Photo Call: A Glittering Crowd at the Met's Gala Butterfly

Classic Arts News   Photo Call: A Glittering Crowd at the Met's Gala Butterfly
The Metropolitan Opera set out to make this season's opening gala — the highly anticipated new production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley) — a seriously glamorous event. Well, our pen pal, who was there, was pretty impressed.

"In my row," our correspondent writes, "I recognized Donald and Melania Trump (she's gorgeous); Meg Ryan; the fashion designer Zac Posen and his date, Liv Tyler; Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed; and Al Roker and his wife.

"In the row in front of us were Jude Law and Sienna Miller (and Sienna's mother), Sydney Pollack, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (I had to look between their heads to see the stage), Bebe Neuwirth, and Isaac Mizrahi. Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts were two rows in front of me.

"We went to the gala dinner afterward, too — the Met covered Damrosch Park with a giant white tent, and there were white rice-paper globes in various sizes suspended from the ceiling, covering it completely. The only color was the green bamboo trees placed at strategic intervals and the pale flowers on the tables.

"During dinner I chatted with socialite Carol McFadden and with the director Jim Simpson, who is Sigourney Weaver's husband; Sigourney was nearby talking to Chuck Scarborough and Charlie Rose. Also sitting within a few chairs of me: Donald and Melania, Salman Rushdie, David Bowie and Iman, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and Howard Shore, the composer of the score for The Lord of the Rings movies.

"And, of course, there were hundreds of bankers, attorneys, philanthropists and corporate chiefs whom I did not recognize.

"I bet I was the only guy in the tent who had ironed his own shirt."

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