Arizona Opera’s Feb. 11 signature fundraising event, A Night at the Cabaret, was held the Ritz-Carlton ballroom. The evening featured a silent auction during the cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and world-class cabaret entertainment by two-time Grammy Award winner Sylvia McNair. Her cabaret show included favorites from Gershwin, Rodgers and Sondheim that took operatic detours into Handel, Bizet and Puccini.
The jazz band Swingtips and the Marion Roose Pullin Resident Artists kept the festivities going with a rendition of “We Open in Venice” from Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate.”
Among the evening’s guests were representatives of many of the city’s arts organization, including Phoenix Symphony Interim CEO Jim Ward, Ballet Arizona administrative head Jon Teeuwissen and Howard Hirsch, founder of Arizona 5 Arts Circle.
The gala honored the philanthropy of Professor Robert and Dr. Shoshana Tancer. Longtime Valley residents and professors emeriti at Thunderbird School of Global Management, the Tancers have served on the boards of various local cultural institutions including Arizona Opera, the Phoenix Symphony, Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona Theatre Company and Ballet Arizona. Robert Tancer continues his service as an honorary trustee of Arizona Opera.
The evening turned somber when Dave Christensen, Arizona Opera board chair, spoke about the recent loss of Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro, longtime supporters of the opera. The Shapiro family was represented at the ball as was the Tancer family.
This year’s ball did not have one single chairman, but 11 individuals served as vice-chairs. Among them were Pearle Marr, who designed the tables for the event, members of the Tancer family, and Howard and Lori Hirsch.
Proceeds benefit Arizona Opera main-stage productions and educational programs.
Photos by Ron Nachtwey, courtesy of Linda M. Herold