Sylvain Gaboury /PMC, Nicolette Richards/Ambassador images

Benefited Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation and honored Jean Shafiroff

Photo: Jean Shafiroff, Petra Schneebauer(Austria's Ambassador),Denise Rich & Sylvia Friesier
Photo credit: Marcello for Starlight Illustrated

Over 400 guests attended the 67th annual Viennese Opera Ball, the oldest and most prestigious outside of Vienna, hosted by the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce and organized by the Event Atelier’s Silvia Frieser. In addition to Shafiroff, Denise Rich was the Gala chair for the evening. The gala benefitted Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and was called “A Night Inspired by Carmen”, from the opera Carmen by Bizet, conducted by Maestro Vinicius Kattah of Austria.

It was vice-chaired by Sylvia Hemingway and Peter Thomas Roth. Top opera stars performed arias from the opera Carmen by Bizet including Stephen Costello who sings in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and George Gagnidze, both in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, internationally accomplished opera singers Joyce El-Khoury (Soprano), Nathalie Peña Comas (Soprano) and opera star George Gagnidze, who attended as an Honorary guest.

Among the notable attendees were; Jean Shafiroff, Denise Rich, Sylvia Hemmingway, Commissioner Mermelstein (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs), Kristen Edgreen Kaufman (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs), Peter Hanke (Executive City Councilor, City of Vienna), Stefan Ottrubay (Esterhazy), Norbert Kettner (Director, Vienna Tourism Board), Gudrun Senk (CTO, Wiener Linien), Gerhard Hirczi (CEO, Vienna Business Agency), Christian Frey (Head International Department, Vienna Business Agency), Julian Jäger (Member of the Board of Directors, Vienna Airport), Franz Patay (CEO, United Stages Vienna), Helmut Schoba (CEO, VGN Media Holding), Michael Trestl (CCO, Austrian Airlines), Diana Klein (Augarten), Wolfgang Koechert (A.E. Koechert), Petra Schneebauer (Austrian Ambassador to the United States), Alexander Marschik (Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations), Peter Hasslacher (Austrian Trade Commissioner NY), Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger (Austrian Cultural Forum NY), Helmut Schoba (VGN Medien Holding), Franz Patay (United Stages Vienna), Christian Struppeck (Ronacher/Raimund Theater Vienna),  Ingrid Flick (Austrian Entrepreneur), Klaus Panholzer (Schloss Schonbrunn), Austrian fashion designer Carolin Sinemus (Madl, Salzburg), Martin Shafiroff (Stifel), Sabine Riglos (Board member), Maribel Lieberman, Janna Bullock, David Hochberg, Carolyn Maloney, Nicole Miller, Elton Ilirjani, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Agnieszka & Witold Balaban, Dr. Anetta Reszko, Patrick McMullan, Luisa Diaz, Cole Rumbough & Emily Mohr (Junior Chairs).

A gala debutante presentation took place at the 67th Annual Ball. The debutantes and their escorts included; Reesa Artz, Clara Burtscher, Rachel Borreta, Mei Colby, Thara Eisingerich, Deborah Engelberg, Isaac Escamilla, Thara Eisingerich, Meyer Eskin, Shifra Eskin, Elias Wallin Giangrande, Gwyneth Giangrande, Joseph Grosh, Royce Howley, Catherine Humphrey, Madison Hoerler, Thomas Itkoff, Sean Jagermann, Alex Koschell, David Kuhn, Benton Madsen, Sofie Maehlkvist, Allegra Marschik, Spencer Napolitano, Maximiliane Norwood, Felix Oblin, Yasmeen Star Omer, Meghan Quinn, Rudolf Schatz, Nick Solari, George Stavropoulos, Anna Talos, Alexander Yale and Maximilian Yale. A beautiful choreography to the Carmen Quadrille by Eduard Strauss was designed for the opening performance of the debutantes and escorted by Vienna Dance School Svabek, headed by Sandra Stockmayer and Roman Svabek.

Sponsors of the event included: City of Vienna, Erste Group Bank AG, Esterhazy, Austrian Airlines, A.E. Koechert, Schloss Schoenbrunn. Donors included: Augarten, Lobmeyr, Hotel Bristol, Park Hyatt Vienna, Frette, Peter Thomas Roth Skincare, Jacques Lemans, Las Islas Hotel, Malan Bretan, Muehlbauer, Riding Dinner Vienna, and paintings by Austrian artist FJ Baur, John Petschinger, artist Fer Da Silva and Austrian wine Mayer am Pfarrplatz.

In one glamorous evening, the annual white tie charity gala honors Austria and America’s cultural and economic ties. It was created 67 years ago by Austrian immigrants to honor their former hometown Vienna as well as their host city, New York. In addition to diplomats and dignitaries, international corporations, and professionals attend the gala.

Performances by Opera Stars Stephen Costello (Tenor) who sings at the Metropolitan Opera in leading roles, as well as international acclaimed opera stars Joyce El-Khoury (Sopran) and Nathalie Peña-Comas (Sopran), a renowned orchestra, Presentation of Colors by Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy, a midnight quadrille, and many other surprises all contribute to a glamorous and delightful evening. Previous notable attendees include The Honorable Michael Ludwig, Governor and Mayor of Vienna, Actress Samantha Mathis, and TV personality Star Jones.

About the Viennese Opera Ball:

Since 1955, the Viennese Opera Ball in New York has been a representative of Vienna’s cultural legacy, elegance, and glamour in the Big Apple. The Ball operates as a cultural platform and builds bridges to connect present day New York City with 19th Century Vienna, and people of varying heritages, continents, and generations, to bring traditional glamour to the city that never sleeps.

For more information, please visit: vienneseoperaball.com

I: @vienneseoperaball | Facebook: @vienneseoperaball

ByMichelle Mitchell

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