Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine
Washington Opera Ball

Anthony T.Podesta & Heather Miller

Ana Rocha Paris, Spanish Ambassador Javier Ruperez & wife Rakela, Portuguese Ambassador Joao Rocha Paris

Belgian Ambassador Alex Rayn & his wife Rita

Opera artistic director Ed Purrington & Maestro Hans Fricke

Bernard & Linda Shaw, Tanya & Dan Snyder

Guiseppe & Mercedes Cecchi

Bertram Fields & Roberta Peters

Sen. Patrick Leahy & wife Marcelle

Lucky Roosevelt & Dominican Ambasssasor to OAS Oscar Curry

Belgian Delights

Belgian Ambassador Alex Reyn and his wifeRita bid Washington friends a fond farewellas they hosted the social season finale, theWashington Opera Ball, on June 7. AmbassadorReyn officially retired on July 1, with plans toreturn home, travel a bit, and become reacquainted with Europe.

Over 500 guests gathered for drinks, dancing, and dessert at the Reyns' Beaux-Arts styleresidence following 22 individual embassy-sponsored dinners. Tickets for the lavish celebrationcost $1500 (a limited amount were available at$500)and $3 million was raised, including giftsof $1 million each from Ball Chair Betty ScrippsHarvey and Jim Kimsey. Among the guestswere former ball chairs Nina Pillsbury, EvelynDiBona, Jane Sloat, Ina Ginsburg, and MaryOurisman; Sens. Patrick J. Leahy and RichardC. Shelby; Hilda and Arturo Brillembourg;Jonathan Ledecky, Sandra Payson, Selwa"Lucky" Roosevelt, and Hilda and Arturo Brillembourg.

New York floral designer Philip Balounconstructed a pavilion that resembled the royalgreenhouses of Belgium's King Leopold II forthe event; the two-story high space took sevenmonths from conceptualization to completion.And, there were the chocolates! Belgian ones.In innumerable shapes and sizes, including chocolate artichokes, asparagus and roses; chocolate-dipped cherries, raspberries and strawberries ina chocolate basket lined with a chocolate napkinon a chocolate tray; hot and iced chocolatedrinks; bonbons, truffles, pralines and madeleines. The dessert specialties were by OccasionsCaterers. Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Etel Valtasaari (wife of Finnish Ambassador)& Mary Ourisman

James & Alexandra McBride

Collette & Anthony Bruce

Hilda Brillembourg & Luz del Alba Rubio (“Frasquita ” in Carmen)

Betty Scripps Harvey & Placido Domingo

              Photos by Geoffrey T. Chesman


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