YPO 54th Annual Black Tie Ball

Opera Patrons Masquerade as Phantoms, Lovers and Villains

Gala Chairs with President: Nicole Lozano, Marilyn Wagner,
Julie Todaro (President), Karen Gottlieb, Beth Tasca

Inspired by Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, more than 300 of Miami’s civic and charitable elite masqueraded as phantoms, lovers and villains as Miami officially kicked off its winter social season with the 54th Annual Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO) Masquerade Ball.

An aura of mystery and intrigue filled the Grand ball room of the Eden Rock Resort & Spa as bejeweled and be-masked ladies and gentlemen bid generously on an array of auction items to support opera education in South Florida. Featured items included: a safari in South Africa, a membership to Metropolis Gym, a stay at the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, Vero Beach and autographed sports memorabilia.

The evening’s highlights included live performances by two YPO In-School Opera singers, Margo Peace and Graham Fandrei, as well as a ballet presentation by University of Miami dance students under the direction of Rome Saladino, who also preformed a duet with his wife, Marina.

“The Masquerade Ball was a great success. “We wish to recognize and thank our Grand Benefactors Bunny Bastian and Swanee DiMare, and our Corporate Bronze Benefactors, AT&T and Bacardi, for their generosity,” said YPO President Julie Todaro, who along with ball co-chairwomen Karen Gottlieb, Nicole Lozano, Beth Tasca, Marilyn Wagner and a committee of 50 volunteers, had been busy planning and preparing for the event since January.

YPO, founded fifty-four years ago, is a non-profit group of women that advocates music and opera education. The group’s dedicated volunteers raise funds to bring professional children’s opera performances to over 45,000 elementary school students annually.

Grand Benefactors: Swanee DiMare and Bunny Bastian

Proceeds from the 54th annual black-tie affair will provide funding for several educational opera programs in South Florida, such as a Girl Scout Workshop for more than 500 girl scouts, as well as an annual Teacher’s Workshop which offers continuing education credits while training 150 Miami-Dade County teachers on opera education in the classroom. YPO members will also write and publish an internationally recognized series of opera activity books for children, Opera Funtime. Each Opera Funtime book will provide the music and plot of a famous opera along with games and activities for entertainment. The books are distributed free of charge to elementary school students in Miami-Dade County.

For more information abut YPO, please visit www.ypo-miami.org.