fbpx

A NIGHT INSPIRED BY ‘AIDA’: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 68TH ANNUAL VIENNESE OPERA BALL

68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York.

The 68th Annual Viennese Opera Ball, held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, marked a glamorous and culturally rich celebration, uniting distinguished guests from across the globe in support of a noble cause. This year’s event honored Sabine Riglos and benefitted the music therapy programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with additional support from Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. Organized under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce by Executive Director Silvia Frieser and The Event Atelier, the ball maintained its reputation as the oldest and most prestigious Viennese Opera Ball outside of Vienna.

The gala, themed “A Night inspired by ‘Aida’”, drew inspiration from Giuseppe Verdi’s famed opera, “Aida,” and was led by the artistic direction of Daniel Serafin with Austrian conductor Maestro Vinicius Kattah at the helm. The evening’s performances featured a star-studded lineup, including Grammy Award-Winners Leah Crocetto and Lucas Meachem, as well as acclaimed opera stars Limmie Pulliam, Christian Pursell, and Johanna Will, delivering captivating arias that transported guests to the grandeur of Verdi’s ancient Egypt.

Silvia Frieser, Jean Shafiroff, Ambassador Petra Schneebauer, Denise Rich and Sabine Riglos attend The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC/PMC)

Gala chairs Denise Rich and Jean Shafiroff, alongside vice chairs Peter Thomas Roth and Sylvia Hemingway, ensured the event’s success, attracting over 400 guests from diverse backgrounds. Notable attendees included author Candace Bushnell, Austrian Airlines CCO Michael Trestl, and numerous diplomatic figures such as Austrian Ambassador to the United States Petra Schneebauer and Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations Ambassador Alexander Marschik.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of debutantes and their escorts, a tradition that adds a timeless elegance to the ball. The debutantes, including Inuri Abeysekara, Quentin Alain Alexandre, and Clara Regina Heupgen, among others, performed a beautifully choreographed dance to “The Egyptian March” by Johann Strauss II. This performance, crafted by Vienna Dance School Svabek under the guidance of Sandra Stockmayer and Roman Svabek, showcased the grace and poise of the young participants, enhancing the evening’s splendor.

Trisha Willis, Lieutenant Colonel John Willis and Naval Officers attend The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC)

The Viennese Opera Ball is renowned for its ability to blend cultural heritage with contemporary charm, and this year’s event was no exception. Attendees were treated to a midnight quadrille, a Presentation of Colors by Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy, and various other delightful surprises, creating an atmosphere of enchantment and sophistication. The presence of esteemed guests such as Deputy Commissioner Kristen Edgreen Kaufman from the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and fashion designer Carolin Sinemus further underscored the event’s prestige and international appeal.

Candace Bushnell and Jean Shafiroff attend The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC)

The Untitled Magazine’s editor-in-chief Indira Cesarine attended the ball wearing a bespoke couture gown by VERDAVAINNE on behalf of the publication, underscoring her commitment to supporting charitable causes and celebrating artistic achievements.

Sponsors and donors played a crucial role in the success of the ball, with contributions from City of Vienna, Erste Group Bank AG, Esterhazy Foundation, Austrian Airlines, and more. Luxury brands and artisans, such as IKRAA Caviar, Peter Thomas Roth Skincare, and artist Pablo Meier-Schaumburg, added to the evening’s opulence, providing guests with exquisite gifts and experiences.

Since its inception in 1955, the Viennese Opera Ball in New York has served as a cultural bridge, connecting 19th-century Viennese traditions with the modern vibrancy of New York City. By honoring Austria and America’s cultural and economic ties, the ball not only celebrates the past but also fosters a sense of unity and elegance that resonates across generations. This year’s celebration at The Plaza Hotel once again affirmed the ball’s role as a beacon of cultural sophistication and philanthropic generosity in the city that never sleeps.

Elton Ilirjani attends The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC) 
Johanna Will attends The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC)
Miguel Riglos and Sabine Riglos attend The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC/PMC) 
Katya Tolstova attends The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC) 
Silvia Frieser attends The 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Udo Salters/PMC/PMC) 
Indira Cesarine attends the 68th Viennese Opera Ball, A Night Inspired By ‘Aida’ at The Plaza on May 10, 2024 in New York.

Where Art, Fashion & Culture Collide

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.