Scene Last Night: Leon Black, Dratch, Kovner, Stoudemire

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The cast joined by Valery Gergiev.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The cast joined by Valery Gergiev. Close

The cast joined by Valery Gergiev.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, and Aby Rosen, president of RFR Holding LLC. Close

J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global... Read More

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Henry Kissinger and Leonard Lauder. Close

Henry Kissinger and Leonard Lauder.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Jerry del Missier, former COO of Barclays PLC, far left, and Debra Black, founder of the Melanoma Research Alliance. Close

Jerry del Missier, former COO of Barclays PLC, far left, and Debra Black, founder of the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Actress Diane Kruger in Prabal Gurung. Close

Actress Diane Kruger in Prabal Gurung.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Shirley Lord Rosenthal, a writer, Bruce Kovner, chairman of Caxton Alternative Management, and Suzie Kovner, a board member of the friends group of the National Theatre. Close

Shirley Lord Rosenthal, a writer, Bruce Kovner, chairman of Caxton Alternative Management, and Suzie Kovner, a board... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and artist Jeff Koons. Close

J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and artist Jeff Koons.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Jacques Brand, CEO of Deutsche Bank's North American unit, and Maria Brand, a docent. Close

Jacques Brand, CEO of Deutsche Bank's North American unit, and Maria Brand, a docent.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Anna Netrebko walks across the stage to greet conductor Valery Gergiev. Close

Anna Netrebko walks across the stage to greet conductor Valery Gergiev.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Frederick Iseman, chairman and CEO of CI Capital Partners LLC, right, with Svetlana Nesterova, a recent graduate of Duke Law School. Close

Frederick Iseman, chairman and CEO of CI Capital Partners LLC, right, with Svetlana Nesterova, a recent graduate of Duke Law School.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gary Strumeyer, president of BNY Mellon Capital Markets Inc., and his wife, Shari. Close

Gary Strumeyer, president of BNY Mellon Capital Markets Inc., and his wife, Shari.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

David H. Koch, executive vice president at Koch Industries, Katherine Farley, chairwoman of Lincoln Center and senior managing director at Tishman Speyer, and Richard Salomon, chairman of the advisory board of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management. Close

David H. Koch, executive vice president at Koch Industries, Katherine Farley, chairwoman of Lincoln Center and senior... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Chris Williams and Janice Savin Williams, both of Williams Capital Group LP. Close

Chris Williams and Janice Savin Williams, both of Williams Capital Group LP.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

William Kentridge, the artist whose work appeared on the Met stage in Shostakovich's "The Nose." Close

William Kentridge, the artist whose work appeared on the Met stage in Shostakovich's "The Nose."

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Barlett Sher, a director, Judith Neuhoff, a managing director at Centre Stage Artist Management, diva Anna Netrebko, Peter Gelb, general manager and artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera, and Keri-Lynn Wilson, a conductor, sitting down to borscht. Close

Barlett Sher, a director, Judith Neuhoff, a managing director at Centre Stage Artist Management, diva Anna Netrebko,... Read More

Ravens flying through a winter backdrop transported operagoers into Tchaikovsky’s very Russian story of fiery, futile love, “Eugene Onegin,” in a new production that opened the season at the Metropolitan Opera last night.

The performance, conducted by Valery Gergiev, sometimes felt as long as a flight to St. Petersburg with lots of breaks for scene changes that involved moving a chair or two.

Gala goers, who paid as much as $12,500 a ticket for show and dinner, sat down at 6:30 and stumbled out at around 11 to revive over borscht, salmon kulebiaka and miniature honey cakes in a spacious tent set up next to the Met.

Decorated with winter branches, the space could have served for a dinner party at the palace of Prince Gremin, whom Tatiana marries after Onegin departs for worldly travel.

Anna Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecien were the stars of the evening, joined by tenor Piotr Beczala as Lenski, the poet whose duel with Onegin ends badly.

Leon Black, chairman of Apollo Global Management, spotted his wife across the room during an intermission and pronounced, “What a beautiful vision.” J. Michael Evans, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. vice chairman, and many others looked at their wives in the same way.

Jacques Brand, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s North American unit, said he sends his wife love letters and poems -- and takes her to the opera on date night.

Romantic E-Mails

Janice Savin said she and her husband, Chris Williams, write romantic e-mails every day, creating a paper trail that once intrigued an auditor at Williams Capital Group LP, where they both work.

“He suspected there was something going on between us!” Savin said. No duel ensued.

The opera house did receive a challenge from a small group of protesters high up in the Family Circle denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay law. Metropolitan Opera security asked them and two others to leave, and they obliged, said Met Opera spokesman Sam Neuman.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager. “A few voices can make a lot of noise. Lucky for us, they made their noise respectfully, and it didn’t disrupt the music.”

Koons’s Boonies

Or the dinner. Comedian Rachel Dratch sat next to television fashion expert Carson Kressley. Actress Diane Kruger sat with the designer of her dress, Prabal Gurung. William Kentridge had a spot near Netrebko, while Jeff Koons found himself in the boonies for a change.

Also spotted among the 1,120 guests were: designer Nanette Lepore, singer Patti Smith, basketball players Grant Hill and Amar’e Stoudemire, nightclub maven Amy Sacco, Willem Kooyker, chairman of Blenheim Capital Management LLC, Bruce Kovner, chairman of Caxton Alternative Management, and David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc.

Frederick Iseman, chairman and CEO of CI Capital Partners LLC, said he loved hearing Netrebko in her native tongue and visited with Gergiev backstage during an intermission.

The event raised $6 million.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Philip Boroff on Broadway, John Detrixhe on travel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net

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