Opera Gala Celebrates ‘La Bohème’ 

The Washington National Opera held its annual gala on May 12 to 13, with an evening of embassy dinners throughout Washington, D.C., a pre-performance cocktail reception, a performance of Puccini’s “La Bohème” and a post-performance reception at the Reach. WNO Opera Gala co-chairs were Ineke and Peter Kreeger and Rynthia Rost.

The events began May 12 with dinners, hosted by the following embassies and ambassadorial residences: Azerbaijan, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, the European Union and Norway.

The events continued on Saturday, May 13, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a pre-performance reception. Following the performance, gala attendees enjoyed a lavish reception at the Reach. The 1920s-inspired décor enlivened the Welcome and Skylight Pavilion, complete with French-themed food stations — beef Bourguignon, crab Louie, along with Napoleons and more — as well as champagne and espresso martini bars. The jazz band and can-can dancers beguiled the crowd.

WNO General Director Timothy O’Leary and Artistic Director Francesca Zambello were present to welcome more than 600 guests. “La Bohème” artists, including Gabriella Reyes, Kang Wang, Jacqueline Echols, Gihoon Kim, conductor Alevtina Ioffe, and musicians from the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, were present. 

Additional VIPs in attendance at the gala included WNO Chairman Eric Larsen and his wife Susi, members of the WNO Board leadership, various diplomats and leaders from our corporate sponsors.

The event raised more than $1.1 million for the Washington National Opera. 

“La Bohème” runs through May 27 at the Kennedy Center — “in memory of Calvin Cafritz.”


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