YPO Gala: “An Evening Where No One Sleeps”
YPO Celebrates its 64th annual gala
Young Patronesses of the Opera hosted an exciting “Evening Where No One Sleeps” on November 2, 2019. YPO’s 64th annual gala drew its inspiration from the soul-stirring aria ‘Nessun Dorma’, the highlight of Puccini’s final opera Turandot. YPO 2019-2020 President Marianne Kircher and gala co-chairs Marta Alfonso, Magita Rojas and Lurenda Turner transformed the Four Seasons Miami into Ancient China, the setting of Turandot, for the magnificent event.
The 240 guests tried their hand at singing bowls before they posed for portraits in front of the gates to ‘The Forbidden City.” They then traveled the ‘Silk Road’ passing through an array of luxury items and opportunities available through silent auction before passing into the ‘Zen Garden’, resplendent with plum blossoms, where they sampled champagne and sipped cocktails. Finally, a troupe of Lion Dancers led the elegant crowd into ‘The Imperial Palace’ for dinner and dancing.
Benefactor Swanee DiMare was honored for her 30 years of loyal support of YPO, along with fellow benefactors Trish and Dan Bell. Fidelity Investments, Bunny Bastian, Morris & Anita Broad Philanthropic Fund, Marianne & Peter Kircher, Marta Alfonso and Annie Esformes were also generous sponsors of the evening which raised funds for YPO’s music education programs. Each year, YPO brings live opera performances to 20,000 elementary students, hosts a workshop for 100 Girl Scouts who wish to earn their opera badges and presents a continuing education workshop for Miami Dade County Public School teachers.
Entertainment was led bybaritone Graham Fandrei, Managing Director of Magic City Opera, who was accompanied by tenors Chad Johnson and Kuyna Rowley. The trio performed a showstopping rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma’ as well as other favorite tunes. The chant of auctioneer Jay Rokeach led to the sale of not one but two SeaDream Yacht Cruises. Homage to the composer of ‘Nessun Dorma’ was given in the ‘Puccini Tasting Room’ where guests sampled a Rosso di Montalcino from the Tuscan winery Casanova di Neri, poured by sommelier Victoria Litton.
Photography by World Red Eye and Betty Alvarez