A Glittering Affair! Inside The Viennese Opera Ball’s Swing Dinner Dance Gala

by Freya Drohan

There was a sense of old world glamour at a private club in Manhattan as guests gathered last Thursday in black tie dress for The Viennese Opera Ball’s Swing Dinner Dance Gala. The evening, aptly-titled The Golden Age, was a new take on the traditional Opera Ball—which will take place as normal in 2022. And while the event brought together a smaller guest list than usual, due to COVID-19 protocols, the Gala certainly didn’t scrimp on elegance or pizazz.

On this occasion, proceeds of the Swing Dinner Dance benefited the New York-based Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research—further contributing to the astonishing $40 million the charity has so far raised towards fighting the disease. The event took place with the support of the City of Vienna; honorary gala chair, governor, and mayor of Vienna, the Honorable Michael Ludwig; consul general of Austria in New York, the Honorable Helene Steinhaeusl; and the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Michael Haider. Resplendent on the night in an embroidered crimson-hued tulle gown by designer Malan Breton was the event’s chair, Jean Shafiroff.

Joining the noted philanthropist for the cocktail reception, seated dinner, and lively dance were Hubert Heiss, Yoko Nakamura-Haider, Martin Shafiroff, Scott Stone, Ana Stone, Eve Brookville, Sabine Riglos, Victoria Whipple, Paula Mahoney, Nelli Hantman, Imke Gerdes, Barbara Wennerholm, David Hochberg, Pamela O’Connor, Michele Herbert, Emily Mohr, Cole Rumbough, Sessa Von Richthofen, and Richard Johnson, among others. A silent auction followed the dinner, with proceeds also going to Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation. Some sought-after prizes are still available to bid on until November 1, 2021.

The jubilant music for the evening was provided by the Misha Piatigorsky Trio, with Misha Piatigorsky on piano, Benny Benack III singing and playing trumpet, Sergei Avanesov on saxophone, and singer Kennedy.

See all the opulent style from the evening, below!

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