by Diane Malone
28 May 2010

Caroline Digonis Placido Domingo

   The Latin Society dazzled New York City last night at their annual El Museo Gala held at Ciprianis 42nd Street.  This year’s honorees were Opera legend Placido Domingo receiving a special lifetime achievement award and Tony Bechara, the museum’s long-serving board chairman, receiving a special leadership award.  Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta filled in as Master of Ceremonies for a recovering Barbara Walters, who expressed herself in the form of a letter read by Oscar de la Renta to the packed society crowd.  Among the highlights of Barbara Walters tribute in writing were “Only an injured heart would keep me from being with you tonight” and the fact that Placido Domingo refers to her as “Santa Barbara”…”the only time anyone has called me a saint”.
   The evening was sponsored by Gala chairs Yaz and Valentin Hernandez and Renee and Alvaro Domingo.  The evening raised over one million dollars for the El Museo organization.

placido domingo caroline digonis

   The annual El Museo Gala included a dramatic white carpet display, tables decorated with oversized silver and Lucite candlesticks, and the 13–piece Bob Hardwick orchestra that provided latin dance music late into the night.  The menu began with risotto with Spanish saffron, followed by seared scallops with black bean salsa garnished with micro greens and cilantro, and tostones.  Desserts included guava, lemon, and coconut sorbet decorated with pomegranate seeds in a chocolate shell and passion fruit sauce, as well as flan.  The evening concluded with guests dancing on Cipriani’s magnificent ballroom dance floor.

caroline digonis placido domingo

   The El Museo del Barrio organization, founded in 1969, is New York’s leading Latino cultural institution.  Located at the top of the Museum Mile, in New York City, the El Museo del Barrio institution is the only museum that celebrates Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures.  The El Museo del Barrio Museum is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street.  

   All Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2010