YPO Annual Gala “Hats Spats and Pearls” A Roaring Success

Lisa Wheeler, Lise-Marie Wertanzl and Carla Ligia Erraez

It was a night of glitz, glamour and giving at the 59th annual Gala of the Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO) held on October 25th. This year’s theme “Hats Spats and Pearls…A Toast to the Roaring 20s” captured the optimism and energy of one of the most progressive eras in the 20th Century. Over 200 cultural leaders packed the ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel to raise funds for music and opera education.

YPO President 2014-2015 Lisa Wheeler set the festive tone for the evening when she welcomed guest with the famous line from The Great Gatsby novel “A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody”. Wheeler and gala co chairs Laurel Auerbacher, Amal Kabbani, Patricia Scerpella, Lori Thomas and Lise-Marie Wertanzl created an unforgettable evening.

Lori Thomas, Nancy Schwartz, and Kristyn Schwartz

Thanks to the support of Gala Benefactors Bunny Bastian, Swanee and Paul DiMare, Dunspaugh-Dalton, Gala Underwriters, Account Control Technologies, Barstools and More Stylish Seating and Gala Sponsors, Bacardi, Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, La Fenice, The List Family Foundation, Opera Volunteers International, Maurice’s Jewelers, ARPI, Prestige Cosmetics, Poperazzi and The Betsy Hotel. The proceeds raised at the Gala will fund YPO’s opera and music education programs.

The elegant evening began with guests being greeted with a glass of La Fenice Prosecco, pearl necklaces, and cigars. Many of the patrons embraced the spirit of the soirée by adding beaded headbands and feathers to their formal attire. The fabulous silent auction included luxury trips such as a four-day VIP trip to Florence, Italy, a 7 night luxury Azamara Cruise anywhere in the world, YSL clutch from Neiman Marcus, original artwork by rising artists Clay Frye, Janet Mokher and International artist Anastasia the Great, who created an original painting on the spot that evening for the auction. Maurice’s Jewelers offered fabulous jewelry with a large percentage earmarked for YPO.

Bennett and Kathy Feldman & Karen Gottlieb and Elliott Scherker

The Four Seasons Ballroom had been transformed by ARPI Events to resemble the Oyster Bay mansion by using floor to ceiling video projections which perfectly captured the elegance and opulence of the Gatsby era. A fabulous performance by the electrifying Las Vegas-based singing trio Poperazzi who cleverly mix classic opera arias with pop favorites, kicked off the entertainment of the evening. The 8-piece band Manhattan Music kept the partygoers dancing the night away until the last song played and the green light faded.

Founded almost 60 years ago in 1955, YPO is a volunteer group of dedicated women who advocate for music and opera education for children in South Florida. Proceeds raised at Hat Spats and Pearls will fund music and opera educational programs. Every year, YPO presents a workshop for more than 500 Girl Scouts, and a professional development workshop on opera in the classroom for 150 Miami-Dade and Broward County teachers. YPO also brings professional children’s opera performances to more than 30,000 elementary students annually. This year YPO has expanded its musical outreach program to children who are hospitalized. In addition, YPO also presents a national voice competition for aspiring young opera singers. This year, the YPO/FGO 28th National Voice Competition will be held at The Colony Theater on Miami Beach. Tickets are available for the voice competition finals and champagne reception to be held on the April 18th, 2015 .

For tickets and information on how to help support YPO’s music and Opera educational programs please contact Lisa Wheeler at President@YPO-Miami.org.

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