Opera Lafayette Baroque Music Festival

Yvonna Russell
4 min readJun 15, 2022
Jacob Ashworth, Sandrine Chatron

La soirée ultime of the Opera Lafayette Baroque Music Festival was on Wednesday, the night of June 8th in Manhattan. The Era of Marie Antoinette, Rediscovered explores the wife of Louis XVI and Queen of France Marie Antoinette and an intimate look at her the musician and salon host.The evening began uptown at El Museo del Barrio.

Jacob Ashworth, Sandrine Chatron, Nicholas Phan and Sophia Burgos

The concert offered The Musical Salon of Marie Antoinette featuring works by Gluck, Chevalier de Saint Georges and Hinner in a program conceived by harpist Sandrine Chatron. Sandrine performed with soprano Sophia Burgos, tenor Nicholas Phan, violinist Jacob Ashworth and flutist Charles Brink. The musical could have been a day in the court life of Marie Antoinette’s Versailles.

Dr. Ralph Wharton, Charles Kitchen, Carolyn Walsh, Stephen Kitchen

The crisp and moonlit evening was the perfect backdrop as soigné guests were whipped downtown for an intimate dinner at a private club.

Caroline and Max Jahn

Before the gala dinner Emily Rafferty was honored with Opera Lafayette Leadership in the Arts Award. Gala co-chairs Nizam Kettaneh and Marifé Hernandez with a benefit committee boasting Annelyse and Freddy Allen, Tony Bechara, Catia Chaplin, Francis Dubois, Ishtar Méjanes, Lisette Prince, Barbara Tober, and Margo and Anthony Viscusi composed a superb fete.

Emily Rafferty, Barbara Tober, Layla Diba

The intimate dinner served in an elegant salon of crab salad with apple, mango, avocado cream in a coconut dressing followed by beef tournedos with fingerling potatoes and haricot vert with dessert of apple tatin with creme fraiche ice cream was delicious.

Theodocia Austen, Parker Jayne

The repasse was complimented by a French wine selection from Roland Tissier Sancerre Loire and Chateau Greysac Cabernet Medoc and naturallement Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut Champagne.

Preston Adams, Kendall McCoy

The Festival opened with a fully staged production of André Grétry’s Silvain, baritone tenor Nathan Berg who performed Dolmon père gave a wonderful post dinner performance to everyone’s delight.

Nathan Berg, Rachel Jonck

Opera Lafayette presented a three-day Baroque Music Festival, The Era of Marie Antoinette, Rediscovered at El Museo del Barrio, June 7–9. The beauty of this music cannot be contested and its relevance underscored by Artistic Director Ryan Brown’s intelligent productions. Opera Lafayette’s Festival featured a superb roster of international singers and musicians including Jacob Ashworth, Charles Brink, Teresa Castillo, Sishel Claverie, Samantha Louis-Jean, Jehú Otero, Nicholas Phan, Zack Powell, Victor Sicard, Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Jonathan Woody, and The Opera Lafayette Orchestra. An integral part of the festival, Opera Lafayette created a commemorative book with essays by participating scholars and performers including Callum Blackmore, Julia Doe, Laurent Dubois, Rebecca Geoffrey-Schwinden, Kaiama Glover, Judith Miller, Maria Mondragon-Valdez, Tania Hernández Velasco, Sylvia Rodríguez, and Caroline Weber.

Stephanie Bernheim, Dr. Ralph Wharton

Through the creation of modern and compelling performances, recordings of rediscovered gems and historical masterpieces to introduce to a new generation, Opera Lafayette is the American producer of period-instrument opera from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Opera Lafayette is the only opera company to perform full seasons in both Washington, DC and New York City.

Kitty Ockenden, Joel Bell, Emily Rafferty

Later that night, the sated opera lovers slipped out into the night with a gift box of Naked chocolate Bon Bon Selection.



Yvonna Russell

Writer. I cover the arts, good causes and style. Will work for coffee, wine and Manolo Blahniks.