The Washington National Opera Gala hit a high note by honoring Leonard Bernstein’s lasting legacy.
THE PARTY It was an evening to celebrate past, present and future achievements when the Washington National Opera held its annual soiree at The Kennedy Center. Themed Leonard at 100, the eve toasted the centennial of the legendary composer’s birth.
THE PEOPLE Some 400 guests (from major supporters Michael and Noémi Neidorff to Kristin and John Cecchi to Brandon Clay) joined co-chairs Eric and Susanne Larsen for a cocktail reception on the River Terrace. They later applauded a performance from Tony and Grammy Award-winning actress Patti LuPone and lauded opera singer Isabel Leonard (who recently took the stage in WNO’s The Barber of Seville), among others. And the gala reached its crescendo when Jamie Bernstein, the maestro’s eldest daughter, gave a touching speech about her father. BEST IN SHOW The night ended with dinner at 19 embassies and historic locations throughout the District, and an impressive $1 million tally for the company’s artistic, education and community engagement programs—music to our ears. -Kakie Pate
Photos by Yassine El Mansouri