The black-tie crowd packed the red carpet for Lyric Opera's 57th season opening-night gala to see Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffman."
A capacity crowd of 3,500 attended the performance at the Civic Opera House, where the grand foyer was transformed to reflect Offenbach's extravagant world.
The champagne flowed in the Graham Room that was filled with opera-loving VIPs before the 3 1/2-hour production began. Oversize white floral arrangements and twinkling candlelight set off the glamorous gowns and statement jewelry, while guests dined.
After the performance, 625 supporters attended the elegant Opera Ball at the Hilton Chicago, where they were greeted on the grand staircase by the sound of trumpets and event chairs Trisha Rooney Alden and Karen Gray, as well as Women's Board President Anne Reyes and hostesses from the Women's Board.
The Stu Hirsh Orchestra performed on a stage inspired by a dramatic set from the opera as large screens projected photos of guests from past years' galas as well as scenes from the performance. High-profile guests included Liz Stiffel; Renee and Lester Crown; Sonia Florian; Lyric Opera President Kenneth Pigott with his wife, Jane; Lyric General Director Anthony Freud; Shirley and Patrick Ryan; M.K. and J.B. Pritzker; Suzette and Allan Bulley; and Alejandro and Amelia Silva, among many others. $875,000 was raised to support Lyric programming.
Chicago Beach Polo: For two days, North Avenue beach welcomed the sound of pounding hooves as the first Chicago Beach Polo matches were played out against the dramatic backdrop of Lake Michigan. The white leather lounge furniture was filled in the VIP pavilion with a crowd of fashionistas for this debut event for the city. Eight teams participated in this international polo tournament that also included a men's and women's fall fashion show presented by La Martina, electric violinists, a horse parade, pop-up shops, photo booths, wine tents and more. A portion of the proceeds benefited the "100 Club of Chicago."
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.
Click here to see photos from the events.
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