More than 400 opera aficionados and performers were among those who attended the 14th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards at The Plaza Hotel Sunday night.
This year's honorees — mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, stage director and designer Laurent Pelly, soprano Ailyn Pérez, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni and tenor Ramón Vargas — were feted at the gala affair with a captivating performance by actress and singer Betsy Wolfe and composer Georgia Stitt.
Anthony Roth Costanzo, Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Hampson, Susanna Phillips and Joseph Volpe joined Metropolitan Opera Guild President Richard J. Miller and OPERA NEWS Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll in presenting the awards for distinguished achievement in the field of opera and outstanding contributions to the opera world.
"Each year, the editors of OPERA NEWS look forward to this gala celebration of those who have made an enduring impact on opera," said Driscoll. "We are grateful for the talents of these five brilliant artists whose work has enriched beyond measure the art form that we love."
The prestigious audience at the black-tie dinner included Dr. Joan Taub Ades;Christian Alfonsi; Anastasia Angelova; Susan L. Baker and Michael Lynch; J. Truman and Ludmila Bidwell; Deborah Borda; Beatrice and Douglas Broadwater; Jason Robert Brown; Emmanuel Ceysson; Mrs. Schuyler G. Chapin; Gus Christie; Eugenia Comini; Marc Chazaud; Judith-Ann Corrente; Giovanni Favretti; Don and Dale Franzen; Carole and John French III; James Gandre; John Hargraves and Nancy Newcomb; Nancy Lloyd Hayward; Mary Jo Heath; Marifé Hernandez and Joel Bell; Alice N. Hunt and Malcolm McCulloch; Theodore A. and Adeline Kurz; Douglas and Victoria Larsen; Nora London; Ellen F. Marcus; Louis S. Miano; Carol and Richard J. Miller, Jr; Christopher S. Moore; Constantine Orbelian; Donald Palumbo; Mary Beth Peil; Paola Prestini; Emily and John Rafferty; Ron Raines and Dona D. Vaughn; Diana Reid; James D. Rigler; Mary and Winthrop Rutherfurd; Dr. Garry and Susan L. Spector; Rob Simon; Anneliese Soros; Georgia Stitt; Elizabeth Tunick; Kara and Langdon Van Norden, Jr.; George C. White; Ann Ziff; and Susan Zohn.
Among the international opera luminaries on hand were Martina Arroyo; Harolyn Blackwell; Jane Bunnell; Plácido and Marta Domingo; Ying Fang; Christine Goerke; Greer Grimsley; Tomasz Konieczny; Isabel Leonard; James Morris and Susan Quittmeyer; Adam Plachetka; Matthew Polenzani; Teresa Stratas; Elza van den Heever; Christian van Horn; and Guanqun Yu. Also in attendance were rising stars of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, including Jessica Faselt; Brian Michael Moore; Gabriella Reyes; Katelan Terrel; Arseny Yakovlev; and Meigui Zhang.
The OPERA NEWS Awards showcased lots auctioned off by Robbie Gordy, Associate Vice President and Auctioneer at Christie's New York. These one-of-a-kind offerings included a private in-home concert by Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Principal Harpist Emmanuel Ceysson; VIP treatment at the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 Opening Night gala and performance of PORGY AND BESS; a dinner party performance by bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni and a robustly curated trip to London for two, with a five-night stay in the Savoy Suite at the Savoy Hotel. Items within the gala's silent auction included an afternoon for two with Anthony Roth Costanzo and OPERA NEWS Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll at Lincoln Ristorante; four luxury box seats to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium; two tickets to MY FAIR LADY at Lincoln Center and dinner at Cafe Luxembourg; premium tickets to MOULIN ROUGE on Broadway with dinner for two at Sardi's; and the opportunity to drive a Rolls Royce for a week. The auction and gala evening raised more than $450,000, with the proceeds going toward the education initiatives of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
The 14th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards was sponsored by the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation