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The President and Mrs. Clinton Honor Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia at a White House State Dinner

WASHINGTON, DC -- The President and Mrs. Clinton are hosting Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia, at a White House State Dinner on Wednesday, February 23, 2000. Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia will arrive at the North Portico at 7:15 p.m.

The President and Mrs. Clinton, and Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia will receive guests at the base of the Grand Staircase in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Following the receiving line, the President and Mrs. Clinton will escort Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia into the State Dining Room for dinner.

Tables in the State Dining Room and the Red Room will be set with Eisenhower gold base plates; the Franklin Delano Roosevelt china will be used for service. Kennedy Morgantown crystal and gold flatware from the White House Vermeil Collection will be set on golden champagne-colored tablecloths. Gold candelabras and bamboo containers from the White House Vermeil Collection will be filled with white Virginia roses, white phaleonopsif orchids, and white gardenias with a touch of white ginestra. These centerpieces will be surrounded by gold taper and votive candles.

Following the dinner, guests will be entertained in the East Room by world-renowned opera singer Plácido Domingo. Plácido Domingo will be accompanied by acclaimed opera singer Ana Maria Martinez and pianist Eugene Kohn.



Wednesday, February 23, 2000


Pheasant and Morel Consommé Dumplings of Foie Gras and Confit

Lobster and Maine Shrimp Saffron Risotto and Chorizo

Grilled Rack of Lamb Blood Orange and Rosemary Sauce Braised Winter Vegetables with Parsnip Purée

Pear and Bleu Cheese Terrine Bouquet of Lettuces 25 Year Old Sherry Dressing


Topiary Valencia Glazed Kumquat Sauce Caramel Walnut Candy Butter Raspberry Ginger Cookies


Miramar Torres Chardonnay 1997 Artesa Pinot Noir "Bien Nacido" 1997 Gloria Ferrer "Royal Cuvée" Brut 1991



Plácido Domingo has been called a "Renaissance Man of Music" because of his important activities in singing, conducting and administration. His singing career takes him to the major opera stages of the world in a repertory of one hundred sixteen different roles, more than any other singer in history. He conducts not only opera with the major companies in the United States and abroad, but also purely symphonic concerts with some of the foremost orchestras. Mr. Domingo is the Artistic Director of the Washington Opera and the Artistic Director designate of the Los Angeles Opera. He has made more than one hundred recordings for which he has won eight Grammy Awards.

Born in Madrid, Mr. Domingo moved to Mexico at the age of eight with his parents, who formed their own zarzuela company and traveled across the country performing the popular Spanish genre. It was the lively zarzuelas-which originated in 17th-century Spain and masterfully combine musical ensembles, arias, dialogue, popular songs and comedy-that gave him his first love of music. In his teens he studied piano, conducting and voice at the Mexico City Conservatory. His operatic singing debut was in Monterrey as Alfredo in La Traviata. After two and a half years with the Israel National Opera he joined the New York City Opera, where he created the title role of Ginastera's Don Rodrigo in its United States premiere. He gave his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1968 as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur and has since performed there on more than four hundred occasions. When he sang I Pagliacci last fall, it was his eighteenth opening night of a Met season, thus surpassing the record set by Caruso at the beginning of the last century.

The President and Mrs. Clinton welcome Plácido Domingo with great pleasure, as his friendship with the leaders of both countries serves as a testament to the musical bond between two cultures. Tonight Mr. Domingo celebrates the visit of Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia with a performance that features some of the most beloved zarzuelas of the 20th century.


Eugene Kohn began his career as piano accompanist to Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Tebaldi. After several years of intensive activity with regional orchestras and opera companies, Maestro Kohn debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1980 conducting La Gioconda and since that time has been guest conductor in the world's major opera houses. Maestro Kohn currently divides his time between opera and symphony and is enjoying his sixth season as Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony.

Maestro Kohn has collaborated closely with Plácido Domingo in opera and concerts around the world. Their latest work is Opera Gala with Ruth Ann Swenson, Thomas Hampson and the Philharmonia Orchestra.


Ana Maria Martínez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. She was the first recipient of the Pepita Embril Award, a highly acclaimed honor named in recognition of Plácido Domingo's mother, at the Operalia 11 Competition. Ms. Martínez has performed at the major opera houses around the world, establishing an exceptional international career. Her upcoming performances include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the title role in Romeo et Juliette at the Wiener Staatsoper, the title role in Luisa Miller at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and she returns to the Washington Opera as Liu in Turandot.


The official gift for His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, from President Clinton on the occasion of his State Visit to Washington is a Tiffany & Co. handcrafted sterling silver cachepot with an engraved inscription to His Majesty. The piece features an etched border design inspired by a cornice found in the East Room of the White House and a floral design taken from the Green and Red Rooms of the White House. The flower in the center is a dogwood blossom, a tree frequently found in the President's home state of Arkansas. The cachepot was designed exclusively as a gift for President Clinton to present for the State visit. The Presidential Seal is engraved on the bottom of the silver piece.

The official gift for Queen Sofia from Mrs. Clinton is a work of hand-blown glass by Dale Chihuly. The unique piece is a Scarlet Basket and is presented accompanied by two beautiful coffee table books describing the works of Dale Chihuly.

The official gift for members of the Spain delegation is a Tiffany & Co. pewter tray with an inscription commemorating the State Visit to Washington of His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain.

Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia present to the President six limited edition Reproduction Drawings by Diego Velazquez, a 17th Century artist. To Mrs. Clinton, they present two 18th Century Reproduction Crystal Decanters from the Royal Factory of Madrid, Crystal de la Granja, which has served the Royal Household for centuries.

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State and Official Dinners

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