200 toast the new year during Pittsburgh Opera's Auld Lang Syne IV
By Kate Benz
Published: Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Hosting a party on New Year's Eve is a risky move, considering all of those high-pressure resolutions flying around.
“Honestly, I haven't even thought of that yet,” admitted Bill Benter upon arrival to the Carnegie Music Hall with his wife, Vivian. “I guess I should.”
The sentiment was shared among the vast majority of the 200 VIPs holding the $500 golden ticket to the Pittsburgh Opera's Auld Lang Syne IV New Year's Eve Gala and Concert, although there were those who came prepared. “I have to be honest with you,” confided Melanie Crockard, with her husband, Jim. “I try to stay driven all year long. ... Maybe to people who love me, I should be a little more tender.” Some were staying mum. “Oh, I can't say,” board prez Clyde Jones remarked coyly.
Elsewhere, a circle of admirers gathered 'round as music director Antony Walker proudly showed off pictures of his newborn daughter, Geneviève Hélène Fichtel, while sympathizers flocked to board chair Michele Fabrizi (with Myron Tomb) as she showed off her latest accessory: a cast covering her right arm.
“I slipped on some ice this morning,” Fabrizi said. “Although, I need to come up with something more interesting than that. ... Maybe I should say I broke it skiing.”
While Finesse entertained with an appearance by Peaches — she of Peaches & Herb fame — event chairs Rose Kutsenkow and Roseanne Wholey (with Dr. Mark), honorary chair Kathy White, Dr. John and Dolores Barber, Virginia and John DiPucci, Dr. Lisa Cibik and Bernie Kobosky, Catherine and Mark Loevner, Nicholas and Susan Loutsion, Nachum Golan and Steve Hough, Gene Welsh and David McAdams, and Steven Mendelson and Toni Chiappini dined; whilst out of doors, those who opted for a concert or concert-and-party ticket started lining up for a performance by Resident Artists and the official countdown to 2013.
“I suspect you have a glass in front of you. Raise it, and let's toast the Pittsburgh Opera and the new year,” proclaimed general director Christopher Hahn (with Ron Booth).
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