On a slightly windy Saturday evening 700 people gathered within the Civic Opera House for a night of fun, champagne, Cabaret and a “Midnight in Paris,” the theme of this year’s Lyric Opera Chicago Fantasy of the Opera. The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer civic opera house was transformed into a 20’s Paris.
As guests entered, they were greeted by a french style market stand with wine and champagne as they walked through the foyer and up to the American Airline Mezzanine where restaurants such as AVEC, Magnolia Bakery,Coco Pazzo, Embeya, N9NE, The Palm, Lloyds, Pazzo’s had delicious samplings for guests. Donning a short black fringe dress with layered pearls and a red-feathered headband, Gayle Devon, from Northbrook, IL said, “It’s my first time attending the Fantasy Gala so I wanted to go all out for an event inspired by one of my favorite places… the “City of Light.”
Shortly thereafter, everyone converged in the Theater for a cabaret that was emceed by Sir Andrew Davis. Elizabeth Futral, David Cangekosi, Amanda Majeski, Lucas Meachem, Albina Shagimuratova, Ana Maria Martinez, Jamie Barton and Andrea Silvestrelli all performed to rousing applause from the audience. Amanda Majeski who performed “I’ve Got Rhythm” by George Gershwin also added a tap number to her performance earning extra applause from the audience. During the cabaret performance, the raffle-sponsored by American Airlines-winners were drawn with prizes that included round of golf for 20 people, round trip airline tickets and handwoven Oscar Isberian rug. The funniest performance was from Jamie Barton who sang “Summer in Ohio.” Following the cabaret, VIP guests retreated to the Graham Room for sit down dinner but the party was still going on in the main hall and the opera club below with Moulin Rouge featuring Veuve Clicquot champagne and Grand Marnier cocktails and a caricature artist. Guests also took in some photobooth fun.
After dinner, guests got on the dancefloor and danced to the band Rendevous where Lucas Meachem surprised everyone by performing Bohemian Rhapsody, that was so unexpected and awesome. Everyone was waving their hands in the air just having a great time. Lois Eisen who was spotted at last week’s MCA artEdge noting this was a fun party. Whether it was the attendee’s 15th or 1st time, the evening stood out for its Woody Allen- inspired “Midnight in Paris” theme and operatic talent
Rendezvous Music Director Toni DiDonato was thrilled to have performed for an “electric crowd” and especially loved having Baritone Lucas Meachem sing with the band. Guests in attendance included: Steve and Lois Eisen, Les Coney, Dr. Linda O’Bannon, Dr.Walter and Shirley Massey, Anthony Freud, Courtney Rosen, Katarina Visnevska, Aleksandra Efimova, The Janowiaks, Edmund Lester and Anne Leiter, Daria Lewicky, Dr. Christina Lewisky-Guapp, Mike and Debi Lily, Sanjay Sharma, Mat Shipley who escorte his mother Kari Shipley(both adorable!), James Staples, Andra Poppa and so many more. It was a fantastic evening!