Bal à Paris

Benefits Florida Grand Opera

Saturday, November 15, 2008, at 7 p.m. (curtain)
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Ziff Ballet Opera House
1300 Biscayne Boulevard,
305-854-1643, Ext. 1202 (Denise Courshon)

The Opening Night Gala is Florida Grand Opera’s major annual fundraising benefit held immediately following the season’s opening night performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata. The performance begins at 7 p.m., and the Gala at about 10:30 p.m.

Inspired by the Parisian setting of the Verdi work, the Gala pays tribute, Bal à Paris-style, to the artistic and cultural collaboration between France and Florida. It will celebrate French fashion, food, jewelry, fragrances, fine wines and champagnes, and travel destinations.

To build on the historic relationship between high fashion and grand opera, Florida Grand Opera has developed a creative alliance with five outstanding South Florida fashion designers. These well-known local designers are creating original ball gowns inspired by one of the season’s five operas.

Participating designers and their opera choices are: Rafael Cennamo – La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi; Nicolás Felizola – La Cenerentola by Gioacchino Rossini; Ana Maria Guiulfo – Lakmé by Léo Delibes; Lizbeth Hazoury – The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and Yoly Muñoz, Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. These original gowns, along with other exclusive luxury items, will be auctioned during the Gala to benefit Florida Grand Opera.

Opering Night and the Bal à Paris Gala are under the patronage of His Excellency, Pierre Vimont, French Ambassador to the United States, and General Consul of France in Miami, Monsieur Philippe Vinogradoff. The Gala committee is lead by Ms. Lynn Wolfson, Honorary International Chair; Mr. Ralph Lutrin and Mr. A. Allan Lewis, Honorary Chairs; Andre and Donald Carlin, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dascal, Mr. Stephen A Keller and Ms Lesleen Bolt, and Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Grand Benefactors; and Co-Chairs: Ms. Ruby Bacardi, Ms. Nancy Jean Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Laurans A. Mendelson, Mr. Charles E. Porter/BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Ms. Rosie Pachon, Dr. and Mrs. Morton J. Robinson, and Mr. and Mrs. Alvaro Varela.

Tables range from $7,500 to $25,000, and individual tickets are $750 and $1,000. Underwriting opportunities are available.

For information please contact Denise Courshon at 305-854-1643, Ext. 1202.

About Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera, celebrating its 68th anniversary season of continuous performances, stands as one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Florida. Florida Grand Opera is one of the four resident companies of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, making its home Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House.

The company was formed in June 1994 by the merger of Greater Miami Opera, founded in 1941, and The Opera Guild Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, founded in 1945. The Greater Miami Opera began as a dream of its founder, Dr. Arturo di Filippi, a voice teacher at the University of Miami. The first production, held at Miami Senior High School, was a single performance of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, performed in English, with Dr. di Filippi in the lead.

Florida Grand Opera presents five main-stage productions annually in the Ziff Ballet Opera House at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, and at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit

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