Conscious Party: An elegant opera affair

Asheville Lyric Opera hosts its 16th Annual Winter Gala.

WHAT: Asheville Lyric Opera Winter Gala

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m.

WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton, 115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville

WHY: The Asheville Lyric Opera is taking this year’s benefit fundraiser to new heights, increasing the elegance and opulence of the event by moving location to the DoubleTree Hotel. And since fine art, food and wine are so often a part of the performance the opera company puts on, it is fitting that the event will provide all that and more.

“We are always making an artistic statement with everything we do,” says ALO founder and general director David Starkey. “The chefs and craftspeople at the event will introduce and describe what they are making. This increases the experience for everyone.”

Benefitgoers can expect to be thoroughly entertained, from the family-style dining courtesy of Double Tree catering, Karen Donatelli, Vincenzos, Posana, Twisted Laurel and Sante Wine Bar to the selections from the company’s 2015 repertoire — performances throughout the evening include “One Hand, One Heart” from West Side Story, “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto and “La Calunnia” from The Barber of Seville.

As Starkey notes, “Opera these days is really song theater; it’s a cultural event and represents classical pop culture. This is a great way to learn about and be exposed to the cultural entertainment available in our city.”

A silent auction during the gala will offer up rare classical opera memorabilia, tickets to the PGA World Tour, a private 12-person wine tasting and a private concert by longtime ALO favorite Rachel Hansbury.

Tickets to the winter gala are $100. Proceeds benefit ALO’s educational programming and will help expose opera to people otherwise unlikely to attend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 236-0670 or visit ashevillelyric.org/tickets. — Michael McDonald

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