Monday, January 10, 2011
Having a Ball
The Academy Ball is just around the corner here in Philadelphia. And what a tradition it is...one of the few remaining white tie events in the country. It is also one of the all-time best parties here.
The Anniversary Concert and Ball, as it is more formally known, is held every year at the end of January as a fundraiser for the Academy of Music, on the short list of the great concert halls.
This year--the 154th--it will be held on Saturday, January 29. While proceeds from the Concert and Ball are shared between the Academy of Music and The Philadelphia Orchestra, all of the monies donated to the Restoration Fund go directly to the restoration and preservation of the Academy.
Founded in 1957 at the Academy's centennial by Stuart F. Louchheim and a group of civic-minded businessmen, the Restoration and Preservation Fund has been instrumental in restoring the Academy to its current splendor. Combined proceeds from the Concert and Ball and the Annual Giving Campaign have gone towards numerous restoration projects, including a new main house curtain, designed and woven by Scalamandré, conservation of the ceiling murals and wood sculptures, the restoration of the main lobby and grand staircase to their former splendor, and the renovation, soundproofing, and carpeting of the ballroom. Two new elevators were installed, thanks to the generosity of Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg, making all levels of the auditorium accessible to the physically challenged. The Academy was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963.
The 146-year-old Academy of Music is the oldest known continuously operating opera house in the United States. The building, constructed in 1857, was built using solid brick bearing walls and timber framed floors and roof. It has served for the last 147 years as Philadelphia's premier opera house and served for over a century as home to The Philadelphia Orchestra.
The Philadelphia Orchestra returns once again for a performance, including Renée Fleming and Paul Simon as special guests. Lester Holt, weekend anchor for NBC’s Today and Nightly News, serves as host for the evening.
Immediately following the concert, gala guests will make their way north on Philadelphia’s iconic Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue, formerly known as the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. This magnificent hotel is as much a part of Philadelphia as the William Penn statue atop City Hall. An exquisite gala champagne supper and ball follow the concert, with as many as 15 different bands playing in as many different rooms of the hotel. In recent years, the Ball has hosted such distinguished guests as HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Best of Britain at the Academy Ball
The theme for this year’s Concert and Ball is “Protecting Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures,” which highlights the remarkable non-profit organizations in our region that make a difference every day in the lives of our citizens.
Typically, one stays over at the hotel, or the Union League so one doesn't have to drive.
To the grand old lady of Broad Street,
- Anne Lake
- Living well is the best revenge...and a choice we make every day. Join me as I celebrate the bounty of beauty in all its forms: fashion, homestyle, accessories and everyday richness...as I juggle the roles of Mommy, wife, daughter, dog mommy, creative director, Zumba instructor, volunteer...all with more than a passing glance backward to an old-school, classic time when style was a way of life