LUNCHEON ON THE RHINE

A Golden Afternoon With Arizona Opera

text by Kathryn Brooks   photos courtesy of Arizona Opera

Above left: Patricia Peterson, Ashton Bates and Kimberly Peterson. Above right: Jean Cooper, Taylor Brewster and Tracy Brewster.

On March 17, supporters of Arizona Opera gathered at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia to attend Luncheon on the Rhine. Described as a “Golden Afternoon,” the Saturday event proved to be just that with donations topping almost 85-percent over previous years.

More than 250 guests gathered on the lawn for a welcome reception. After the opportunity to mix and mingle under a perfect blue sky, attendees were ushered into the ballroom for a seated gourmet lunch.

Top left: Kate Specter and Shoshana Tancer. Lower left: Marilyn Kluge, Nils Lindfors and Jo Pulvermacher. Middle: A table centerpiece. Far right: Katrina Galka and Jarrett Porter.

Co-chaired by Shoshana B. Tancer and Jo Kuchai Pulvermacher, the theme mirrored Arizona Opera’s upcoming production of Das Rhinegold, as noted by the circular wreath centerpieces and décor as well as the luncheon menu which included chicken schnitzel with spätzle and Black Forest cake.

In recognition of extraordinary support to Arizona Opera, Joseph Specter, president and general director, presented Crystal Key Awards to Roma B. Wittcoff of Phoenix; Marlys A. Beider of Tucson; and OPERA America of New York.

Top left: Richard Paul Fink performs for attendees. Top right: Marlys Beider places a bid. Bottom: The auction bidding was spirited.

The live auction items included an evening of fine food and song with the Specters (prepared by Kate Specter herself), ten bottles of collectable wines from around the world, a pair of 3-carat pavé diamond earrings, a walk-on role in Arizona Opera’s January 2019 production of La Traviata and a Rhine River cruise. The auction bidding was spirited and the Fund-A-Need donations generous.

The luncheon program included a special guest appearance by Richard Paul Fink, an internationally acclaimed baritone who will be portraying the role of Alberich in Arizona Opera’s Das Rhinegold. Performances by the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists Micheal Lewis, Jarrett Porter, Katrina Galka, Stephanie Sanchez, Zachary Owen and Anthony Ciaramitaro highlighted the talent that Arizona Opera is developing.

For more information, visit www.azopera.org