Opera resident artists Jasmine Muhammad, Kyle Oliver and Samantha Korbey, rear.
Dr. John and Dolores Barber.
Francois Bitz, with twin daughters Zoe, left, and Agnes.
District Attorney Steve and Mary Zappala.
By Marylynn Uricchio Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Maecenas XXIX returned to the grand stage at Benedum Center Saturday, delivering a command performance at the request of Lisa Cibik, who chaired the Pittsburgh Opera gala for the third time. If practice makes perfect, Dr. Cibik succeeded in wowing the 330 guests with an evening both elegant and enjoyable. Of course she had a little help -- the opera folks are pros at dramatic staging, and the setting was that and more. Call it modern luxe -- a spare cobalt blue backdrop with a canopy of crystal chandeliers and giant tufts of baby's breath in tall silver vases. After cocktails onstage, the curtain was raised on the dining area and a sophisticated dinner by Bob Sendall and All in Good Taste. Roasted Barramundi sea bass and a second course of spring greens with duck confit was served after a welcome from opera general director Christopher Hahn, board chair Michele Fabrizi and board president Clyde Jones.
Singing everyone into supper were Pittsburgh Opera resident artists, who performed wonderfully and reinforced the benefit's mission -- raising $375,000. But equally important was the bestowing of two honors: the lifetime Achievement Award to retiring Carnegie Mellon president Jared Cohon, and the Maecenas XXIX award to PNC Financial Services, which was accepted by PNC Foundation chair Eva Blum.
Dancing the night away to the Nick Dialoiso Orchestra were Dr. Cibik's husband Bernie Kobosky and daughter Alexandra Good, Nadine Bognar, Kevin and Kristen McMahon, Cindy and Murry Gerber, Cliff and Diane Rowe, Dolores and John Barber, Carol Massaro with daughter-in-law Stephanie Massaro, Dr. Laura Pallan and John Tippins, John and Nancy Traina. Dr. Bill and Cindy Swartz, Judy and Hale Oliver, Sandy Bettor, Dr. Bill and Natalie Hoffman, Ed and Nancy Byrnes, Dr. Suzan Obagi and Mazen Youssef, Anuj and Anne Dhanda, Eric Shiner, Lois Pruitt and Cynthia McCormick, Van Kaplan and Mary Jane Brennan, Donna and John Peterman, Carol Shriber and Chuck Snyder, Dr. Loren and Ellen Roth, Nachum Golan and Steve Hough, Bill Caroselli and Dusty Kirk, Marilyn and Howard Bruschi, Duquesne University dean of music Ed Kocher and Camie Schoonhoven, Paul Gitnik and many more.