinet which emitted great sound) and sometimes on a portable record player that my mother gave him for Christmas one year. We all knew and loved him - he was and will always be "Grandpa."

A little family story

To the Opera !

  Grandpa had three daughters, and he wanted them to know and love opera as he did.  They lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in the 1930s the place for opera in Pittsburgh was Carnegie Music Hall.  Grandpa could not afford tickets for his whole family to attend performances there, but he strategized to save.  Each year he would take one daughter to the opera, and as my mother recounted, they just knew that they would get to see a beautiful professional opera once every three years.

A mangiare!
To cook is to unite

Culinary Career

Francesco Bonaro was a man of few words, but he communicated to us, his family, through his delicious cooking.  He was an executive chef, and his career spanned decades. A native of Calabria, southern Italy, he started his career as a simple kitchen worker at the Hotel Schenley in Pittsburgh. Over the next 50 years, he would work in elegant hotels and clubs in Pittsburgh, PA, Miami Beach, FL and Los Angeles, CA. He retired after a productive period at the Huntington hotel in Pasadena, CA.
A modest man, he simply cooked for us and served us -- bequeathing us with good nourishment, good music, and good memories.

Francesco Bonaro - Royal Palm Hotel - holding menu 001 (2).jpg
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