As the world’s greatest living soprano Anna Netrebko sang the last notes of “Vogliatemi bene” from Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, the capacity audience inside the Palais Garnier seemed to hold its breath before bursting into applause peppered with exclamations of “Bravo!” Led by general director Stéphane Lissner, over 700 guests, including stars from the worlds of art, fashion, and culture such as Aurélie Dupont director of dance, Opéra National de Paris, Setsuko de Rola Klossowska, Haider Ackermann, Farida Khelfa, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gaia Repossi, Aymeline Valade, and Meg Ryan enjoyed the spectacular black-tie evening, a fundraiser gala celebrating 350 years of the Paris Opera, and made possible with the support of Maison Schiaparelli and Rolex.
If there was anyone more in awe of Netrebko’s exceptional vocals it was her operatic partner, tenor Yusuf Eyyazov, who of course, is also her husband. The soprano was resplendent performing in two Schiaparelli gowns. The first featured a dramatic midnight black tulle cape with cosmic sparkle while the second was a salmon-hued nipped waist gown that Netrebko twirled in, in-between passages for dramatic effect. The evening’s maestro was Lorenzo Viotti. At 29-years-young, the conductor appeared humbled by the opportunity to lead the Paris Opera orchestra and the talents Netrebko and Eyvazov on stage. Together they performed various arias including music from operas Turandot, Pagliacci, and Un Bal Masqué. Meanwhile, the orchestra played a particularly moving Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The Paris Opera was first instituted by letters patent by King Louis XIV, on 28 June 1669.
Afterward, guests strolled through the gilded halls of the Grand Foyer and the Avant-Foyer to take their seats for dinner prepared by three-star Michelin chef Eric Frechon of the restaurant Epicure, Le Bristol Paris. After dining on blue lobster with gazpacho sauce and cod cooked in a delicious flower broth, they were invited to return to the opera where an ephemeral nightclub had been erected on the stage to dance to beats spinned by DJ and singer Kiddy Smile (dressed in maison Schiaparelli). An evening whereby the best of men and women came together to celebrate high art, the memorable evening can be summed up in one sentiment overheard by one particularly well-heeled guest, “Now this, is Paris.”