Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Fantasy of the Opera Gala $484,000 net raised! Attendance 550! - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Fantasy of the Opera Gala $484,000 net raised! Attendance 550!

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Monday, February 7, 2011

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Fantasy of the Opera Gala
$ 484,000 net raised!  Attendance 550!
Guild Board of Directors’ 27th annual Fantasy fundraiser,
 “Masked Ball,” sizzled in the Civic Opera House on Sat., Feb. 5, 2011

Deep-fuchsia dendrobium orchids and hot-pink orchids in cut-crystal centerpieces, eggplant table linens and curtains, and elaborate rose-colored lighting all set the scene for “Masked Ball,” the 27th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala benefit hosted by Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Guild Board of Directors at the Civic Opera House on Saturday, February 5. In the spirit of the evening’s theme, ornate masks were everywhere – adorning guests, floral arrangements, and silent-auction tables alike.

Early in the evening, an array of elegant tastings prepared by some of Chicago’s top chefs enticed the crowd of 550 ticket-holders for the festive fundraiser. Restaurant stations could be found throughout the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer and American Airlines Mezzanine. Guests enjoyed a “Royale Unmasked” cocktail (blackberry cassis and Champagne) and other refreshments while they placed silent-auction bids in the Nancy W. Knowles Lobby, or purchased raffle tickets. For the first time this year, guests were able to bid electronically using their personal communication devices or ones provided for the evening.

The Fantasy Cabaret showcased the diverse musical talents of current Lyric artists Nicole Cabell (Carmen), Amber Wagner and Lester Lynch (both in Lohengrin), and David Cangelosi, Wilbur Pauley, and Philip Kraus (all in The Girl of the Golden West), as well as Ryan Opera Center members Emily Fons, Craig Irvin, James Kryshak, and Amanda Majeski. Selections by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Victor Herbert, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and others were performed. Lyric’s music director Sir Andrew Davis was master of ceremonies, and pianist Craig Terry accompanied the singers.

 Following a seated dinner prepared by Calihan Catering, many guests danced to the Ken Arlen’s Indigo in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer until midnight. Others enjoyed the elegant Dessert Fantasy in the Opera Club and American Airlines Mezzanine.


Fantasy of the Opera Chairman: Monica Pedersen (Highland Park)

Fantasy of the Opera Co-chairman: Patrick J. Bitterman (Chicago)

Fantasy of the Opera Silent Auction Chairman: Nancy Temple (Chicago)

Fantasy of the Opera Silent Auction Co-chairman: David Valkema (Chicago)

Fantasy of the Opera Raffle Chairman: Joan Solbeck (Chicago)

Guild Board of Directors President: David T. Ormesher (Chicago)


Golden Grand Benefactors

An Anonymous Donor; Bain & Company; Baker & McKenzie; closerlook, inc.; Deloitte.;

Ernst & Young LLP; Jenner & Block LLP; Mr. and Mrs. John W. Jordan II/Jordan Industries;

Richard P. and Susan Kiphart; KPMG LLP; Lazard Freres & Co. LLC; Mayer Brown LLP;

Spencer Stuart; and the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation


Silver Grand Benefactors

An Anonymous Donor; Aetna, Eisen Family Foundation; Sasha Gerritson and Eugene Jarvis; 

James G. and Laura G. McCormick; Allan and Elaine Muchin; Peer Pedersen; Quarles & Brady LLP;

and David Valkema and Paul Mavros


Fantasy Raffle Sponsor

American Airlines, the Official Airline of Lyric Opera



Calihan Catering


Reception Restaurants

The American Club Resort, Ara-On, Carnivale, Coco Pazzo, Devon Seafood Grill, Il Mulino, Lloyd’s Chicago, Lockwood, N9ne, The Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room, Piccolo Sogno, Prosecco, Province, Sepia


Dessert Fantasy

Beijo de Chocolat, Blommer Chocolate, raw, Delightful Pastries, e. leaven Food Company,

One North Kitchen & Bar, Sweet Miss Giving’s



Ken Arlen’s Indigo


Décor and Linens

BBJ Linen, Oscar Isberian Rugs, Richard Remiard Event Design


For event photos, please contact press coordinator Carrie Napolilli: 312-827-5823 or