Fantasy of the Opera and Wine Auction 2009 – Events will benefit Lyric Opera of Chicago

During these trying, cold, dark winter days, there are two spectacular events just waiting for you.  You can help Lyric Opera of Chicago continue to bring the best of opera to Chicago, have a fabulous time and help yourself at tax time.  These events are the Lyric Opera of Chicago Guild Board’s annual Fantasy of the Opera event – “Be Dazzled” on February 6, 2009 at 6:30 and one month later, a project of the Women’s Board, Lyric Opera of Chicago, “Wine Auction 2009” takes place March 6, 2009.  The Wine Auction only takes place every three years, and the on line and telephone bidding on rare wines is in full swing.

2008 Fantasy of the Opera, mingling in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer

“Be Dazzled” is a sumptuous mid-winter celebration that features Lyric stars, some of the city’s top restaurants, chefs, and more.  Guests will enjoy decadent gastronomic delicacies, wickedly whimsical cabaret, delightful dancing, and a fabulous silent auction and raffle.  Last year, we placed a bid at the silent auction and surprisingly won the prize.

This year is the 25th anniversary of Fantasy of the Opera presented by the Lyric Opera Guild Board of Directors.  It has been “the hottest party in the coldest month”, heating up the Chicago winter social scene while raising important funds to benefit Lyric.

Dinner in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer

Fantasy of the Opera is made possible by deeply appreciated support for the following: Lead Sponsor Harris Bank; Golden Grand Benefactors: An Anonymous Donor,  Baker & McKenzie, closerlook, inc., Deloitte., Ernst & Young LLP,  Katten Muchin Roseman LLP, Richard P. and Susan Kiphart, KPMG LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, Jeffrey C. Neal and Susan J. Cellmer, US Bank, and Donna Van Eekeren, Silver Grand Benefactors: An Anonymous Donor, Deutsche Bank, Eisen Family Foundation, James G. and Laura G. McCormick, Allan and Elaine Muchin, Peer Pedersen, and Spencer Stuart & Associates; and Benefactors BBJ Linen and Quarles & Brady LLP.  The Fantasy Raffle Sponsor is American Airlines, the official airline of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Valet parking is complimentary to all guests.

Attire: “Black tie & diamonds”   $400 per person
Reservations and information:\fantasy or call 312.827.5656.

Women's Board President, Clement Durkes, Wine Auction Co-chairman, Cathy Osborn, Maison Louis Jadot President, Pierre-Henry Gagey, Wine Auction Co-chairman, Nancy Searle

The second chance to break away from the winter blues, Wine Auction 2009, will also take place at Chicago’s historic Civic Opera HouseWine Auction 2006 raised an unprecedented $1,022,000 (net) in a single evening of silent-auction bidding in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer, spirited live-auction bidding on the mainstage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre, and online bidding. Wine Auction 2006 included more than 1,300 bottles, plus several highly desirable wine-themed travel packages, fine-dining experiences, and luxury items. Mrs. Christopher C. Milliken (Nancy) of Lake Forest served as chairman of Wine Auction 2006, and was assisted by Mrs. Paul W. Oliver, Jr. (Susan) of Oswego, vice chairman.

Part of Live Auction, Lot#3, Clos Vougeot, Louis Jadot 2003

Lyric’s Wine Auction went online for the first time in 2006, and was an overwhelming success, with hundreds of bidders from six countries. Website visitors can currently view and bid on the entire Wine Auction 2009 catalogue through March 6, 2009. Wine Auction 2009 will feature an extraordinary array of fine wines, as well as dozens of unique dining opportunities, luxury gifts, travel, and exceptional once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Bids may be submitted for silent and live-auction items to be exercised the evening of the auction.

Wine Auction 2006, silent auction, Daniel F.and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer

Distinguished vintages from Bordeaux included in the auction are 1959, 1961, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2005. Burgundy vintages include 1961, 1971, 1999, 2003, and 2005. Wine Auction 2009 also encompasses American vintages from the past 20 years including 1997 and 2001; and vintage Champagnes from 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, and 1998.

Pierre-Henry Gagey

The honored guest for Wine Auction 2009 is Pierre-Henry Gagey, president of Maison Louis Jadot from the Burgundy region of France. In an interview available on the Lyric Opera web page, Mr. Gagey noted that there is a similarity between opera and wine.  One can live without either, but both make life more rewarding.  He pointed out that both require passion and dedication.  He is pleased to be offering support to Lyric Opera of Chicago.  He also said that the Burgundy of France has a long tradition of charity.

Lyric Opera of Chicago Wine Aution 2009 sponsors are: Presenting Sponsor: Northern Trust; Platinum Grand Benefactors: Abbott Fund, Jones Lang LaSalle, Richard P. and Susan Kephart, Mr.and Mrs. William A. Osborn,Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes,  Mr. and Mrs. James L. Sandner, Golden Grand Benefactors: American Airlines, Bain & Company, Bulley and Andrews LLC, The Crown Family, Exelon, Michael and Jacky Ferro and Merrick Ventures LLC, Robert Funderburg and Sally D Funderburg Charitable Trust, Goldman Sachs, Illinois Tool Works, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Edgar D. Jannotta, Jenner & Block LLP, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Jordan II and Jordan Industries, Mr. and Mrs. Fred A Krehbiel, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. McKenna, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick G. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. D. Gideon Searle, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Weiss.

This has the makings of a spectacular evening that will long be remembered. Formal attire (black or white tie)     $500.00 per person

Live auction onstage in the Ardis Krainik Theatre, Wine Auction 2006

For more information about Lyric’s Wine Auction 2009, including
sponsorship opportunities or reservations, please go to, call 312-827-5681, or email
[email protected]

Photos: Robert Kusel and Dan Rest,  Lyric Opera of Chicago

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