Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: January 22, 2014
by: Black Tie Staff


Thirty down and three to go
Opera-goers know that Maestro Victor DeRenzi and the Sarasota Opera have embarked on the ambitious venture of being the only opera company to perform every note of music that Giuseppe Verdi ever wrote — the incidental pieces as well as the 33 operas. This “Verdi Cycle” began in 1989; it even has a group of dedicated supporters known as the Verdi 33 Society, with each member assigned to a specific opera. (Two operas are still available for adoption.)

Members gathered for their annual dinner Jan. 15 at Ruth’s Chris, an event sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and the Williams, Parker, et al law firm.

There are two Verdi operas set for this season, “Il Trovatore” and “Jérusalem,” leaving only three to go: “Don Carlos” in the original Paris version, “La Battaglia di Legnano” and “Aida.” A “Tribute to Verdi Exhibit” of treasures from the Rome Opera is visiting only four cities in this country: New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Sarasota. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree? 

It opens here March 7, simultaneously to a Music Critics Association convention. Watch for details to be announced soon.

Among those attending the recent dinner: Eric and Sandra Lindqvist, David and Jacqueline Morton (she sporting an amazing new sparkler around her neck), Joe and Nora Stephan, Hank and Suzanne Foster, Bud Borax and Elissa Soyka and Larry and Carol English.

+ Sarasota's first ever 'Pastafarian' birthday party
Not a pasta party … a Pastafarian party, at which the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his noodly appendage celebrated the first three-quarter century of one Greg Gregory. The wardrobe call was pirate gear, and laddies and wenches caroused Jan. 18 at the Beau Ciel party room. Gregory’s protégé, Maria Wirries, and her friend, Mackenzie Grace, did the planning and entertaining with some help from his wife, Ilene Friedman, and a fun video programmed by Michael Ringlever. Every last detail was pastafarian, right down to the birthday cake made by kissing kin Kiri Ambler. Among the guests were Ed and June Alley, Alan Corey (who made a smashing pirate), Brian Lipton and Joseph Gianguzzo, Brian and Sherry Gregory, Christine Oliver, Marc and Susan Gregory, Bob and Amy Iverson, Barry and Kitty Leven, Chris and Rebecca Jaensch, Jeaneen Wirries and Genevieve Ambler.

Watts of love … Mommy-to-be Fondren Watts was showered with love Jan. 18 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Guests were greeted with champagne and custom cookies printed with baby pictures of Fondren and husband, Danny, at the shower, which Fondren’s friends Cheryl Ann Babcock and Vaughn Dorrian, mother-in-law Sherry Watts and sisters Keily and Taryn Griffin hosted. They were also asked to fill out “words of wisdom” for the first-time parents-to-be, who will welcome baby girl Watts in March. Guests included Molly Klauber, Eileen Curd, Kathy Demler, Kay Mathers, Tatyana Sharoubim, Bridget McGrath Ziegler, Bri Oliva and Terri Saba Imbibing birthday ... S’macks Managing Partner Alex Floethe rang in his 30s with a birthday party Jan. 19, at Perq Coffee Bar. Floethe treated friends to a special wine, champagne and bourbon tasting from his collections over the years. Seen among those mingling were Evan Gratzick, Tim Mitten and Merly Mae, Miranda Robinson, Joel Parisi and Arthur Lopez Jr. …

Don’t mess with herLaura Jessen was spotted out last week with this fabulous Alexander McQueen knucklebox clutch, a gift from her husband, Chris.

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