Cipriani 42nd Street Holds 66th Viennese Opera Ball - The Jewish Voice
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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Cipriani 42nd Street Holds 66th Viennese Opera Ball

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By Lieba Nesis

The Viennese Opera held its 66th ball on May 13th at Cipriani 42nd Street. Considered the most prestigious and oldest Viennese ball outside of Vienna the white tie gala was replete with men and women of all ages eager to dance the night away.  After a more than two year hiatus due to the pandemic the crowd came out in droves to celebrate the collaborative relationship between Vienna and the United States.

Jean and Martin Shafiroff (photo Lieba Nesis)

Gala chairs Jean Shafiroff and Denise Rich ensured it would be both elegant and well attended as the reasonably priced $1,100 tickets sold out briskly. There are few New York charities that offer a four course meal, spectacular entertainment and a breathtaking venue with music until 4 AM for under $2,000. Furthermore, proceeds from the event went towards the musical therapy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Ukrainian refugees. Unfortunately, Denise Rich, broke her leg and was unable to attend. However, revelry abounded as guests dressed in their best threads headed to the red carpet for the boisterous cocktail party with photographers feverishly snapping away. One of the most popular designers of the evening was Malan Breton who dressed a trio of svelte ladies including Jean Shafiroff, Silvia Frieser, and Consuelo Vanderbilt. Also in attendance were María and Ken Fishel, Nicole Salmasi, Janna Bullock, Patricia and Roger Silverstein,  Patricia Shah, Alisa Roever and so many others. A group of West Point cadets introduced 14 white gowned debutantes for an opening dance: in a scene that was Titanic meets the Bridgertons.

María and Ken Fishel, Nicole Salmasi (Photo Lieba Nesis)
Roger and Patricia Silverstein( photo: Lieba Nesis)

If you enjoy pageantry then this evening was made for you. It even had music, as Opera stars Johanna Will and Ukrainian Iurii Samoilov wowed the crowd with their poignantly expressive voices: this is exactly what the crowd needed after a gut wrenching pandemic. It was noted that Vienna is one of the greenest and most entertaining cities-hosting over 500 balls a year: as they were currently praying for peace in the Ukraine. As midnight struck, the quadrille began: a dance that was popular in late 18th and 19th century Europe that consists of a chain of 4 to 6 couples. The giddy crowd joined arms in one of the most joyous scenes of the past year. Rumor has it that breakfast was served at 4 AM-a savory conclusion to a once in a lifetime evening.

Alisa Roever (Photo Lieba Nesis)
Silvia Friese ( Photo Credit: Lieba Nesis)

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