Opera Lafayette, the esteemed purveyor of hidden operatic treasures from the bygone eras spanning the 17th to the 19th centuries, inaugurated their illustrious 2nd Annual NYC Baroque Music Festival in the grandest style imaginable. The resplendent New York Gala, graciously chaired by the incomparable Barbara Tober, unfolded with an air of unparalleled elegance on a memorable Tuesday, May 9, within the opulent confines of El Museo de Barrio.
As guests gathered in eager anticipation, they were greeted with a truly enchanting treat: a captivating opéra-ballet performance featuring Jean-Phillippe Rameau’s enthralling masterpiece, “Io,” alongside Pierre de La Garde’s timeless creation, “Léandre et Héro.” A momentous occasion indeed, the double bill proudly unveiled the historic world premiere of Rameau’s long-forgotten gem, “Io,” bedecked in the imaginative and awe-inspiring costumes meticulously crafted by the brilliant theatrical virtuoso, Machine Dazzle, who graced the gathering with his presence.
The festivities seamlessly flowed from the enchanting spectacle to a sumptuous dinner held just across the street, in the regal setting of the Museum of the City of New York. Here, the luminary figure of Lincoln Center’s esteemed CEO and President, Henry Timms, was bestowed with a well-deserved honor. Amongst the distinguished assemblage of guests were Opera Lafayette’s esteemed co-chairs, Nizam Kettaneh and Dorsey Dunn, along with the esteemed Artistic Director, Ryan Brown. The luminous presence of H.R.H. Princess Chantal de France and The Baron François-Xavier de Sambucy de Sorgue further enriched the illustrious gathering. Notable personalities such as Afsaneh Akhtari, Suzi Cordish, Layla Diba, Cornelius Escaravage, Christopher “Kip” Forbes, Michele Gerber Klein, Susan Gutfreund, Maria Eugenia Maury and Bill Haseltine, Joan Hardy Clark, Margaret and Gregory Hedberg, Sylvia Hemingway, Helen Little, Andrew Martin-Weber, Ann Van Ness, Barbara de Portago, Sana Sabbagh, Daisy Soros, and Prince Dmitri of Yugoslavia lent an air of sophisticated glamour to the proceedings.
Opera Lafayette’s passion for breathing new life into forgotten masterpieces was palpable throughout the evening. With spellbinding performances featuring rising star singers and musicians adeptly wielding period instruments, their distinctive artistry transported the enraptured audience to a bygone era where beauty and captivating storytelling reigned supreme. Their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of artistic excellence continues to shape Opera Lafayette’s legacy, rendering them the vanguards of their craft.
For those who crave an immersive journey into the annals of musical history, where the echoes of forgotten melodies and compelling narratives resurface to enthrall contemporary audiences, Opera Lafayette is an indispensable beacon. To learn more about their captivating endeavors, we invite you to visit their official website at https://operalafayette.org/.