Palm Beach Opera presented distinguished tenor Matthew Polenzani at its 2019 Gala, the company’s largest fundraising event, at Manalapan’s award-winning resort Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa on March 2.
Praised by The New York Times for his “ardor, richness and power,” Polenzani has starred in more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, and boasts a repertoire of diverse performances at leading operatic and concert venues worldwide.
The evening began in the Ocean Ballroom with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. After the reception, guests moved into the Grand Ballroom and were welcomed by General Director Daniel Biaggi, who thanked all in attendance and celebrated Gala Chairs Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton.
The exclusive and intimate concert featuring Matthew Polenzani and pianist Anthony Manoli began at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom. Polenzani performed popular opera arias, art songs and pieces from famed musicals, and was joined by Palm Beach Opera’s Benenson Young Artists and Apprentice Artists for a special surprise appearance.
After the concert, guests enjoyed a delectable three-course dinner in the Grand Ballroom, adorned with cherry blossom-inspired décor and twinkling lights. Gala Chairs Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton welcomed and thanked all supporters and attendees, recognized the evening’s artists, and gave special recognition to Palm Beach Opera’s board members, executive leadership, and staff.
General Director Daniel Biaggi recognized the Gala Host Committee and the new Gala Council, and announced the 2020 Gala artist. Bass-baritone Christian Van Horn will headline the 2020 Gala at the Breakers Palm Beach next year.
“Our continued ability to present leading operatic talent from around the world is a testament to Palm Beach Opera’s sustainability, growth, and rising reputation,” said General Director Daniel Biaggi. “Matched with our growing subscriber family and our recently announced 19-20 season, we have much to celebrate – and even more to look forward to.”
Following Biaggi’s announcements, Gala Chairs Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton were presented with a gift by Managing Director David Walker.
“We are immensely proud of our Gala Chairs Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton, whose passion and commitment have been instrumental to the incredible success of our gala,” said Managing Director David Walker. “Thanks to their extraordinary leadership, along with the support from our Gala Host Committee, we were able to share Matthew Polenzani’s esteemed artistry with Palm Beach, and surpass our overall fundraising goal, marking one of the most successful gala events in Palm Beach Opera’s recent history.”
The evening concluded with dancing and live music provided by Wonderama.
Gala sponsors and underwriters in attendance included Gala Chairmen Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton; Gala Council Lee Ann and Jeffrey H. Alderton, Veronica Atkins, Sanford Baklor and Arlene Kaufman, Meg and Robert Biscup, Rebecca and Randell Doane, Isanne and Sanford Fisher, Joan and David Genser, Dorothy and Sidney Kohl, Marsha and Henry Laufer, Frayda Lindemann, Ari Rifkin, Toni and Martin Sosnoff, and Roseanne and Dennis Williams; Grand Gala Underwriter Veronica Atkins; Matthew Polenzani Underwriters Isanne and Sanford Fisher; Anthony V. Manoli Underwriters Toni and Martin Sosnoff; Benenson Young & Apprentice Artists Underwriter Frayda Lindemann; Platinum Sponsors Marsha & Henry Laufer; Major Sponsors Dinner Hosts & Décor Underwriters Sanford Baklor and Arlene Kaufman; Cocktail Reception Underwriters Dorothy and Sidney Kohl; Gold Sponsors Lee Ann and Jeffrey H. Alderton, Meg and Robert Biscup, Rebecca and Randell Doane, Joan and David Genser, Ari Rifkin, and Roseanne and Dennis K. Williams; Silver Sponsors Anne Bazik, Solange and William G. Brown, and Mickey and Allan Greenblatt; Evening Music and Entertainment Underwriters Ann and Robert Fromer; Gold Aria Underwriters Carol and Sander Abend; Host committee Reception Underwriters Lee Ann and Jeffrey H. Alderton, ESCADA, and Toni and Martin Sosnoff; Gala Keepsake Underwriters Michael McCafferty and Joseph Horton; Silver Aria Underwriter Elizabeth Bowden; Bronze Sponsors Susan and John Connor, Hermé de Wyman Miro, Sandra and Gerald Fineberg, Miriam Flamm, Annette Friedland, Judy and James Harpel, Ingrid Kosowsky, Rhea and Morton Mandell, Lynn and John Pohanka, Lynn Joy and Meyer Sapoff, Lynn and Ed Streim, and Ann Ziff; Couple’s Sponsors Naomi Alexandroff-Brest and David M. Kaplan, Cynthia and Theodore Berenson, Arlene Blau, Andrea and Ken Brodlieb, David Brodsky, Mike Chefetz and Nancy Feldman, John H. Coats, Daniel Cochran and Gregory Sutphin, Louise Cohen, Margaret Duffy and Eugene Gaughan, Wendy and Elliott Eisen, Billie and Louis Feher, Arlette Gordon, Carla and David Herwitz, Linda and Peter Hoffman, Olga and Eric Jorgensen, Florence Kaufman, Judy and Jerry Kaufman, Lynn and Charles Kramer, Lorraine and Doug McMillen, Wilma and Charles Mooney, Helen and Louis Nicozisis, John J. Raggio and Donna Kesselman Raggio, Jane and John Shalam, Liane Strauss and James Finkel, and Marc Wise and Mariano Morales; Patron Sponsors Rona Forstadt, Sandra Krakoff, Stephen Mattola, and Sieglinde Wikstrom.
Corporate sponsors included EAU Palm Beach, Escada and Jupiter Medical Center. Other guests included The Honorable Jeri Muoio and Mr. Charles Muoio, and Maestro David Stern and Katta Stern.
Bronze Sponsors Nathan Leventhal and Katherine E. Brown, Marc S. Solomon, and Melissa Sullivan; Couple’s Sponsors Merrill and Charles Gottesman, Monica and Scott Laurans, Nancy and Ellis J. Parker, Fred Tepperman and Barbara Goldfarb Tepperman, and Mark Walter and Lawrence Jarema; Patron Sponsors Patsy and George Conrades, and Anka Palitz did not attend the event.
Palm Beach Opera is dedicated to producing live opera at an international standard of excellence and to enriching the life of the communities it serves with a diverse offering of educational programs. Founded in 1961, the fully professional Palm Beach Opera presents main stage performances at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach and is a proud member of OPERA America and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.