Monday, July 21, 2008

Cocktails at Sunset

Dinner at the Park Avenue Armory prior to the performance of Die Soldaten by the Lincoln Center Festival 08.
Die Soldaten, the iconic 20th-century opera by German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann, was presented in a dramatic new production by Lincoln Center Festival 08 in association with the Park Avenue Armory. The North American premiere of this critically-acclaimed production from the RuhrTriennale in Germany, is the first to have been mounted outside of an opera house, and was presented in the most amazing non-proscenium space, just as the composer had originally envisioned it—in the vast Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory, now known as the Wade Thompson Drill hall, in honor of Mr. Thompson’s active and generous interest in the refurbishing and restoration of the Armory.

Die Soldaten has only been staged twice in the U.S. since its 1965 premiere by the Cologne Opera—its U.S. premiere by the Opera Company of Boston in 1982, and by New York City Opera in 1991 in both cases, modified to suit a proscenium stage and fit within a traditional theater setting. It took a huge orchestra, challenging score and vocal writing, overlapping and simultaneous scenes, and incorporating film, taped music and amplification, presenting enormous challenges to presenters.

“A work of atonal twentieth-century many, Die Soldaten is the great work of alienation and despair, increasingly occupying a place in past-World War II opera similar to that commanded by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in contemporary theater or Bergmann’s The Virgin Spring in modern film.” (Jay Reise, Opera News, September 1991).
In The Drill Hall for the performance of Die Soldaten.
The Drill Hall setting provided an immersive experience of the opera by allowing the full orchestra to be placed in one location with the audience and stage action. The movable seating unit on railway tracks, gave the audience a sense of the extremes of intimacy, overwhelming all-enveloping sound, and scenic action that the composer envisioned.

The evening began with cocktails at 6, followed by a dinner a half hour later. At ten to 8, we all moved down to the vast Drill Room. Among the crowd on this operatic adventure: Susan and Elihu Rose, Angela and Wade Thompson and guest Jennifer McCormick, Jonathan Bing and Meredith Ballew, Neil and Kathleen Chrisman, John and Anne Coffin, Maxwell and Mary Davidson, Andrew Fabricant and Laura Paulson, Councilmember Daniel Garodnick and Zoe Segal-Reichlin, Kathy and Ace Greenberg, Senator Liz Krueger, Wendy Lehman and Peter Wolf, Rebecca Robertson and Byron Knief, Randy Bourscheidt and Joe Astienza, Marjorie and Gurnee Hart, Dan and Estrellita Brodsky, Adam Flatto and Mary Cronson. Harvey and Phyllis Lichtenstein, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Arie and Coco Kopelman.
Janet Ross, Coco Kopelman, and Jill Kargman
Nathalie Comfort, Byron Knief, Bill Comfort, and Alan and Christina MacDonald
Laura Paulson and Andrew Fabricant
Susan Rose, Rebecca Robertson, Larry McCaffrey, and Elihu Rose
Stephen Lash and Randy Bourscheidt
Phillip Lim and Kien Truong
G. Chris Andersen, Sun Han-Andersen, and Marjorie Hart
Alan MacDonald and Nancy Newcomb
Debra Black and Wade F. B. Thompson
J. Bob Alotta, Toshi Reagon, Rebecca Robertson, and Mark Patterson
Joe Astienza and Rob Marx
Randy Bourscheidt and Joe Astienza
Peter Wolf and Wendy V. Lehman
Pat and William Sandholm
Cindy Sherman and David Byrne
The Saturday before last, Vanity Fair and Calvin Klein Collection sponsored “Cocktails at Sunset,” the annual ACRIA Hamptons event, at the home of photographer Steven Klein in Bridgehampton.
Ross Bleckner
Jessica Stam and Austin Cregg
Carter Cramer and Nick Dietz
Anait Bain, Nick Dietz, Jered Clark, Morton Davidson, and Douglas Marshall
Paige Nelson
Merideth Fisher, Matthew Masankay, and Evelyn Crowley
Steve Torres, Susan Cappa, and Jamie Pallot
Toni Haber and Nick Poshkus
Dan Honan, Douglas Marshall, Rachelle Hruska, Nick Dietz, and friend
Todd Merrell and Carmen Zita
Wayne Lawson and Bruce Weber
Vasoula Barbagiannis and Jason Lord
Hofit Golan
Karolina Kurkova
Calvin Klein
Christine Phillips and Barclay Butera
David Kleinberg and James Crespo
Donegal Fitzgerald and Tora Matsuoka
Jay Lambert, Savanna Hoge, and Peter Huffine
Elena Lusenti and Brian Carr
Eric Spear and David Traitel
Eric Valency and Josh Reed
Ferebee Taube, Brook Taube, Paul Forsman, and Cornelia Forsman
Daniel Urzedo
Donna Karan
Ingrid Sischy, Sandy Brant, and Italo Zucchelli
Kelly d'Halluin and Stacy Engman
Ben Becton and Mark Silver
Rob Buckley
Liliana Cavendish and Stewart Sundlan
Malcolm Carfrae and Dan Ragone
Michael Dare and Robert Wynne Parry
Selma Fonseca and Jeffrey Dread
Last Monday night KiptonART and Men's Vogue launched the KiptonART Music Series with an intimate concert by pianist Lang Lang at MILK Studios. KiptonART is a “consultancy” started by Kipton Cronkite. This private concert was the first of a series that are planned in tandem with Men’s Vogue.

For the event, Antony Todd had constructed a fire and-ice backdrop, with furniture done up in apple-green silk dupioni, pools of floating candles, and oversized coco palms. Waiters served mojitos. Guests gathered an hour before the performance, to take in the sunset over the Hudson from the sweeping terrace.
Lang Lang performs to a standing ovation.
In the group, Tom Florio (Publishing Director of Vogue/Men's Vogue), Marc Berger (Publisher of Men's Vogue), Olivia Palermo, Eric and Kimberly Villency, Gillian Hearst Simonds and Christian Simonds, Damon Dash, Catherine Forbes, Lorenzo Borghese, Thom Filicia, Billy Gilbane.

At dusk, the lights flickered, telling everyone to take his/her seat. In due course Lang Lang worked himself into a literal sweat, keeping the audience transfixed. His finale led to a vigorous standing ovation.

After the concert, French DJ Yan Ceh (flown in from Paris for the event) spun a remixed version of Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg's "Lemon Incest," while guests bid on silent auction lots including Prada handbags, luxury creams, bespoke Ralph Lauren, and a $125,000 red Steinway piano (one of two in the world).
Alan Pepe and Kipton Cronkite
Elizabeth Cohen and Jerry Blair
Casey Fahey and Susan Shin
Billy Gilbane and Lottie Oakley
Emma Snowdon-Jones, Whitney Bouma Herbert, and David Herbert
Indira and Natalia
Vivienne with David Chines
Devin Wilson and Clay Floren
Elizabeth Cohen and Tom Florio
Elissa Lumley and Michelle Edgar
Kathryn Bohannon and Zev Eisenberg
Kimberly Guilfoyle Villency and Eric Villency
Lorenzo Borghese and Catherine Forbes
Lisa Willis and David Aaron Carpenter
Lynette Yen
Mazdack Rassi, Trish Ridel, and Sara Cesbron
Olivia Palermo and Addison O'Dea
Rebecca Pokryska and Marissa Jartcky
Thom Filicia
Trish Ridel and Sara Cesbron
Whitney Bouma Herbert and David Herbert

Photographs by by James Ewing. Courtesy of Park Avenue Armory (Die Soldaten); © (Acria & Kipton).

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