The unique event featured performers from American Ballet Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera on Jan. 8.
Servers with shiny silver trays full of freshly poured champagne awaited attendees Jan. 8 as they climbed off the bus and made their way to the lobby outside The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota ballroom. The guests came from the Sarasota Opera House, where they were treated to a performance unlike any they had seen before.
A Celebration of Two Worlds: Music and Dance was a fusion of dance and opera — a whirlwind of performance art that included mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, composer and pianist Jake Heggie, principals of American Ballet Theatre Marcelo Gomes, Gillian Murphy and Daniil Simkin and several Sarasota Ballet dancers performing Graziano's “In a State of Weightlessness.”
Several attendees enjoyed the performances so much that they continued to discuss them well into the pre-dinner champagne reception.
After the reception, guests were seated for salad, but it wasn’t long before they were surprised with two more performances — one by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and another by baritone Jaremiah Smith, who sang a special serenade to attendee Shanon Roher-Phillips.