The Gracie Mansion is hosting a gala to benefit its preservation and celebrate Met opera chief Gelb

A galaxy of New York City’s influential, wealthy and generous figures gathered at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, on November 16 to support and raise funds for the sanctuary of the same name by honoring the late Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and the late Gracie Mansion Sanctuary Company. -Founder Joan K. Davidson. The city-owned property has been designated a “People’s House” since 2002 due to its accessibility to the public and its role in hosting members of the city’s various diverse communities.

Ticket prices ranged from a single ticket costing US$2,750 to a VIP ticket package of 10 for the Gold Sponsor costing US$50,000.

The evening began with cocktails and canapes provided by Lagos, a West African restaurant located in Times Square named after Nigeria’s largest city. Adams came to dinner to introduce Gelb. Also in attendance were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Queens Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar, and PIX11 anchor Jay Dow, the evening’s emcee.

Dinner was served at round tables in the mansion’s stately blue foyer, accessed through a set of heavy wooden doors. Since the event was held during Diwali week, Indian cuisine featured heavily. The menu included dishes such as A piece of tea, A dessert invented in the Mughal palace kitchens that contains slices of bread covered in diluted milk. “In the theme of celebrating diversity and upholding the standards of yesteryear, we have invited America’s first Michelin-starred Indian chef (Hemant Mathur) to create tonight’s menu,” said Rhonda Binda, Executive Director of the Gracie Mansion Institute and former Queens MP. The head of the town.

As Executive Director, Benda oversees all fundraising, preservation, events and community outreach related to Gracie Mansion. She, Adams, and a group of city officials who spoke at the event emphasized the importance of the mansion as a link between New Yorkers and the city’s heritage and a place where New York’s cultures are celebrated. “We want to allow people to feel the energy and symbolism of Gracie Mansion,” Eric Adams said in his remarks. “Seeing places that were once considered off-limits but now accessible is life-changing.” He proceeded to name some of the communities that Gracie Mansion hosted during his tenure as mayor, including celebrations of Arab Americans, Polish Americans, Jewish Americans, and others.

“The venue for these events is important, because their legacy is recognized in the official residence of the person who makes decisions every day for 12 million New Yorkers,” Benda said, finally sitting down to enjoy dinner after attending to some urgent theater management errands. . “If you care about New York City, you should care about this house because it represents the best of New York’s civic and cultural history.”

Gelb, who has led the Metropolitan Opera since 2006, stressed his commitment to diversifying operatic works on stage and generating new excitement by presenting operas from active composers and librettists. “We are committed to making the Met as modern and exciting a cultural institution for people living in the city as possible,” he said.

The event was as much a celebration of New York’s opera and arts scene as it was Gracie Mansion. Angel Blue, the Grammy Award-winning soprano, entertained the audience live art, Tune from Giacomo Puccini’s 1900 opera Tosca. Life of art “The song is sung by the main character, who is an opera singer herself, and talks about how she lives for art,” Angel explained. But the song’s context is fraught with drama and bloodshed. Tosca sings it to gain the sympathy of Scarpia, the evil police chief who has just sent her lover Cavaradossi to the firing squad. When he sets the price for saving Cavaradossi—her body for one night—she agrees, then stabs him to death and escapes with the letter of pardon (which turns out to be fake).

Mezzo-soprano Caitlin McMonigle sang Climb every mountain From the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical sound of Music A modern rendition of To Havana From the opera Georges Bizet Carmen. She was followed by Kamal Sabri, an Indian classical musician who sang and played traditional Hindi songs SarangiIt is a short-necked, three-stringed instrument from the Mughal era known for its resemblance to the human voice. He comes from a family that has mastered the instrument for seven generations.

Joan K. was honored. Davidson, one of the founders of the reserve, by her son Matthew. He said: “She lived 90 years not for herself but for the common good.” “If you’re looking for a memorial to her, just look around.” After dinner, attendees gathered in a large staircase, where party favors (Estee Lauder products) were in small paper bags waiting to be picked up.

(Tags for translation) Nicholas Liu

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