Chicago Opera Theater PreReview - 2010 Gala

Guests dancing to the Matt Lewis Band

Chicago Opera Theater hosted its 2010 Annual Gala Saturday evening, March 13th. It was a glorious evening that I will long remember.  Opera Among the Stars was presented in anticipation and support of Chicago Opera Theater's Spring Festival Season, which officially opens with Rossini's Moses in Egypt, playing from April 17 to April 25. 

Andrew Eggert of New York and COT Board Trustee Julie E.Green of Chicago

The 80th floor of the Aon Center at 200 E. Randolph was beautiful and a dramatic setting.  When I arrived and all during the evening, I was graciously greeted by COT volunteers and staff.  I wasn't sure where to look.  All the activity was mezmerizing, this being my first Gala.  There were the beautifully attired guests, trays of hors d'oeuvres coming from every direction in addition to the raffle and silent auction.

The chairperson of the event and COT Board Trustee, Gerald Bauman was pleased to honor The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust for its generous support of Chicago Opera Theater.  The event was wonderful with an attendance of 340 people and $235,000 raised.

Danielle de Niese at COT 2010 Gala

Internationally acclaimed soprano superstar, Danielle de Niese, who made her Chicago debut at the Chicago Opera Theater in 2004, was amazing.  Brian Dickie, General Manager of the COT since 1999, said "Her performance at The Mid-America Club is something no opera fan will want to miss!"  And he was right.  She was a beautiful sight and her singing was magnificent from show tunes to well known arias.

Jeffery and Nicole Arnold of The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust of Chicago

Henry Fogel, a COT Board Trustee and Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University,was the evening's Master of Ceremonies.  

Rick Cohen and COT Board Trustee Bennett Neuman

Following the cocktail hour, I found myself seated at a table where I completely enjoyed conversation with other guests.  The world-class cuisine dinner was remarkable.  The live auction for premium packages that include exciting travel packages and exclusive access to COT's 2010 Spring Festival Season offered some excitement.  As the evening moved toward its conclusion there were cocktails and dancing to live music from the Matt Lewis Band in the Burnham Ballroom, with its stunning panoramic view of the Chicago skyline.

Cynthia Van Osdol, Arnold Tobin and Eva Lichtenberg of Chicago

Seeking to cultivate the spirit of philanthropy among members 21-45 they were offered  reduced rate tickets that included Danielle de Niese’s performance
as well as the cocktail and dancing portions of the evening. Approximately
60 young professional guests took advantage of this exciting opportunity!

COT Board Trustee Robert Marks, Ann Connors, Maestro Kirk Muspratt and Susan Stein

For the first time in the company's history, silent auction items were available for online bidding before the event.  People unable to attend the event were able to show their support bidding online.

Chicago Opera Theater was founded in 1974 by Alan Stone.  It has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago, reaching hundreds of thousands in its audiences at the main stage, outreach, education and young artists' programs.  Watch for next year's Gala which you will not want to miss.

Information on upcoming Chicago Opera Theater events can be found at:


Photos:Liz Lauren





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