Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Women’s Board raises nearly $200,000 in celebration of THE SOUND OF MUSIC

For immediate release:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Lyric Women's Board raises nearly $200,000
in celebration of The Sound of Music

CHICAGO - The Women's Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago celebrated the company's beautiful new production of The Sound of Music with an evening of Austrian elegance on Friday, May 2, 2014. More than 160 guests, many wearing dirndls and lederhosen, enjoyed the festivities and the performance.

Calihan Catering provided delectable Austrian fare during the cocktail reception on the American Airlines Mezzanine of the Civic Opera House. Calihan staff dressed in lederhosen offered guests mini-pretzel twists, mini-beer mugs, bacon-wrapped bratwurst, and many other alpine hors d'oeuvre. Traditional Austrian music from The Johnny Wagner Band thoroughly entertained the crowd. It's not often you hear yodeling, an alphorn, and a rendition of "Edelweiss" using more than 20 Austrian cowbells at the Opera House!  Attendees got into character in the photo booth with a variety of props-nun costumes, lederhosen aprons, alpine hats-plus fun signs with famous Sound of Music song lyrics and variations: "Lyric Opera is one of my favorite things" or "Are you wearing curtains?"

Following the cocktail reception, guests dined in the William B. and Catherine Graham Room. Whimsical table centerpieces featured favorite song lyrics such as "The Hills are Alive" and "Raindrops on Roses" and were created by HMR Designs. At intermission, guests enjoyed Julius Meinl espresso and coffee, Viennese tortes, and cheese fondue.

Alison W. McNally and Eileen Murphy were uniquely attired for their roles as event co-chairs. Using fabric from the elegant curtains which previously adorned the William B. and Catherine Graham Room, dressmakers Mimi Papavasiliou and Kelly Abrams created stunning emerald-green dresses for Alison, Eileen and their daughters to wear at the gala. Even their husbands sported matching green ties!

The event raised nearly $200,000 to benefit Lyric Opera.  The gala event was sponsored by Nicholas and Susan Noyes and Make It Better Media.

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