The 62nd Viennese Opera Ball in New York

The 62nd Viennese Opera Ball in New York City was held at the Waldorf Astoria in the Grand Ballroom under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The Ball, which is the oldest white-tie charity gala in New York, celebrated the 150th anniversary of Austria’s unofficial national anthem, Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz and benefitted ‘Leonard Bernstein — A New Yorker in Vienna,’ a project of the Jewish Museum in cooperation with the U.S. Friends of the Jewish Museum of Vienna.

The ballroom was filled with nearly 500 guests. Some of those guests included TV personality Tamron Hall, Michelle Obama’s Hairstylist Johnny Wright, Jean Shafiroff, Gary Keszler, Carl and Renee Landegger, Ursula Stenzl, Dr. Christine Frissora, Harald & Inge Serafin, Guenther Greiner, Albert & Judy Kurpis, Irena Holiat, Jane Scher, R. Couri Hay, Austrian Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Waldner, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria H.E. Alexa L. Wesner, and so much more.

Following the receptions, in the Louise XVI Suite the fun moved to the Grand Ballroom where a horse and carriage brought International Committee Member Laine Siklos and her two children Henry Alex Siklos and Anabelle Gray Siklos to the ball and delivered them to their table. The Westpoint Cadet Color Guards then marched and rose their flags before the National Anthem’s to the United States and Austria were sung by attendees. The Debutantes and their Escorts then made their entrance led by Choreographer Heinz Heidenreich and performed the Opening ‘Polonaise’ Dance, before Mr. Serafin thanked the Debutantes, Escorts and attendees. A four-course dinner featuring Austrian specialties was served courtesy of Michelin Star Chef Wolfgang Ban and the raffle was announced with prizes including a bracelet by Frey Wille.

There were several performances as the night went one; including a presentation by Stephen Costello, Core’ n grato by Massimo Giordano, Quando me’n vo’ by Sarah Joy Miller, Summertime by Kristen Lewis, and Dein ist mein ganzes Herz by Stephen Costello before guests were led on a Midnight Quadrille by Choreographer Thomas Kraml. Dancing and all sorts of magical moments took place until Ball concluded at 4am.

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