Pittsburgh Opera artists perform for crowd at Maecenas XXXGala
“For those of you who know your Roman numerals, that's triple X,” said general director Christopher Hahn, referring to the Maecenas XXX Gala. “But I assure you it's going to be a clean evening.”
But it became apparent early on the night was not going out without a bang for the 310 supporting their beloved Pittsburgh Opera.
“If you think about opera and see beyond the thinking that it's high-brow, it's really stories about the human condition,” said Donna Peterman (with John). “It's a little bit of escapism.”
Escapism, indeed. To begin, the evening unfolded at the opera's Strip District parking garage/lounge, which left more than a few temporarily disoriented.
“This does not look like the parking garage. This is amazing!” said Dusty Elias Kirk.
Then, midway through cocktail hour, the opera's resident artists parted the crowd a la the Red Sea with a dramatic entrance amid torches and smoke, heralding a medley that included scenes from Richard Wagner's “The Flying Dutchman.”
Once in full swing, the party slowly but surely made its way into the studio, which had been transformed from its raw, industrial warehouse roots into an elegant space glowing with 600 candles and airy white orchids and hydrangeas. The design was a collaboration between Allison McGeary Floral and Gabriela Porges, who chaired the evening with her husband, David.
In between Duquesne Club-catered courses, the resident artists wowed with another string of lively teasers before longtime supporters Jan and Dick Pagliari were lauded with the Maecenas Award.
“Tito Capabianco (former general director) got us involved, Dick Pagliari said. “We'd drink grappa together. Tito taught me a lot of bad habits!”
With music from Cityscape luring everyone back to the lounge for the after-party, things were just getting started for board chairwoman Michele Fabrizi, board prez Clyde Jones, Dr. Lisa Cibik and Bernie Kobosky, Vivian and Bill Benter, Federica and Enrico Dallavecchia, Nancy and John Traina, Rose Kustenkow, Paul Gitnik and Gene Svrcek, Nachum Golan and Steve Hough, Gene Welsh and David McAdams, Rosemary and Dr. Mark Wholey, and Ali Good.
Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘No Limits’ artist gives talk at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust site
- Ice cream provides cool start to Pressley Ridge’s Ice Cream Fu ndae
- Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Ballet Under the Stars showcases next generation
- Orchids create atmosphere for Ladies Hospital Aid Society gala
- Allure showcase represents 34 Pittsburgh-area artists