Sunday, May 30, 2004

Cincinnati May Festival Gala

[IMAGE] May Festival Friends president Patty Misrach on the dance floor with her husband, Ivan.
(Philip Groshong photo)
The Cincinnati May Festival, the oldest continuing choral festival in the Western Hemisphere, opened its 131st year with back-to-back black-tie galas in Music Hall.

First was the opening night dinner, chaired by Dr. Cora Ogle and sponsored by Merrill Lynch. The evening welcomed 220 guests who purchased the $75 tickets to enjoy pre-performance cocktails, a performance of Handel's Messiah and dinner in Corbett Tower.

Next came a salute to Maestro James Conlon's 25 years of leading the May Festival. The 520 guests paid $100 each to attend the tribute.

The Conlon gala, chaired by Chris Neyer, featured a pre-concert reception and a performance of the works of Wagner, followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing in the Music Hall Ballroom.

Neyer and Steven Monder, May Festival executive director, presented Conlon with an oil painting of his likeness. The series of hearty toasts to the maestro concluded with a lively, albeit totally reworded, singing of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

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