Elisabeth Muhr, Denise Rich and Jean Shafiroff were the elegant chairs of the 65th edition of the Viennese Opera Ball, which took place this past Friday, February 7 at the famous Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York City, under the patronage of the President of Austria, the honorable Alexander Van der Bellen. The well-known actor Nathan Lee Graham was the master of ceremonies during the magnificent evening, which served to celebrate and commemorate the magnificent relationship, both cultural and economic, between Austria and the USA, thus connecting two continents, two cities – Vienna and New York – and two centuries in one of the most glamorous galas of the year.
“There is nothing like this in America with pageantry that could only come from the Habsburg Royal Houses,” said the president and executive director of the gala, Silvia Frieser. The evening began with the lavish entrance of the Debutants, wearing beautiful tiaras donated by Austrian jewelry company Ciro and white gowns, dancing the Polonaise and Alles Walzer with their partners dressed in white tie.
The artistic director of the night, Daniel Serafin presented a fabulous operatic concert with Ewa Płonka, Limmie Pulliam, Michael Spyres and Corinne Winters performing alongside a full orchestra conducted by Matthias Fletzberger. At Midnight, a fun Quadrille began, livening up the dance floor until 4am.
This Year’s Charitable Cause
Every year the Viennese Opera Ball supports some of the most important charitable causes of New York and Vienna. This year, the proceeds from the event will benefit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center music therapy program through the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research created by Denise Rich.
The honorary chair of this year’s gala was the governor and mayor of Vienna, Austria, the honorable Michael Ludwig. Among the distinguished guests were members of the organizing committee of the gala, including, Janna Bullock, Joanna Fisher, Ana Saucedo, Randi Schatz, Marisa Rose Van Bokhorst, Florence Hvorostovsky and Ann Ziff. The Junior Chairs of the night were Emily Mohr and Colgate Rumbough; The Junior Vice Chair was Briana Lestage. Also present at the gala were Star Jones, Ricardo Lugo, John Paulson, Karlheinz Muhr, Martin Shafiroff, Hikmet Ersek, actress Samantha Mathis, Lukas Barwinski-Brown, Trisha Willis, John Willis, Diandra Douglas, Sandra Stockmayer, Agnieszka, Witold Balaban and U.S. Military Academy West Point Cadets who marched in with flags representing America, Austria, and the European Union before singing the three respective anthems.
The beautiful debutantes of the wonderful night were: Aimee Anne-Caroline Auguin, Natalie Aldridge, Rachel Barcellona, Despina Drougas, Rachel Engelberg (from Vienna, Austria), Clara Heupgen, Asia Hickman, Katherine Kuhl, Luisa Majnoni d’Intignano, Anastacia Grace Weyerhaeuser McCarthy Markoe, Christiane McCabe, Olivia Maria McNaughten, Yaelle Shaked (from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Doris Winkler (from Vienna, Austria).
Other Photos From The Event