The Viennese Opera Ball, the oldest and most prestigious outside of Vienna, held its annual celebration for the 68th year at The Plaza Hotel in New York City with over 400 guests, under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and organized by Executive Director, Silvia Frieser and The Event Atelier. The Gala chairs for the evening were Denise Rich and Jean Shafiroff. This gala benefitted the music therapy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with support from Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and was “A Night inspired by Aida,” from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi led under the artistic direction of Daniel Serafin with Austrian conductor, Maestro Vinicius Kattah.

The vice chairs were Peter Thomas Roth and Sylvia Hemingway. Guests of Honor and Top opera stars performed arias from the opera Aida by Verdi including Grammy Award-Winners Leah Crocetto and Lucas Meachem, and acclaimed opera stars Limmie Pulliam, Christian Pursell and Johanna Will.

Other notable attendees included; Sabine Riglos (Honoree and Board member), author and journalist Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City Deputy Commissioner Kristen Edgreen Kaufman (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs),  Stefan Ottrubay (Chairman of the Board, Esterhazy Foundation), Michael Trestl (CCO, Austrian Airlines), Petra Schneebauer (Austrian Ambassador to the United States), Alexander Marschik (Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations), Wolfgang Rosam (Falstaff Magazine) and Angelika Rosam, Elisabeth Muhr and Karlheinz Muhr (Hallstein Water), Peter Hasslacher (Austrian Trade Commissioner NY), Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger (Austrian Cultural Forum NY), Klaus Panholzer (Schloss Schonbrunn), Austrian painter Pablo Meier-Schomburg, Austrian fashion designer Carolin Sinemus (Madl, Salzburg), Maribel LiebermanDavid HochbergElton IlirjaniLucia Hwong Gordon, Lady Liliana CavendishPatrick McMullan and Luisa Diaz.

The presentation of the debutantes and their escorts at the 68th Annual Ball included; Inuri Abeysekara, Quentin Alain Alexandre, Klavdija Bastl, Marius Bellando, Dennis Borzakov, Evi Burmberger, Piotr Chrzanowski, Albert Frank, Crystalina Xujing Guo, Penrose Hallowell, Rory Hallowell, Daniel Harrich, Clara Regina Heupgen, Karl Horler, Jan Filip Jagielski, Saya Jain, Louisa Klein-Boelting, Tobias Krause, Angelina Kurszyńska, Abigail Patience McClennan, Juliana Paul, Maximilian Rosam, Angela Soto, Lu Sun; beautiful choreography to The Egyptian March by Johann Strauss II was designed for the opening performance of the debutantes and escorts by Vienna Dance School Svabek, headed by Sandra Stockmayer and Roman Svabek.

Sponsors of the 68th Annual Viennese Opera Ball included: City of Vienna, Erste Group Bank AG, Esterhazy Foundation, Austrian Airlines, A.E. Koechert, Schloss Schoenbrunn.  Donors included: IKRAA CaviarGrande CosmeticsAugartenLobmeyrHotel Bristol, FretteMadl, Peter Thomas Roth SkincareTrapp Family Lodge and Brewery, Daniel EspinosaDelcore, Mariebelle New York, Pauli of Vienna, Dr. TEMT Skincare, Marlies Wagner, Helmut Koller, Riding Dinner Vienna, and paintings by Austrian artist Pablo Meier-Schaumburg, artist Fer Da Silva, and delicious Austrian wine makers ChristJohann DonabaumMarkowitschSchloss GobelsburgFamilie Strehn, Esterhazy, and Schlumberger.

The annual white tie charity gala honors Austria and America’s cultural and economic ties, uniting two continents, two cities, and two centuries in one glamorous evening. It was founded 68 years ago by Austrian immigrants to the United States as a tribute to both their former hometown Vienna and their host city, New York. The gala attracts an international audience that includes diplomats and dignitaries, international corporations, and professionals.

Since 1955, the Viennese Opera Ball in New York has been a representative of Vienna’s cultural legacy, elegance, and glamour in the Big Apple. The Ball operates as a cultural platform and builds bridges to connect present day New York City with 19th Century Vienna, and people of varying heritages, continents, and generations, to bring traditional glamour to the city that never sleeps.

3962243 Honor Guard with Trisha Willis, Lieutenant Colonel John Willis pc PMC Udo Salters

Allan Brown, Luisa Diaz Brown; Maribel Lieberman.