The Opera Gala

The Opera Gala

The 32nd Annual Opera Foundation Gala will be held on Tuesday the 21st of November at The University Club, NYC. This annual fund-raising event owes its success to a number of generous individuals and corporate sponsors.

The Opera Gala has been a meeting place for Opera lovers for many years. It has also been used by many corporations and individuals as an ideal venue for client entertainment.

The black-tie event features live music, performances by recipients of scholarships and a formal dinner followed by a dance.

University Club
1 West 54th Street
New York City

Tel: (212) 664-8843

View the 2016 Gala Program

The Opera Gala Guest of Honor

Kathryn Lewek
The 32nd Annual Gala Guest of Honor is Kathryn Lewek.

Soprano Kathryn Lewek began her career as the grand prize winner of the Opera Foundation’s International Vocal Scholarship, and was granted a contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin where she performed roles in thirteen productions including Die Zauberflöte, Carmen, Don Carlo, Hänsel und Gretel, Le nozze di Figaro, and Verdi’s I due Foscari. Whilst there she also performed Dolcina in Suor Angelica with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester.

Ms. Lewek has established herself as one of opera’s strongest coloratura sopranos of this generation and now is expanding her resume with some of the most vocally challenging roles in the soprano repertoire. Ms. Lewek’s interpretation of her signature role, a quintessential Mozart villain, Queen of the Night, has garnered international critical acclaim: “Kathryn Lewek, a favorite Queen of the Night these days, nailed her otherworldly coloratura arpeggios to the wall in her ‘Vengeance’ aria, but more impressive to me was the pathos with which she quickly conveyed, in Act 1, the full suffering of a mother whose child has been kidnapped.” She performed the role in productions of Die Zauberflöte in débuts with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bregenzer Festspiele, the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opera Leipzig, Opera de Toulon, English National Opera, Nashville Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Royal Danish Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Teatro Real in Madrid. This season, she will reprise the role in her début at Lyric Opera of Chicago and in a return to The Metropolitan Opera.

Also this season, Ms. Lewek’s engagements include role débuts as Ginevra in Ariodante with Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele in Austria, with whom she will also perform a concert in Monte Carlo, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina. She will also perform in concert as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Finger Lakes Choral Society, Händel’s Messiah with Oratorio Society of New York and at Carnegie Hall with Musica Sacra, Mozart’s Requiem with Rochester Philharmonic, and Mozart’s C-minor Mass with Music of the Baroque.

With an impressive history of leading female roles in her career, recent seasons’ engagements include role débuts as Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini with Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Deutsche Oper Berlin; and the title roles of Maria Stuarda with Edmonton Opera and Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Carolina and Toledo Opera. Other notable roles include Angelica in Handel’s Orlando with The Hobart Baroque in Tasmania, in which she won a Helpmann Award, La Fée in Cendrillon with New Orleans Opera, and Cunegonde in Francesca Zambello’s Candide in her company début with Glimmerglass Opera. European débuts also include the role of Jessica in the world première of André Tchaikowsky’s Kupiec Wenecki (The Merchant of Venice) with Bregenzer Festspiele. This production was awarded the International Opera Award 2014 in the category “Best World Première”.

Of her Carnegie Hall début in Händel’s Messiah, The New York Times hailed “Communicative verve and thrilling beauty came together in the soprano Kathryn Lewek. She began ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion’ at exhilarating speed, then took her time on the words ‘He shall speak peace,’ lovingly ornamenting the cadence in a way that was both original and entirely subservient to the music.” She has since performed the piece with both the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra of New York.

Having been widely lauded for her numerous operatic and oratorio performances, Ms. Lewek is also receiving critical acclaim for her decisive interpretations of contemporary art song and vast concert repertoire. Recent concert engagements for Ms. Lewek include Bach’s B-minor Mass with Soli deo Gloria, and Carmina Burana with Dallas Symphony. She also performed under the baton of the illustrious Maestro John Nelson for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Orchestra symphonique de Montréal and for Haydn’s Creation.

She was a double prize winner at the 2013 Operalia World Opera Competition including the highly competitive Audience Favorite Award. Ms. Lewek earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded a Performance Certificate in Voice for her many successes upon the Eastman Theater stage. She was a Music Academy Fellow during the summer of 2009 at the Music Academy of the West in Marilyn Horne’s esteemed vocal program where she was hailed as “…one of those inspiring triumphs from the wings” and was praised for her “strength and radiance.” Ms. Lewek continues her vocal studies with the internationally renowned soprano, Diana Soviero, in New York City.

Previous Guests of Honor include: was Karan Armstrong, Hildegard Behrens, Francisco Casanova, Vladimir Chernov, Diana Damrau, Ghena Dimitrova, Plácido Domingo, Alexander T. Ercklentz, Simon Estes, Barbara Frittoli, Denyse Graves, Kirsten Harms, Ben Heppner, Kristan Johannsson, Dr. Bernd von Maltzan, Eva Marton, Maestro Kurt Masur, Angela Meade, Sherrill Milnes, Catherine Naglestad, Danielle De Niese, Rene Pape, Luciano Pavarotti, Susanna Phillips, Hermann Prey, Samuel Ramey, Maestro Julius Rudel, Matti Salminen, Bryn Terfel, Maestro Christian Thielemann, Joseph Volpe, Bernd Weiki, Robert Wilson, Gösta Winberg.