Lyric Opera of Chicago

Fantasy of the Opera 2012

Press Release Letterhead
Monday, January 30, 2012  

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Fantasy of the Opera Gala
More than $470,000 net raised!  
More than 500 attended Guild Board of Directors’ 28th annual Fantasy fundraiser,
“A Night Under the Czars,” sizzled in the Civic Opera House on Fri., Jan. 27, 2012

Ice sculptures of Fabergé eggs, illuminated egg-shaped table lamps, frosted-glass table chandeliers, golden branches dripping with crystal strands, white table linens scattered with cut-crystal “diamonds” and frosty blue lighting designed by Event Creative all set the scene for “A Night Under the Czars,” the 28th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala benefit hosted by Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Guild Board of Directors at the Civic Opera House on Friday, January 27. The gala benefit raised more than $470,000 net for the world-renowned opera company.

Early in the evening, an array of elegant tastings prepared by some of Chicago’s top chefs enticed the crowd of more than 500 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 “Moscow Mule” cocktail (vodka, ginger beer, and lime), Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and other refreshments while they placed silent-auction bids in the Nancy W. Knowles Lobby, or purchased raffle tickets. Guests bid electronically using their personal communication devices or ones provided for the evening.

The Fantasy Cabaret performance in the Ardis Krainik Theatre began shortly after 8 p.m. and featured stars of Lyric’s current and previous seasons. General Director Anthony Freud was a hit in his debut as Master of Ceremonies.  Jamie Barton (The Tales of Hoffmann, Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos), Ashley Brown (Show Boat), Alyson Cambridge (The Tales of Hoffmann, Show Boat), David Cangelosi (The Tales of Hoffman, Boris Godunov),  Nathan Gunn (Show Boat),  Philip Kraus, Susanna Phillips (Lucia di Lammermoor), Morris Robinson (Show Boat),  Angela Renée Simpson (Show Boat), Amber Wagner (Ariadne auf Naxos), Elza van den Heever (Rinaldo), and members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center performed selections from the great American songbook and Broadway classics. Pianist Craig Terry accompanied the singers.

Following a seated dinner prepared by Limelight Catering, guests danced to Ken Arlen’s Indigo in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer until midnight. They also enjoyed the elegant Dessert Fantasy in the Opera Club and American Airlines Mezzanine. The Lyric Young Professionals enjoyed dinner in the Pedersen Room (prepared by Jewell Events Catering) before heading out to the dance floor.

Fantasy of the Opera Chairman: Nancy Temple (Chicago)
 Fantasy of the Opera Co-chairman: Courtney Rosen(Chicago)
Fantasy of the Opera Silent Auction Chairman: Julie Anne Benson (Chicago)
Fantasy of the Opera Raffle Chairman: Allison Alexander (Chicago)
Guild Board of Directors President: David T. Ormesher (Chicago)


Lead Sponsor
closerlook, inc.

Golden Grand Benefactors

Anonymous; Baker & McKenzie; Deloitte.; Ernst & Young LLP; Richard P. and Susan Kiphart;
KPMG LLP; Mayer Brown LLP; Ken Norgan; Spencer Stuart; and the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation  

Silver Grand Benefactors
Anonymous (2); Aetna; Eisen Family Foundation; Jones Lang LaSalle; Allan and Elaine Muchin;
Peer Pedersen; Quarles & Brady LLP; Alan Schriesheim and Kay Torshen; Sidley Austin LLP;
Takeda Pharmaceuticals; and Anne Zenzer and Dominick DeLuca

Fantasy Raffle Sponsor
American Airlines, the Official Airline of Lyric Opera

Limelight Catering  

Reception Restaurants
Ara-On, Carnivale, Coco Pazzo, Devon Seafood Grill, e. leaven Food Company, Il Mulino, Lloyd’s Chicago, 
N9ne, One North, Prosecco, Province, Vera

Dessert Fantasy
Blommer Chocolate, e. leaven Food Company, Katherine Anne Confections,
Sprinkles Cupcakes, Terry’s Toffee  

Ken Arlen’s Indigo

Décor and Linens
BBJ Linen, Event Creative, Oscar Isberian Rugs  

For event photos, please contact digital/media assets specialist Carrie Napolilli: 312-827-5823 or