December 2007

Special Events04 Dec 2007 01:26 pm

by Diane Malone
3 Dec 2007

valery gergiev

  On Monday, December 3rd, Maestro Valery Gergiev brought the annual “White Nights Gala” to the majestic American Museum of Natural History for an evening of musical celebration. The event celebrated the 225th Anniversary Season of the Mariinsky Theatre and the 200th Anniversary of U.S.-Russian Diplomatic Relations. 
  The event began with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. that was held in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda around the towering 100’ tall cast replica of a Barosaurus, one of the rarest dinosaurs and only one of its kind on view anywhere in the world. Among the attendees were Valery Gergiev (artistic director of the White Nights Gala), Selwa “lucky” Roosevelt, Donald M. Kendall, fashion icon Mary Mcfadden, Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina, James D. Wolfensohn, and Sandy Weill; all supporters of the White Nights Foundation of America.

history museum caroline digonis

  After cocktails, guests made their way to the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life where the concert and dinner took place under a massive model of a 94’ long blue whale.  
  Under the baton of Valery Gergiev, the Kirov Orchestra performed sweepingly beautiful selections of works by Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Saint-Saens, Straus, Wagner and Prokofiev. The audience became enchanted with the orchestrations that Maestro Gergiev brought to life with the twist of his baton. Among the thrilling selections included the Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Waltz from the Nutcracker, the Montague and Capulets’ from Romeo and Juliet, the overture to Die Fledermaus, and the overture to La forza del destino
  Performers from the Mariinsky Academy for Young Singers, entertained the audience as well. The performers were Alexei Tanovitski, Sergei Semishkur, Ekaterina Semenchuk, and Alexej Markov. All gifted interpreters of dramatic selections.
valery gergiev  Descending the stairs, from the second level, came Ulyana Lopatkina, the principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet. The audience was still as she gracefully performed “The Dying Swan” flawlessly. It was a spectacular piece to watch and the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
  Over 250 guests attended and helped to raise $ 900,000 to support the White Nights Foundation of America. The foundation, formed in 1999, uses the contributions “to support the activities of the Mariinsky Theatre’s constituent institutions: The Kirov Opera, Ballet, and Orchestra and the Academy for Young Singers and the Young Musicians’ Orchestra” according to the White Nights Foundation.
  Valery Gergiev is both the Artistic Director and the Principal Conductor of the Kirov Opera. He became the Artistic and General Director of the Marinsky theatre in 1996.

valery gergiev


All Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2007





Holiday01 Dec 2007 09:19 am

by Lucy Foster
1 Dec 2007

   What would the holidays be without the innovative and creative displays that are sprinkled throughout the famed windows of the best of the major retail department stores to be found in New York City. Whatever the new trend, movie theme or current statement, the displays are filled with imaginative wonder. Here’s a list of my favorite stores to check out during the season:

1– Macy’s – always a traditional delight complete with animated figures, this is a miniature wonderland and my favorite of the windows to visit. Located at 34th Street and Broadway you can’t miss the white lit tree streaming down the facade of this landmark. The windows are always a timeless masterpiece. This year the theme in the six grand windows is “Santa’s Big Night” which was a colorfully clever display incorporating the window gazers into the wintery mix.

2– Lord & Taylor - the second best holiday windows with classic animated stories to visit and is located at 424 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street. The details are picture perfect from every angle and the photos you take here will prove it. This store display is worth visiting after hours so you can take in all the details without the crowded line rushing you along. 

3– Saks Fifth Avenue – located at 611 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street this popular attraction is a perfect stop to visit when you are visiting the City’s grand Rockefeller Center tree. The 2007 theme is promoting their book, Snowpeople, written by Rick and Ryan Zeeb, with part of the proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign. Snowmen were out in force in these windows to help out with the sale of the book and the very worthy charity which the store has donated to for the second year in a row. The windows are very seuss-like and whimsical. It made me journey into the store to purchase the book!    

4– FAO Schwarz – a fairly newcomer that began its first holiday window display in 1998 with the theme “Babe in Toyland” is located at 58th & Fifth. The decorations and designs of this fantastic toy store is bound each year to be reflected in their choice of window decor. Within this whimsical wonderland, a giant Santa created entirely of Legos greets you. FAO Schwarz was the very first retailer to have a live Santa Claus featured in their store. 

5– Barney’s – this is the modern holiday windows that usually have a statement behind their creations. This year the theme is the “Twelve Green Days of Christmas” and “Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer” which was made out of tin cans that the store purchased from homeless people. These windows are usually humorously clever and are located at 61st and Madison. 

6– Bloomingdale’s – Elegantly detailed holiday windows inspired by popular themes from either fairy tales to films to around the world displays. Located at 1000 Third Avenue at 59th Street. This year the theme is inspired by children’s artwork in collaboration with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.

7– Tiffany & Co. – The four windows are usually filled with icy wonders and reflections of diamonds and jewels. Very elegant. Lots of silver and gold that makes you want to get out your jewelry or buy something new. Located at 57th & Fifth.

8– Bergdorf Goodman - Fashion and fantasy swirled together with beautiful gowns on mannequins in these stylish windows located at 58th and Fifth. This year’s theme is a tribute to the Tony Duquette, a Hollywood designer who passed away in 1999. Everything from jewels,to elephants, to water and light, the theme of “Earth” is present. 

9– Henri Bendel – Around since 1895, these oversized windows feature intricate dreamy designs of glittering gold and Swarovski crystals. This year a fantastic miniature Manhattan designed by artist Gatson Marticorena is on display. Located at 712 Fifth Avenue.