There are two things that are a given on Opening Night of the Lyric Opera. You will see fabulous gowns and a Grand Ballroom decorated unlike any other. The performances are always wonderful too, of course, but my favorite part is seeing the people and the decor. The VIP private reception for donors and members began in the Graham Room. Decorated in soothing shades of pale green, you feel as if you've stepped back in time to a kinder, gentler era when the men still wore top hats and women wouldn't leave the house without lace gloves. It's a suspension of reality and I loved being there amidst the elegant Oscar de la Renta gowns and statement jewels sparkling in the candlelight.
Opening Night and Opera Ball Chairs Trisha Rooney Alden and Karen Gray, along with the formidable Women's Board of the Lyric Opera led by President Anne Reyes, planned a night to remember that featured the 2 1/2 hour production of the "Tales of Hoffmann". The Rice Grand Foyer of the Civic Opera House and the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Chicago were both decorated to reflect the extravagant, 19th century style of the performance and they were exquisite with lush arrangements of towering white flowers designed by Heffernan Morgan. Large screens around the Ballroom projected photos from past ball attendees as well as clips from "The Tales of Hoffman."
Over 3500 attended the performance with 625 guests continuing on to the Opera Ball. The Opening Night Gala Benefit was sponsored by Aon Corporation, the Opera Ball was co-sponsored by ITW and Northern Trust and Liz Stiffel was the sponsor for the Opera Ball reception. The evening raised $875,000 for Lyric programming. (Fabulous photos by Caitlin Collins Saville).
Filed under: Lyric Opera Opening Night Gala
Tags: Alejandro Silva, Alejandro Silva Jr., Amanda Baur, Amelia Silver, Ann Jones, Ann Laurenzi-Jones, Anne Reyes, Aon Corporation, Barbara Pearlman, Barry Montgomery, Bill Zwecker, Bryan Bouchelion, Caitlin Collins, Carrie Hightman, Catherine Graham, Christina Gidwitz, Clementina Durkes, Curtis Drayer, Don Strumillo, Elinore Beitler, Elizabeth Ryan, Elsa Silva, Eric Smith, Eugenia Bouchelion, Eve Rogers, Grace Beitler, Gregory Jones, Harry Hightman, Hiroshi Uchida, Jack Crowe, Jack Higgings, James Alexander, JB Pritzker, Joan Steele, Julie Latsko, Karen Gray, Kelsey Stark, Ken Norgan, Kim-Taylor Smith, Lawrence Ryan, Lili Gaubin, Liz Stiffel, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Maria Smithburg, Marty Higgins, Max Farrell, MK Pritzker, Nancy Bauer, Natalie Loltum, Peggy Crowe, Philip Rooney, Rev. Jack Wall, Robin Tennant Colburn, Ron Gidwitz, Shauna Montgomery, Shelley MacArthur Farley, Steve Hartman, Suzanne Blaisling, Trisha Rooney Alden, Vicki Strumillo