Once a shocking dance, the Waltz was considered “riotous and indecent,” but as time went on, the elegant dance became fashionable, not just among Viennese society, but around the world, and the music of Johann Strauss became the symbol of a musical revolution. On Saturday, November 3,Miami’s civic and social leaders will join the Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO) and chair ladies, President Kristin Podack, Susan Feldman, Gail Piñon and Valerie Ricordi, to celebrate the music of Johann Straus II at the “Tales from the Vienna Woods” Gala.
The annual YPO Gala – now in its 57th year – is considered among the city’s oldest and most prestigious black-tie affairs. Held in early November, the elegant soiree is arguably the kick off to the Miami social season which runs November through April and typically features live entertainment and performances.
The “Tales from the Vienna Woods” Gala will be held at the Coral Gables Country Club beginning at 6:30 p.m. The night will start with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a beautiful music program and dinner. Favorites like Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” along with music from “City Lights” will fill the ballroom while guests in elegant black tie and elaborate gowns dance and are whisked away by the sound. The enchanting evening will unite Strauss lovers with devoted YPO supporters, whose adoration for the opera has taken the organization to incredible heights over the decades.
“Few dances are as elegant and enchanting as the waltz. This lovely theme lends itself to rousing music that is certain to uplift and inspire Miami’s most distinguished philanthropists to whirl across the dance floor in support of opera education,” said Kristin Podack, president of YPO. “We are so grateful to this year’s gala sponsors, Swanee DiMare, Bunny Bastian, Dr. Sanford and Beatrice Ziff for their generous support.
Founded 57 years ago, YPO is a non-profit group of women, who work without staff, to advocate educational music programs and the Florida Grand Opera. Proceeds raised from the gala fund music and opera educational programs including a Girl Scout Workshop for more than 500 Girl Scouts and an annual teachers’ workshop which offers continuing education credits for 150 Miami-Dade and Broward County teachers on opera education in the classroom.
YPO’s dedicated group of volunteers bring professional children’s opera performances to more than 25,000 elementary school students annually and supports a national Voice Competition, which awards scholarships to gifted young opera singers.