Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Washington National Opera Golden Gala

March 19th • The Kennedy Center
Written by Jody Arlington

Japanese Amb. Ryozo Kato, Placido and Marta Domingo and Hanayo Kato

Washington National Opera's 50th Anniversary Golden Gala, and guests knew they were in for a retrospective treat when characters from opera seasons past populated the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer. Selwa "Lucky" Roosevelt, the event's chairman was radiant as she kicked off the evening by announcing that the gala brought four million dollars into the WNO coffers. The 2,200 guests represented the diplomatic corps, politicians, cabinet officials, three supreme court justices and Washington National Opera trustees, including Jacqueline Mars, Betty Scripps Harvey and Mercedes Bass.

The audience enjoyed rousing performances by Anna Netrebko, Juan Diego Florez, Carlos Alvarez, Elizabeth Futral, Paul Groves, Alan Held, Anja Kampe, John Matz and Samuel Ramey performing WNO "Greatest Hits" such as "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's Gianni Schicci, a fabulous "madamina, il Catalogo e questo" from Mozart's Don Giovanni, and "Ecco il Mondo"from Boito's Mefistofele, all made possible by the orchestra, and Maestro Heinz Fricke's conducting. The guilty pleasure of the evening was the world premiere of Marvin Hamlisch and Sheldon Harnick's Opera spoof "The Audition," starring Placido Domigo, Kristin Chenoweth and Trevor Scheunemann (a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Member) with cameos by Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia. One only wishes we didn't have to wait so many years for another celebration. Lucky, must you retire? One more for the 55th? For Washington? For opera lovers?

Justice Stephen and Joanna Breyer
Roy Huffington and Paul Wolfowitz

Sam and Susan Lehrman
Opera extra and Alma Gildenhorn

Joe Robert
Albert and Shirley Small

Wilma and Stuart Bernstein
Marcia Mayo

John Pohanka
Ross and Margot Perot
Michael Sonnenreich and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez

Lucky Roosevelt and Ambassador Jan Eliasson
Jane and Calvin Cafritz
Placido Domingo, Nada Kirdar, Gay Gaines and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Lindsay and Sam Ramey, Ondine de Rothschild and Ariane Dandois
Hilda and Arturo Brillembourg
Ann and Vernon Jordan

Linda Sonnenreich and Raeeka Yaghmai
Patrica Kluge and William Moses
Isabelle and Ricardo Ernst with Dani and Mirella Levinas

Sid and Mercedes Bass, John and Diana Negroponte
Italian Amb. Giovanni Castellaneta and Leila Castellaneta
Svetlana Ushakova, Mary Ourisman and Ann Hand

Jim Kimsey and Olivia Schoeller
Jacqueline Badger Mars, Betty Scripps Harvey and Jeremy Harvey
Gilan Corn and Mary Mochary

Jellie van Eenennaam and Dutch Amb. Boudewijn van Eenennaam
Alexandra and Fundacion Meijer-Werner
Kuwaiti Amb. Salem and Rima Al-Sabah

Katie and Larry Jaggers
Nini Ferguson and Carolyn Boutte
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Elizabeth Futral

Paul and Anne Nitze and Amb. of Sweden Gunnar Lund
Heidi and Max Berry
Norwegian Amb. Knut Vollebaek and

Alicia Sams and Betty Sams
Shayne Dotty and Joanne Mason
Luis and Luce Fortuno

Photos by Kyle Samperton


Home  |   Where To Find Us  |   Advertising  |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map  |   Purchase Photos  |   About Us

Click here to go to the NEW Washington Life Magazine