The Women's Board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago presented an elegant opening-night gala at the Civic Opera House on Oct. 6. The affair celebrating the Lyric's 58th season featured Scottish director David McVicar's new production of Richard Strauss' "Elektra."
Beginning with a reception in the ornate Rice Grand Foyer, 3,400 patrons enjoyed cuisine from Jewell Events Catering. The Graham Room was the scene of a private VIP reception that included Caryn Harris, Opera Ball chairwoman; opening-night chairwoman Rebecca Knight; Lyric creative consultant Renee Fleming; Josephine and Newton Minow; Amelia and Alejandro Silva; Lisbeth Stiffel; and Ashley Wheater. Nearly 700 people attended the Opera Ball, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on North Columbus Drive. The Atlantic Ballroom's decor, by Heffernan Morgan, was seasonally inspired and included soaring branches with berries and leaves in tones of copper, bronze and gold.
Kenneth Pigott, Lyric president and CEO, welcomed guests and thanked sponsors that included Aon Corp., Illinois Tool Works, Northern Trust and Graff Diamonds. Anthony Freud, Lyric general director, introduced opening-night artists while trumpets heralded their entrances. The traditional Grand March of the Stars included Christine Goerke (appearing as Elektra in her debut Lyric performance), Emily Magee, Jill Grove, Alan Held, Roger Honeywell, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor) and Anne Reyes (women's board president).
The night continued with dinner and dancing to the Bradley Young Orchestra.
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