The Viennese Opera Ball

The Viennese Opera Ball - the oldest and most prestigious outside of Vienna - will hold its annual celebration for the 67th year on Friday, May 12th, 2023, at The Plaza in New York City under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The Gala chairs for the evening will be philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, who is also being honored and Denise Rich. This gala will benefit Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and will be “A Night inspired by ‘Carmen’”, from the opera Carmen by Bizet. 

The vice chairs will be Sylvia Hemingway and Peter Thomas Roth. Top opera stars will perform arias of the opera Carmen by Bizet including Stephen Costello and George Gagnidze, both in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, and internationally accomplished opera singers Joyce El-Khoury and Nathalie Peña Comas. 

In addition, a number of leading lights of the Austrian and New York Social scene will be present for the Viennese Opera Ball, including: Commissioner Mermelstein (Mayor's Office of International Affairs), Kristen Edgreen Kaufman (Mayor's Office of International Affairs), Peter Hanke (Executive City Councilor, City of Vienna), Norbert Kettner (Director, Vienna Tourism Board), Gudrun Senk (CTO, Wiener Linien), Gerhard Hirczi (CEO, Vienna Business Agency), Christian Frey (Head International Department, Vienna Business Agency), Julian Jäger (Member of the Board of Directors, Vienna Airport), Franz Patay (CEO, United Stages Vienna), Helmut Schoba (CEO, VGN Media Holding), Michael Trestl (CCO, Austrian Airlines) and Monte Lipman, CEO of Republic Records. In addition, attending will be Maribel Lieberman of Mariebelle New York and Honorary Guest, Fashion Designer Malan Breton. 

The annual white tie charity gala honors Austria and America's cultural and economic ties, uniting two continents, two cities, and two centuries in one glamorous evening. It was founded 67 years ago by Austrian immigrants to the United States as a tribute to both their former hometown Vienna and their host city, New York. The gala attracts an international audience that includes diplomats and dignitaries, international corporations, and professionals. 

At the heart of the Vienesse Opera Ball is the presentation of the debutantes and their escorts.  The 67th Annual Ball will have the following participants; Reesa Artz, Clara Burtscher, Rachel Borreta, Mei Colby, Thara Eisingerich, Deborah Engelberg, Isaac Escamilla, Thara Eisingerich, Meyer Eskin, Shifra Eskin, Elias Wallin Giangrande, Gwyneth Giangrande, Joseph Grosh, Royce Howley, Catherine Humphrey, Madison Hoerler, Thomas Itkoff, Sean Jagermann, Alex Koschell, David Kuhn, Benton Madsen, Sofie Maehlkvist, Allegra Marschik, Spencer Napolitano, Maximiliane Norwood, Felix Oblin, Yasmeen Star Omer, Meghan Quinn, Rudolf Schatz, Nick Solari, George Stavropoulos, Anna Talos, Alexander Yale and Maximilian Yale.  Sheila Hultgren Giangrande and Gregory Giangrande’s daughter Gwyneth and son Elias will open the ball.  

Metropolitan opera singers, a renowned orchestra, ballet performances, Presentation of Colors by Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy, a midnight quadrille, and many other surprises all contribute to a glamorous and delightful evening. Previous notable attendees include The Honorable Michael Ludwig, Governor and Mayor of Vienna, Actress Samantha Mathis, and TV personality Star Jones. 

Viennese Opera Ball Sponsors include: City of Vienna, Austrian Airlines, Augarten, A.E. Koechert, Lobmeyr, Hotel Bristol, Erste Bank Group AG, Madl Salzburg.  Austrian wines sponsored by: Esterhazy wines, Mayer am Pfarrplatz, Domaene Wachau and Schoedl. 

About the Viennese Opera Ball:

Since 1955, the Viennese Opera Ball in New York has been a representative of Vienna’s cultural legacy, elegance, and glamour in the Big Apple. The Ball operates as a cultural platform and builds bridges to connect present day New York City with 19th Century Vienna, and people of varying heritages, continents, and generations, to bring traditional glamour to the city that never sleeps. 

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Photo Courtesy Of Lawlor Media Group / Stefan Joham