Event Recap: Opera Lafayette 2023 Gala Kick Off

On February 7, 2023,  Maria Eugenia Maury and William A. Haseltine welcomed friends at their art-filled upper east side residence for a chamber concert by Opera Lafayette and to announce plans for a May 9th Gala chaired by the indominable Barbara Tober.

Guests were treated to excerpts from the 18th century opera comique La Servante Maitresse by Pergolesi with soprano Hannah De Priest and pianist Aya Hamada, led by conductor Patrick Dupre Quigley which Opera Lafayette had performed the before at Kennedy Center.


William Haseltine and Barbara Tober warmly welcomed sixty guests including Opera Lafayette’s co-chariman, Dr. Nizam Peter Kettaneh and  Afsaneh Akhtari, Yanna Avis, Peter Bacanovic,  Edgar Batista, Tony Bechara, Ludmila and J. Truman Bidwell, Joan Hardy Clark, Wendy Diamond, Jill Esterman, Mark Fichandler, Maria and Kenneth Fishel, Carole and John French III, Boo Grace,  Susan Gutfreund, Margaret and Gregory Hedberg, Sharon King Hoge, Urban Karlsson and Juan Montoya, Michele Gerber Klein,  Jeanne Lawrence, Helen and William Little, Merri Moken,  Princess Caroline Murat and Antoine Turzi., Marc Rosen, Sana Sabbagh, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Sculco, and Shining Sung.


Opera Lafayette May 9th gala will present two short opéra-ballets: Pierre de La Garde’s Léandre et Héro, originally performed by Madame de Pompadour herself, and the world premiere of Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s Io with costumes by Machine Dazzle (a protégé of Mrs. Tober). The renowned soprano, Emmanuelle de Negri, and, in his American debut, tenor Maxime Melnik, in the title roles. Their performance at El Museo del Barrio is followed by dinner next-door at The Museum of the City of New York with a royal guest from France, Princess Chantal d’Orléans. This evening kicks off a joyous three-day celebration of French baroque music.

Photos by: Jared Siskin/PMC

About Opera Lafayette

Opera Lafayette is the pre-eminent American interpreter and producer of period-instrument opera from the 17th through the 19th centuries and an international leader in this repertoire. Based on meticulous research and the creation of modern performing editions, the company’s compelling performances and recordings of rediscovered gems and historical masterpieces highlight the works’ original appeal and introduce a new generation to their contemporary relevance. Opera Lafayette is the only opera company to perform full seasons in both Washington, DC and New York City.

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