Opera Philadelphia’s 2013 Gala

Actor David Hyde Pierce and more celebrated a new company name and the promise of new operatic work.

Saturday night was Opera Philadelphia’s 2013 Gala (dubbed N.O.W: A Gala Celebration of New Operatic Work) held at the Loews Hotel in Center City. The evening started with a cocktail party on the 33rd floor with a spectacular view of the skyline. The dress was black-tie, and the mood very festive, as the guests I spoke to were very excited about the name change from the Opera Company of Philadelphia to the very snappy Opera Philadelphia, earlier in the week. Below: Anderson and Daria Pew, co-chairs of the gala, with General Director and President David B. Devan, and Daniel K. Meyer, chairman of the board of directors.

Below: Daniel K. Meyer, board chair, David Hyde Pierce (who has joined the American Repertoire Council, chaired by Nathan Gunn, to help plan future seasons of new opera), Nathan Gunn, and David B. Devan, general director. The company’s American Repertoire Program is a commitment to produce a new American work in each of 10 seasons.

Below: Kevin Puts, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer who composed the critically acclaimed new opera “Silent Night,” which opens this Friday at the Academy of Music, with Donna Wechsler, Kelly Reilly and Andy Wechsler.

Below: Alan Sandman, Ellen Berman Lee, and John Pcsolar.

Below: Nicholas Hadgis, dean at Widener University, and Anna Hadgis, principal at Russell Byers Charter School.

Below: Carol Lawrence and Raymond Lawrence are long-time supporters of Philadelphia Opera.

Below: Rita Alper and Hadia Tolson in the grand ballroom at the Loews, which was decorated beautifully by Evantine Design; the understated centerpieces had decorative metal poles shooting out of them, or copper wiring wrapped around them.

Below: James and Maddy Carlson are avid opera-goers here and in New York. The beautiful jacket Maddy is wearing is from MET Designs, created by Richard Tsao. Inspired by “Carmen,” it is appropriately called the Carmen Jacket, and was a Valentine’s Day present from James.

Below: Rose Muravchick and Caroline Weist check out the wine auction; some of the bottles were paired with dinners. Lionel Savadove (right) said there were so many good choices that he would put a bid on several.

Below: Kathleen and Nicolas Chimicles, with Eliana Papadakis and Georgette Ciukurescu, owner, founder, president and CEO, Asian World of Martial Arts.

Below: Missy Mazzoli, an American composer and pianist of a new generation of opera composers that borrow music and business strategies from the indie rock world, Gene Scheer, a songwriter, librettist, and lyricist, and Zizi Mueller, president of Boosey & Hawkes US.

Below: William Goldstein and Joan Goldstein. Joan Goldstein was the co-chair of the auction, which had interesting items like dinner for six at David Devan’s new loft and an autographed book by legendary opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Her spring-like outfit was a warm respite on a cold and snowy night. She told me she bought at Sophy Curson, and it was hand-painted.

Below: Jim and Anne Williamson. Her gorgeous dress is from VM Creations and Carolyn Zinni.

Below: The cast of “Silent Night” includes Liam Bonner, baritone, soprano Kelly Kaduce, and William Burden, tenor, here with wife Carol Burden (second from right). During the evening’s dinner, Kaduce and Burden sang “Komm Frühling, komm” from the opera.

Below, the Opera Philadelphia team: Frank Luzi, director of communications, Rachel McCausland, manager, research & special gifts, Lauren Ancona, manager, marketing technology, Christina Deemer, director of annual giving, and Ryan Lewis, director of marketing.