Over 600 opera aficionados — including world renowned performers Martina Arroyo, Marilyn Horne, James Morris, Anna Netrebko, Teresa Stratas and Deborah Voigt — attended the sold-out 81st Annual Metropolitan Opera Guild Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria on Friday, November 13. This year’s honorees – Grace Bumbry, Mirella Freni, Sherrill Milnes, and Renata Scotto – were acknowledged for the 50th anniversary of their Met debuts and legendary contributions to the opera community. Musical and spoken tributes were delivered by Plácido Domingo, James Levine and Peter Gelb in celebration of this golden anniversary.
“Not only was the event an opportunity to commemorate the extraordinary life’s work of these four honorees, but 2015 also marks another glorious anniversary — that of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, which is 80 years young,” said Richard J. Miller, Jr. President of The Metropolitan Opera Guild. “Our lineup of educational programs, which proceeds from the luncheon support, is a fantastic way to bring opera into schools and children into the opera house. As we look to the future, we are excited to carry on the Guild’s legacy, as well as continue to enrich lives through opera.”
In addition to the incomparable performance delivered by Plácido Domingo and the speeches given by James Levine and Peter Gelb, the luncheon was able to raise $600,000 to benefit the numerous educational programs of The Metropolitan Opera Guild that are designed to enrich student’s lives through an awareness and deeper appreciation of opera.
Among the other illustrious attendees: Kelly Foster Shapiro, Director, Media Communications, Rolex USA; Giovanni Mattera, President, de Grisogono Jewelry; Mrs. Schuyler G. Chapin, Diane and Marc Chazaud, Judith-Ann Corrente, Edmée de M. Firth and Nicholas Firth, Carole Bailey French and John French, John Hargraves and Nancy Newcomb, Mrs. Kerryn King, Ellen Marcus, Carol and Richard J. Miller, Jr., Susan F. and William C. Morris, Win and Mary Rutherfurd, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Langdon van Norden, Jr., and Ann Ziff.
The 81st annual luncheon was sponsored by President’s Circle Sponsor, the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation and BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Representatives from both organizations were also present to honor this year’s award winners.
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The Metropolitan Opera Guild is the world’s premier arts education organization dedicated to enriching people’s lives through the magic and artistry of opera. The Guild fosters personal expression, confidence, literacy and collaboration in children with customized education programs integrated into the curriculum of their schools, and builds a deeper appreciation of opera in adults through workshops and community programs, and by publishing Opera News, the world’s leading opera magazine. Through its unique relationship with the Metropolitan Opera, the Guild offers all audiences unique access to the artists, performances and majesty of one of the world’s most renowned performing arts companies. For more information about The Metropolitan Opera Guild and its programs, visit metguild.org.