At Carnegie Hall’s opening night, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Carmina Burana” sped by so quickly that the civic-minded could head home in time for the first presidential debate.
Others opted for dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Guided by Riccardo Muti and only recently recovered from a two-day musicians’ strike, the orchestra was joined by the Chicago Children’s Choir. The audience included Chelsea Clinton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Henry Kravis and Peter May.
“I feel exuberant,” said Deborah Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, at the Waldorf. “I was right next to the Children’s Choir. The kids were so into it.”
Rutter, in a Nicole Miller gown, shared her table with Bianca Jagger and Robert Caro for a meal of Portobello mushroom and grilled eggplant, followed by petite osso bucco and flourless chocolate hazelnut cake.
An orchestra played “I Could Have Danced All Night,” although there was no dancing.
Guests table-hopped and applauded the arrival of the Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen, who said he is giving himself one day to see New York. Among his goals: to find a pub where he can watch his favorite football club, Tottenham Hotspur, play Greece’s Panathinaikos in Athens.
Muti did not make it to the Waldorf. “He’s not here for a very good reason -- he got exhausted doing what he did,” said Sanford Weill, chairman of Carnegie Hall.
“And he’s got two more concerts in the next two nights,” added the hall’s executive and artistic director, Clive Gillinson.
The evening raised “a little over $2.7 million,” Weill said.
Friends of felines passed the donation bucket last night for Anjellicle Cats Rescue, a nonprofit that saves animals from the pound before their time runs out. The third annual “Catbaret” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre starred, among others, Broadway performer Trisha Rapier (“Sister Act”), Stephanie Sellars -- who as “Lusty Le Mew” stripped down to her pasties -- and singer-songwriter Laura MacLean.
MacLean’s rendition of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” drew tears from the audience as a slide show of animals in need appeared in the background. The benefit ended on a high note with the full cast singing the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Nancy Moran is an editor for Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are their own.)
Muse highlights include Rich Jaroslovsky on technology, Manuela Hoelterhoff on the arts.