Wowing and wooing the crowd

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A sweeping view of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton. Photo: JH.

Monday, August 12, 2019. It was a beautiful weekend in New York; sunny, mild, no humidity and by late Sunday evening it was cool and comfortable. Just about now we should be getting little touches of autumn’s messages in the air.

We did a rare posting late Saturday night after the news that Jeffrey Epstein was reported to have committed suicide on early Saturday morning, or thereabouts. The exact time wasn’t clear, just as the breaking news wasn’t clear. Our post was about the matter of Jeffrey Epstein and his sudden reported departure. As it was, it seemed that his life was over when they re-arrested him.

There are a lot of people who don’t believe the story. You won’t read it in MSM, but it’s all over the internet. The prevailing opinion is that Epstein was transported out of the hospital secretly, and the man on the gurney that is shown in photographs in the NY Post was not Mr. Epstein, but a cover (for the photo). There are, of course, suggestions as to where he might have been taken. But the facts are unknown, and likely to remain so.

Dead or alive, Jeffrey Epstein remains a mystery as a character. I was reminded again of Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” His was a world immersed in the commonly held elements of success. Namely money, luxury and fame (a/k/a social acceptance). Epstein’s life was far more dramatic than Gatsby who lived a century ago in New York. The tragedy of the man turned out to be just dressed up melodrama in the end. With Epstein it seems that behind the imposing double door of his East 71st Street mansion, was the Devil’s lair. And at the expense of many others, high and low.

Meanwhile, back to reality — or at least what is palatable and even sensible — a lot of New Yorkers are out of town these days, at their various destinations for some downtime and fresh air, ideally speaking. So stuff is going on and people are getting out, getting together, and enjoying some of the world of talent and music.


Outside Guild Hall for the inaugural performance of The Hamptons Dance Project.

This past Saturday night at Guild Hall in East Hampton, the Hamptons Dance Project held its inaugural performance at the John Drew Theater. The troupe pairs select dancers from American Ballet Theatre with master choreographers. The focus is on fresh, dynamic works — many of them world premiere commissions that explore a wide spectrum of dance from contemporary to classical.


The final bows.

Dancers included Isabella Boylston, Thomas Forster, Carlos Gonzalez , Sung Woo Han, Blaine Hoven, Erica Lall, Cassandra Trenary, Tyler Maloney, Jose Sebastian, and James Whiteside. Ballet masters included Olga Kostritzky and Sean Stewart.

They were a big hit, leaving many with a feeling they will be back next year just judging from the enthusiasm and appreciation coming from the audience.


The reception in the garden following the performance.

Back up to last Sunday in little old Manhattan, Maestro Iván Fischer brought his Budapest Festival Orchestra to David Geffen Hall as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival playing Handel (with accompaniment by stunning soprano Jeanine De Bique) and Mozart. In an unusual encore, the women of his orchestra also sang a rarely performed work by Dvořák.


Maestro Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Soprano Jeanine De Bique, Maestro Fischer, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra take their bows.

Following the concert, the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra held a champagne reception at Lincoln Restaurant.  Maestro Fischer warmly thanked his guests for their support. Once again proving his wit as a showman, he produced a trumpet and persuaded Wynton Marsalis to perform briefly as Fischer sang along for a remarkable duet. Wynton’s beautiful 11-year-old daughter, Oni, looked on along with Maestro Fischer’s wife Gabriella Pivon, the orchestra’s talented flutist.


Gabriella Pivon, Maestro Fischer, and Martin Hoffmann.
Maestro Fischer and Wynton Marsalis.


Guests included H.E. Shaikha Paula Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Chloe Flower, Susan Gutfreund, Mary McFadden, as well as Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra board members Sylvia Hemingway (with her daughter, Alexandra) and Laine Siklos.


Susan Gutfreund, Mary McFadden, Jon Marder, and H.E. Shaikha Paula Al-Sabah.

Upcoming Budapest Festival Orchestra projects include concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as the Vicenza Opera Festival in Italy October 21-24, 2019, premiering a new L’Orfeo at the beautiful Teatro Olimpico, and more. Tickets and more information can be found here: https://vicenzaoperafestival.com/

The FBFO was formed to support the Orchestra’s work in the USA and across the world. Supporters of the Foundation raise public awareness and financial support for the BFO and have the opportunity to build a closer relationship with the Orchestra both in the States and at home in Budapest. www.friendsofthebudapestfestivalorchestra.org


The VIP reception following the performance at the Lincoln Restaurant.

Backup to the eve of  August 1st in Nantucket,  the Nantucket Summer Antiques Show held its Preview Party to benefit The Nantucket Historical Association. Guests enjoyed cocktails and light bites while getting an exclusive first access to the show, which featured more than 30 fine antiques dealers from the United States & abroad.






The evening celebrated honorary chair John Rosselli and honorary co-chairs Richard Keith Langham and Alex Papachristidis.  The evening was sponsored by Boston Design Center and First Republic Bank.  The Preview Party was co-chaired by Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth and Pamela and Max Berry. The Nantucket Summer Antiques Show is managed by The Antiques Council and the Preview Party benefitted the NHA.


Delia and James Russell, with Melanie Sabelhaus.
Michell Kovner, Sarah Newton, and Jean Doyen de Montailou.
Phoebe Tudor and Kelly Williams.
Sara Boyce and Dana Boyce.
Stewart Manger and Chesie Breen.
Wendy Hudson, Julie Biondi, and Holly Finigan.

A couple of nights later on Saturday night, the Nantucket Historical Association held its Night at the Museum at the Whaling Museum. The museum was transformed  into an unforgettable party venue, with theme of Lost at Sea. Suggested attire was castaway chic, (ever been a castaway?). This was interpreted by outfits such as a Wilson volleyball, mermaids, and Gilligan’s Island characters!  The evening included amazing food, delectable cocktails, rooftop views and dancing the night away under the whale to DJ Ryan Brown and Yacht Rock Schooner.  The event was chaired by Elizabeth Georgantas and Marla Mullen Sanford and also included a silent auction, chaired by Josette Blackmore.


Amy Guidi, Camilla Richetelli, and Julie Lancia.
Ben Barnes, Phoebe Tudor, Mia Smith, Elizabeth McDermott.
Douglas and Anne-Marie Bratton.
Frank and Sharon Lorenzo.
Giana and Joshua Hebert.
Janet and Rick Sherlund.
Katherine Jetter and Kate Lubin.
Linda Holliday, Elizabeth Georgantas, with friends Susan and Deborah.
Lulu Powers, Tharon Anderson McEvoy, and Stacey Stuart.
Marla and Terry Sanford.
Elizabeth Georgantas, Carla McDonald, and Elin Hilderbrand, with friends.
Band Yacht Rock Schooner.

Photographs by Bill Hoek Photography (Preview Party); Eleanor Hallewell Photography (Night at the Museum).

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