November 2007

Holiday14 Nov 2007 11:02 pm

by Lucy Foster
15 November 2007

  The holiday season begins the Friday after Thanksgiving when the South Street Seaport holds the annual lighting of their Chorus Tree. The 50 foot plus tree is decorated with thousands of white lights with the Big Apple Chorus providing the festive holiday carols. The annual event attracts thousands of New Yorkers and has been an annual tradition for over 20 years now. The holiday activities continues through December 24th with free 45 minute concerts by the Big Apple Chorus every Friday at 6 pm and 7 pm and Saturday and Sundays at 3 pm and 4 pm. On Christmas Eve, a special performance is held. In addition, Santa makes several appearances throughout the season and you’re invited to take free photographs of your children with the jolly old fellow. In addition, the South Street Seaport provides fantastic views of New York and is considered one of the citys top tourist attractions. The historic atmosphere provides a perfect shopping experience within the multi-level Seaport Marketplace where hundreds of restaurants, cafes, and retail stores will make your holiday shopping a breeze. Visit the South Street Seaport website for more information about Santa’s scheduled appearances.

Special Events05 Nov 2007 03:56 pm

by Diane Malone
4 Nov 2007

asher fisch

On November 4th, 2007, Maestro Asher Fisch conducted members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society at their 33rd annual Richard Tucker Awards Gala held at Avery Fisher Hall, in New York City, to a sold-out house. This years Richard Tucker Award winner was 36–year-old Brandon Jovanovich who received the foundations $30,000 top prize for being the most promising American opera singer to emerge. diana damrau digonis
The evening included a fantastic array of vocal talents, including Renee Fleming, Maria Guleghina, Diana Damrau, Simon Keenlyside, Matthew Polenzani, Eric Cutler, Brandon Jovanovich and last minute replacements: Joyce Di Donato, Andrzej Dobber, and Luciana D’Intino.
Among the highlights of the Gala was Soprano Diana Damrau who gave the audience a vocally wonderful and energetic performance of “Glitter and Be Gay” from Bernstein’s Candide. The audience loved her soaring high notes and vocal ease as she twirled around on the stage.

renee fleming digonis Joyce Di Donato and Renee Fleming joined forces to perform “Ah, guarda, sorella” from Mozarts Cosi Fan Tutte that was another high point of the Gala showcasing both their vocal talents. The audience loved Renee Fleming’s rich beautiful tones. Joyce Di Donato also performed an amazing “Una voce poco fa” from the Barbiere di Siviglia that was a sheer delight, making the audience appreciate her flying in from Switzerland at the last minute to join her colleagues.

eric cutler

Baritone Simon Keenlyside, performed a memorable “Prologue” from Pagliacci. Eric Cutler (seen right), the 2005 Richard Tucker Award winner, performed a beautifully phrased “A leve-toi soleil” from Romeo et Juliette.
The fast-paced gala is held every November and showcases both previous and emerging Richard Tucker Award winners. The Richard Tucker Award has been the “dream prize” of many opera singers and has the reputation of furthering careers.

All Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2007

Special Events01 Nov 2007 05:13 pm

by Diane Malone
30 Oct 2007

lauren bacall

  Cipriani’s at 42nd street built in 1921 was once home to the Bowery bank. The elegant landmark interior features 65 foot high vaulted ceilings, gorgeous chandeliers, towering marble columns and beautiful space for entertaining.
  Over 500 guests made their way into this Italian renaissance interior bank turned banquet hall, to pay tribute to six New Yorkers at the annual fall New York Living Landmarks Celebration Gala on October 30th.
  Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, welcomed this years honorees “for preserving New York in their own legendary ways”. The six honorees were screen legend Lauren Bacall, Opera diva Jessye Norman, fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, interior designer Mica Ertegun, chairman of the Shubert Organization Gerald Schoenfeld and the chairman of the Goldman Sachs Foundation John C. Whitehead. lauren bacall
  Screen legend, Lauren Bacall arrived with her son Stephen Bacall and her daughter-in-law. She mingled with guests and graciously posed for the media scattered throughout the grand hall. Nathan Lane provided a very humorous tribute to Lauren Bacall that had everyone laughing. Upon accepting her award, Lauren Bacall mentioned how she encourages the work of the New York Landmarks Conservancy and their mission of preserving the great old landmark buildings throughout the city. Lauren Bacall also mentioned how she has been living in a landmark building for over 40 years and prefers the old landmarks over the renovated buildings. lauren bacall
  Opera legend Jessye Norman expressed her appreciation for the award by treating the audience to a sampling of her thrilling voice performing a part of the song “New York, New York”.
  Liz Smith was the hostess of the event and brought the evening together with a sense of family. Previous honorees attended including Commissioner Ray Kelly, Sidney Lumet, Elaine Stritch, Howard Rubenstein, Mike Wallace, Candice Bergen, Beth DeWoody, Arnold Scaasi, Anna Wintour, Peggy Siegal, Helen Gurley Brown and Peter Duchin who provided the musical entertainment.oscar de la renta digonis
  Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta was all smiles and came with Annette de la Renta, her daughter Eliza and their son-in-law Alex Bolen.
  Other highlights of the evening included Patti LuPone performing her version of the song “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” changing “Roses” to “Gerry” in tribute to Gerald Schoenfeld. 
  The evening raised $750,000 for the New York Landmarks Conservancy and will help the organization continue  “preserving, revitalizing, and reusing New York’s architecturally significant buildings”. 

All photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2007