Can-can dancers, mimes, La Tour Eiffel, and Moulin Rouge. Have we wandered off Wacker Drive and onto the streets of Paris? No, we've entered the 29th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala . 

Fantasy of the Opera

Can-can dancers, mimes, La Tour Eiffel, and Moulin Rouge. Have we wandered off Wacker Drive and onto the streets of Paris? No, we've entered the 29th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala.

On February 9, the Civic Opera House lobby was transformed into une rue Parisienne, complete with those iconic structures and classic boulevard signs. 700 ticket-holders donned their finest 1920s-chic attire to take in a cabaret, sample elegant hors d'oeuvre, and dance the night away. The gala benefit raised more than $450,000 net for the company.

Early in the evening, an array of tastings prepared by some of Chicago’s top chefs enticed the crowd. Guests were also entertained by a caricature artist, tarot card reader, and henna tattooist. Later, stars of Lyric’s current season performed Broadway classics and selections from the great American songbook.  

Following the cabaret, gala sponsors and VIP ticketholders enjoyed a seated dinner prepared by Limelight Catering, while other guests flocked to “The Streets of Paris” and danced with wild abandon till midnight to Rendezvous Music. The dance floor never thinned, and La bohème baritone Lucas Meachem brought down the house when he spontaneously joined the band for a brilliant rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Many guests cooled their heels by visiting the lower-level Opera Club, a.k.a. the Moulin Rouge, to enjoy specialty drinks before bidding adieu to the night's festivities.