Panache Privee

Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Gala

 A scene from Lucia di Lammermoor.

In a star-studded event, the Met's 2007–08 season opened on September 24 with the premiere of a new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, directed by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman and conducted by James Levine. French soprano Natalie Dessay starred as the doomed title heroine, Marcello Giordani sang her lover Edgardo and Mariusz Kwiecien could be heard in the role of her brother Enrico. With the opera house packed to the ceiling, more than 2000 people had gathered on Lincoln Center Plaza to watch the performance, transmitted live onto a large screen that stretched across the center arches of the front of the opera house. Another several thousand had come to Times Square, which was blocked off to traffic, to enjoy the performance on three giant screens in what was truly a city-wide celebration of opera.

Among the celebrities from the worlds of theater, film, music, and politics who were attended the gala were actresses Jane Fonda, Blythe Danner, Vera Farmiga, and Mary-Louise Parker, directors Anthony Minghella, Bartlett Sher, and Adrian Noble, actors Willem Dafoe and Bob Balaban, TV personalities Barbara Walters, Walter Cronkite, and Charlie Rose, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Met Board member Mercedes Bass, fashion designers Calvin Klein and Zac Posen, publisher Jared Kushner, tennis legend John McEnroe, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, and opera stars Marilyn Horne, Anna Netrebko, Maria Guleghina, and Plácido Domingo.

Lucia director Mary Zimmerman and Metropolitan Opera general manager
Peter Gelb.

Anna Netrebko.

 Barbara Walters

Zac Posen.

 Jared Kushner.

Mayor Bloomberg.

  Georgette Mosbacher.

Cady Huffman.

Placido Domingo.

Bianca Jagger.

Giada Colagrande and William Dafoe.

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth.

Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga.

Walter Cronkite and Joanna Simon.

  Deborah Norville.

Mary Louise Parker.

Photos: Performance photo: Ken Howard. Red carpet photos: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Metropolitan Opera.
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