Press Release

<< Back Livebid Auctions Connects Online Community to Washington Opera Benefit Auction

Travel, sports, and arts packages highlight fundraising effort for world-renowned opera company

SEATTLE, November 15, 1999--The Washington Opera will use LiveBid Auctions to connect online bidders to its benefit auction on Saturday, November 20, at La Maison Française. This is the first time that LiveBid Auctions, the leading provider of live-event auctions on the Internet, has held a LiveBid event in the nation's capital.

Some 600 guests are expected at La Maison Française (the Embassy of France) at 4101 Reservoir Road. The auction will begin at 7 p.m. with bidding on the more than 280 items in the silent auction. The live auction will begin at 9:30 p.m. EST, both at the Embassy and for online bidders wherever they may be.

The auction will raise money for the Washington Opera, which has brought opera to the nation's capital for more than four decades.

A catalogue of 20 live auction items is now available online for interested bidders to preview by clicking on the Washington Opera event from Using LiveBid Auctions, Internet participants can bid in real time along with auction attendees via a live Web cast. Interested Internet bidders can easily pre-register online. The deadline for Internet registration is Friday, November 19, at 5 p.m. EST.

Internet participants can also bid on 28 items from the silent auction by visiting until 5 p.m. EST Sunday, November 21.

The highlight of the auction-especially for opera lovers-will be the historic 1984 Cadillac limousine donated by Washington Opera Artistic Director Plácido Domingo. The limousine carried Domingo to his legendary performances at the Metropolitan Opera for 15 years. The benefit auction will go far beyond the world of opera, offering one-of-a-kind items and packages that appeal to a wide variety of people.

Sports fans can win an exciting Super Bowl 2000 package, personally donated by National Football League President Paul Tagliabue. The package includes tickets to the game itself, air transportation, three nights at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, and the privilege of being Tagliabue's guests at the pre-game Saturday night Super Bowl Party and the VIP pre-game brunch.

For travel and adventure lovers, the auction includes a train trip on the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, beginning in Venice at the Hotel Cipriani and ending in London. The package includes a private compartment on the train, air transportation, and two nights at the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel in London.

Original artwork, such as Andy Warhol's Flowers #70, French impressionist Édouard Vuillard's pencil sketch Femme et Jeune Fille à Table, Bull Head II, by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, 1977 Presidential Inauguration, by American artist Robert Rauschenberg, and La Lecture, by 20th-century French artist Fernand Léger, will be included in the auction.

For the latest in automotive transportation, auction participants can bid on a Volkswagen new Beetle, as well as a sleek Cadillac deVille DTC, complete with Nuance leather seats adjusted to memory, Bose 275-watt sound, and East African Zebrano wood trim.

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to be Katie Couric's guest at NBC's Today, including a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the studio, awaits this package's winning bidder and three friends. Fans of politics can bid on History of Vice Presidents, a book written by Senator Mark Hatfield and the Senate Historical Office and autographed by Vice President Al Gore, President George Bush, and President Gerald Ford. In addition, two American flags will be auctioned off-one to fly over the U.S. Capitol on the day of the winning bidder's choice (donated by Senator and Mrs. Ted Stevens) and the other to be flown over the U.S. Capitol on January 1, 2000 (donated by Senator and Mrs. Patrick Leahy).

And there are plenty of items for opera aficionados, as well, including a Three Tenors CD signed by Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and José Carreras and hard-to-come-by tickets for the Metropolitan Opera's Ring Cycle, scheduled for April 24 to 29, 2000, for the storied Glyndebourne, and for the Paris Opera, including travel on the Concorde and accommodations at the Ritz Hotel.

"Not only does this give customers the opportunity to bid on an amazing assortment of merchandise, it also lets them help one of our country's most prestigious and respected arts organizations," said Matt Williams, director of live auctions, Auctions. "We are honored to work with the Washington Opera on the live benefit auction and look forward to raise money for its future."

"I can't remember ever seeing such an exceptional assortment of goods available in an auction," said Domingo. "An auction like this is a great way to celebrate opera in the nation's capital."

Robert Craft, President of the Washington Opera Board of Trustees, said, "This collaboration with offers a tremendous opportunity for people worldwide to compete in the fun and, at the same time, help play a role in bringing wonderful opera to all of us here in the Washington area."

About the Washington Opera

The Washington Opera, now in its fourth season under the helm of Artistic Director Plácido Domingo, brings superb opera to residents and visitors alike to the nation's capital throughout the opera season. Among this season's highlights is French composer Jules Massenet's masterpiece Le Cid, starring Domingo, in its first fully staged performance in America since 1902.

About, Inc. (, Inc. and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer. opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection with online auctions, toys, electronics, and free electronic greeting cards. lists more than 18 million unique items in categories including books, CDs, toys, electronics, videos, DVDs, and computer games. Through zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to's more than 13 million customers, and with Payments, any seller can accept credit-card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online.'s All Product Search scours the Web to help customers find merchandise that is not available at, Auctions, or zShops, making the shopping destination to find anything. operates two international Web sites: in the United Kingdom and in Germany. also operates PlanetAll (, a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. also operates LiveBid Auctions (, the leading provider of live-event auctions on the Internet. has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at;, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Southern California, at; and, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at also has a minority interest in Della & James, the leading online wedding-gift registry, at

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.

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