Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric's Fantasy of the Opera gala raises over $400,000

For immediate release: 
Friday, February 14, 2014


Lyric Opera of Chicago's Fantasy of the Opera Gala - $412,000 raised!   
550 attended Guild Board of Directors' 30th annual fundraiser - 
"Petals and Pearls" transformed the Civic Opera House
Friday, January 31, 2014

For just one night, the Civic Opera House became a Japanese garden, complete with Torii gate, kimonos, paper lanterns, and Taiko drummers (environmental design by Event Creative). This set the scene for "Petals and Pearls" the 30th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala benefit hosted by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Guild Board of Directors on Friday, January 31. The gala benefit raised $412,000 for the world-renowned opera company.

In keeping with the theme, guests arrived in "pearls/black tie" attire. Early in the evening, an array of tastings prepared by Limelight Catering enticed the crowd throughout the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer and American Airlines Mezzanine. Guests enjoyed sushi provided by Arami and sake courtesy of Tenzing and Bonzai Beverage Corp. Additional diversions included Ikebana demonstrations and an origami showcase, plus continuous screenings of anime films.

The Fantasy Cabaret performance in the Ardis Krainik Theatre began shortly after 8pm and featured stars of Lyric's current season. Lyric's music director Sir Andrew Davis sparkled  as Master of Ceremonies.  Christine Brewer (The Sound of Music), David Cangelosi (Madama Butterfly) and the Cangelinas (Lyric chorus members Cathleen Dunn, Desiree Hassler, Lynn Lundgren), Jill Grove (Rusalka), Brandon Jovanovich (Rusalka), Will Liverman (The Barber of Seville),   Ana María Martínez (Rusalka), and Eric Owens (Rusalka),  performed selections mostly from the great American songbook and Broadway classics. Pianist Craig Terry (music director of the Ryan Opera Center) accompanied the singers.

Following the cabaret, gala sponsors and VIP ticketholders enjoyed a seated dinner prepared by Limelight Catering, while other guests flocked to "The Japanese Garden" and danced with wild abandon till midnight to Rendezvous Music. The dance floor never thinned, and Ryan Opera Center ensemble members J'nai Bridges and Will Liverman spontaneously joined the band for a rousing rendition of Outkast's "Hey Ya," followed by Bridges' sultry interpretation of Gershwin's "Summertime." 

Fantasy of the Opera Chairman: Eben Dorros (Chicago)

Fantasy of the Opera Raffle Chairman: Barbara Gallacher (Chicago)

Guild Board of Directors President: Britt Miller (Chicago)

Golden Grand Benefactors

Anonymous; Bain & Company; closerlook, inc.; Jenner & Block LLP; Mr. and Mrs. John W. Jordan II/Jordan Industries; Richard P. and Susan Kiphart; KPMG LLP; Mayer Brown LLP; Blythe Jaski McGarvie; Kenneth R. Norgan; Spencer Stuart; United Scrap Metal; and the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation

Silver Grand Benefactors

Anonymous; Aetna; Eisen Family Foundation; Mr. & Mrs. Charles Huebner;  Greg and Ann Jones/The Edgewater Funds; Jones Lang LaSalle; Allan and Elaine Muchin; Quarles & Brady LLP; Alan Schriesheim and Kay Torshen; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Underwriters Laboratories; and Anne Zenzer and Dominick DeLuca

Fantasy Raffle Sponsor

American Airlines, the Official Airline of Lyric Opera


Limelight Catering


Rendezvous Music

Décor and Linens

BBJ Linen and Event Creative

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