Friday, April 25, 2014

The Glimmerglass Festival Spring Gala in New York City

With Francesca Zambello, Artistic and General Director of the Glimmerglass Festival.
I grew up in upstate New York and am a big fan of the Glimmerglass Festival (previously known as the Glimmerglass Opera) in Cooperstown, New York.  Readers may remember that TD and I have had a couple of visits there. I still love the Glimmerglass pie story.

Glimmerglass recently hosted their spring festival gala here in NYC and kindly invited us. The gala was held at the Metropolitan Club on Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, a private social club which was founded by J.P. Morgan in 1893 and is housed in one of New York City's most beautiful buildings which was designed by Stanford White during the Gilded Age.
A view of the cocktail reception at the gala –

At the cocktail reception we chatted with Francesca Zambello, Artistic and General Director of the Glimmerglass Festival, a real dynamo who has also directed at the Metropolitan Opera and is the Artistic Advisor at the Washington National Opera. Francesca noted how important the evening was since it supports the Festival's acclaimed Young Artists and Summer Internship Programs, which trains and supports young musical artists, production professionals and arts administrators.  Then she said, "Do you know Peter Duchin?" and gestured toward the legendary band leader who was standing next to her.

After the cocktail reception, guests streamed into the ballroom to hear a few performances by young artists. With its carved and painted ceiling, the room reminded me of the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library.
A view inside the ballroom before the performances began –

Francesca took to the stage to welcome guests and introduce the Master of Ceremonies, the renowned American operatic bass-baritone Eric Owens. Francesca noted that the upcoming summer season at Glimmerglass will celebrate 100 years of music, with productions by Puccini, Strauss, and Rogers and Hammerstein. Stressing the importance of the young artists' program, she said, "It is incumbent upon us to support the arts so that we have a civilized society." Here, here.
Then we got to enjoy some lovely music including performances by Glimmerglass Young Artist Jacqueline Echols –

(these photos are by Karli Cadel)
Glimmerglass Young Artist Beth Lytwynec –

Soprano Yunah Lee, who sings the role of Cio-Cio-San at Glimmerglass this summer –

and Glimmerglass Young Artist Patrick O’Halloran –

What a treat it was to hear these wonderful performers and more in that grand room. Check out the upcoming season at Glimmerglass and get your summer tickets!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Trip Out West to Colorado

Recently TD and I went to visit my sister Cynthia and her partner Barb at their home in Monument, Colorado, which is near Colorado Springs. We have visited there before, and maybe it was because of the harsh dark winter we had here in New York this year, but I did not remember how big and spectacular the sky is in Colorado. It stretches from horizon to horizon, as far as the eye can see. And though this top picture is cloudy, it was mostly blue sunny skies for the duration of our visit. I'm telling you, it was a relief to take it in!
One day we headed into Colorado Springs to a cool spot called The Wild Goose Meeting House for lunch. I felt like I was in Brooklyn - exposed wooden beams, industrial lighting, hipsters on laptops wearing baseball caps and New Balance sneakers –

The food was great, and many locally crafted beers were proffered. Colorado is renowned for its craft breweries, with more than 140 craft breweries located in the state. Colorado is number one in the nation for volume of beer brewed nationally, and number two in volume of craft beer brewed annually. Lucky for me, because I love delicious beer –

After lunch we walked along the main street of Colorado Springs. Where ever you are, you can see mountains, like Pikes Peak in the distance – 

Pikes Peak happens to be the name of the girls' neighborhood brewery, where we stopped that night to enjoy some freshly brewed beer and meet some of their friends.
Ted, Cynthia, me, Barb - a little fuzzy but you get an idea of the ensuing merriment –

The brewery has a great selection of beers to choose from –

The next morning we went out for a run. The sky was blue and bright.

Sometimes visitors suffer from the high elevation in Colorado, but we felt fine. Thankfully the running path was flat.
TD running ahead and Cynthia with her dogs –

It was such a joy to be outside running in the sunshine.
Cynthia and I on the running path with her doggies –

In the afternoon we headed in the car for lunch to a school which has been converted into...wait for it...a brewery. The Bristol Brewing Co. is located in the former Ivywild School –

The interior has been lovingly retained, complete with the gymnasium and Principal's office -

We met with more friends and had a fun lunch. On the way home, we stopped at Garden of the Gods, a public park which features dramatic red rock formations which were shaped millions of years ago –

Garden of the Gods was a favorite place of my mother, who visited it many times, so it has sentimental meaning for us. It's a beautiful spot.

Echoing the dramatic shapes of the Garden of the Gods is the Denver Art Museum, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, which we toured on Sunday –

It's a big museum with lots to offer for families and children. For instance, inside the museum, we happened upon an amusing opera performance for children. In the collection of Western art, I liked "Long Jakes, the Mountain Man" wearing a vivid red coat in this painting by Charles Deas from 1844.

For lunch in Denver, we went to the Vine Street Pub and Brewery, which had many more beers on tap!

After lunch we drove to visit our cousin Diane Noonan Obernesser and her husband Matt and three daughters Madison, Cheyenne and Corrina.
Family photo, Colorado branch – 

We had such a good time on our visit out west with Cynthia and Barb - lots of good things to eat and drink and fun outings and great company. Cynthia and Barb are coming to New York City this summer to get married! So proud of them. So proud of all my sibs. I'm lucky.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Wonderful World of Dries Van Noten

Runway photos from
I love to watch the work of Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten, and I think he presented a great collection for fall 2014 recently in Paris. To me, his clothes look artistic and creative, but also relaxed and easy to wear, and that pairing of sophistication and simplicity is my favorite combination. For this collection, he combined optic curving stripes and big floral prints in a range of clashing colors that some how go together. Nothing matches but it all mixes. These very unique pieces seem to combine effortlessly. The clothes evoke the 20s and 30s to me, and the eccentric style of the Bloomsbury group. I picture a madcap heiress like Daisy Fellowes, whose grandfather amassed the Singer sewing machine fortune, tossing on these clothes for some fun in Paris.

A big floral print over orange stripes –

A giant red lily on a dark winter coat –

Geometric diamonds and florals. Plus sunglasses –

Throw a fur over it –

I also like the t-strap shoes, very classic.
Here is the man himself taking a bow after the show –

Not long ago I was up at Bergdorf Goodman and passed through the Dries Van Noten shop on the third floor. The colors and decorating are reminiscent of his store in Paris – 

The spring collection was in full bloom on the racks – 

including a beautiful floral scarf –

Vogue presented a wonderful story on Dries' house and garden outside of Antwerp in the March 2014 issue – 

Check it out if you can (It's much more interesting than Kim Kardashian).
And Dries was recently in town at a party with his friend actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was wearing the spring collection while Dries was in his floral pants –

This photo from WWD
They were celebrating a new exhibit which has opened in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Called Dries Van Noten - Inspirations, it is a presentation of the artwork, photography, movies, accessories and clothes that have influenced the designer's creative vision. This show is up until August 31st, and the reviews have been great. As I do not have plans to go to Paris by then I hope this exhibit travels to the U.S. of A.!