Palm Beach Opera presented renowned tenor Piotr Beczała at its annual gala, the company’s largest fundraising event, at The Breakers Palm Beach on Feb. 6.
One of the most sought-after tenors of our time, Beczała has performed at many of the leading opera houses around the world and is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera. Opera News, the largest classical music and opera publication in North America, celebrates the Polish-born artist for having “the kind of voice you want to hang medals on.”
The evening began with a lavish cocktail reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvres in the Venetian Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. followed by an intimate performance inside the Mediterranean Ballroom. The exclusive concert featured Beczała in recital with pianist Bryan Wagorn, who serves as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and regularly performs across the country and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician, and recital accompanist to opera’s biggest stars. The star tenor performed opera arias from notable career performances, including the famed aria “Nessum Dorma” from “Turandot” as the finale.
Palm Beach Opera’s talented resident artists also made several appearances in the recital. In selected arias, Beczała shared the stage with PBO’s Benenson Young Artists and Bailey Apprentice Artists who performed as the chorus, and with Benenson Young Artists Alexandra Razskazoff and Meridian Prall in two duets.
Following the performance, guests moved back into the Venetian Ballroom for a delectable three-course dinner. Before the first course, Gala Chairs Charles and Merrill Gottesman thanked all supporters and attendees. PBO General & Artistic Director David Walker also commended the evening’s artists and gave special recognition to the Gala Co-Chairs, Gala Host Committee, Gala Council, and PBO’s board and staff.
“The incredible commitment and leadership of our Gala Chairs, Gala Host Committee and Gala Council have helped make Palm Beach Opera’s 2023 Gala an extraordinary success. To be able to present such an illustrious artist like Piotr Beczała is a testament to PBO’s community support, sustainability and growth, and rising reputation,” said Walker. “Matched with PBO’s unique ability to provide an unforgettable evening of artistry without any additional fundraising activities, Palm Beach Opera is poised for another successful season and a bright future.”
Walker also shared with attendees that the company’s 2024 Gala will feature international opera star Isabel Leonard on Feb. 5 at The Breakers next year.
The evening concluded with dancing and live music provided by Powerhouse: Next Generation.
Gala sponsors and underwriters include but not limited to Gala Chairs Merrill and Charles Gottesman; Grand Gala Sponsor Veronica Atkins; Gala Council members Carole and Stefano Acunto, Lee and Jeffrey Alderton, Veronica Atkins, Sanford Baklor, Meg and Robert Biscup, William and Solange Brown, Robert and Julie Desnick, Randell and Rebecca Doane, Isanne and Sanford Fisher, Ann and Robert Fromer, David and Joan Genser, Merrill and Charles Gottesman, Judy and Jerry Kaufman, Sidney and Dorothy Kohl, Marsha and Henry Laufer, Frayda Lindemann, Donna and John Raggio, Ari Rifkin, Marc Solomon, Toni and Martin Sosnoff, and Dennis and Roseanne Williams. The complete list of sponsors and underwriters is available at pbopera.org.
Palm Beach Opera is dedicated to producing live opera at an international standard of excellence, to enriching the life of the communities it serves with a diverse offering of educational programs, and to training the next generation of opera stars. 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.