The Lyric's 28th annual "Fantasy of the Opera" featured a "Night Under the Czars" with an elegant Russian themed night to remember. More than 500 guests attended this fundraiser hosted by the Lyric's Guild Board of Directors at the Civic Opera House on Friday, January 27th, and chaired by Nancy Temple with her co-chair, Courtney Rosen.
The evening held many enchantments with decor by Event Creative that included ice sculptures of Faberge eggs, illuminated egg-shaped table lamps, frosted glass table chandeliers, golden branches dripping with crystal strands and white peacocks peering down from the Mezzanine.
More than 500 guests enjoyed an extensive silent auction as well as gourmet samplings from some of our town's top restaurants including Carnivale, Coco Pazzo, Devon Seafood Grill, e.leaven, Il Mulino, Lloyd's, N9NE, One North Kitchen & Bar, Prosecco, province, Vera and Ara On.
We were very lucky to be guests of Lyric Board member and Gold sponsor, Ken Norgan, who had assembled a delightful group of friends. We dined in boxes 28 and 30 (with a delicious meal catered by Limelight) with George Jewell, Leslie Hindman, Helen Melchior, Cynthia and Rich Varnes, Karen Harding, Jose "Pepe" Conforme, Mary Ann Rose and Heinz Kern.
General Director Anthony Freud was a hit in his debut as Master of Ceremonies for the Cabaret program as he introduced 14 performances by some of the Lyric's current and previous stars. Performers included Elza Van Den Heever, Philip Kraus (who sang a hysterical rendition of Noel Coward's "Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage Mrs. Worthington"), Amber Wagner, Nathan Gunn, Alyson Cambridge, David Cangelosi (who had the audience singing the chorus to his fabulous rendition of Billy Joel's "Piano Man"), Emily Fons, Rene Barbera, Jamie Barton, Susanna Phillips, James Kryshak, Angela Simpson, Ashley Brown and Morris Robinson (who sang "Ol' Man River").
For the first time, Lyric Young Professionals joined with the Fantasy crowd for an event expertly chaired by Aleksandra Efimova, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She said, "It was a true honor to share the beauty and richness of Russian culture with the gala guests. This event was another important step to strengthen understanding, communication and interest between the US and Russia--something I strongly and passionately believe in."
The night raised more than $470,000 for Lyric programming....Congrats to the Lyric for making every event a unique and exciting experience!
And special thanks to Lyric's Manager of Media Relations, Magda Krance, for all of her guidance and support. She is someone very special and the Lyric is lucky to have her!
For extended coverage, please visit www.CandidCandace.com. (Additional photos by Mila Samokhina).
Filed under: Arts
Tags: Aleksandra Efimova, Alyson Cambridge, Amber Wagner, Angela Simpson, Ashley Brown, Chuck Jordan, Courtney Rosen, Cynthia Varnes, David Cangelosi, Dustin Berta, Elizabeth Hamel, Elza Van Den Heever, Emily Fons, George Jewell, Heinz Kern, Helen Melchior, James Kryshak, Jamie Barton, Jenny Berg, Jose Conforme, Karen Harding, Ken Norgan, Kurt G, Leslie Hindman, Linda O'Bannon, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lyric Young Professionals, m Nathan Gunn, Magda Krance, Mary Ann Rose, Mila Samokhina, Morris Robinson, Nancy Temple, Night Under the Czars, Philip Kraus, Rene Barbera, Rich Varnes, Susanna Phillips