Opera Lafayette New York Baroque Musique Festival Kickoff

Yvonna Russell
4 min readMay 27, 2022
Robert Quinlan, Horatio Milberg, Dimity Milberg, Encarnita Quinlan

Consul General of France in New York Jérémie Robert, Marifé Hernández and Nizam P. Kettaneh welcomed opera lovers to a cocktail reception on May 17th at the New York French Consulate to toast Opera Lafayette and the upcoming New York Baroque Musique Festival; The Era of Marie-Antoinette Rediscovered. The New York Baroque Musique Festival arrives on June 7th — 9th in Manhattan.

Angela Chen, Karou Ishikane, Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane, Galina Novikova

Spring chic guests guests Angela Chen, Susan Clearwater, Beatriz Coles, Matthias Ederrer, Mr. and Mrs. John French, April Gow, Susan Gutfreund, Sharon King Hoge, Roberta Downs Sandeman and Arthur A. Houghton, Ambassador and Mrs. Kimihiro Ishikane, Caroline and Max Jahn, Ellie Manko, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Quinlan, Barbara Tober, and Rosemary Zraly gathered at the consulate’s elegant salon.

Marie-Antoinette in the Park (Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun) Met Museum

The beauty of The Era of Marie-Antoinette Rediscovered presents the discerning taste of the daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie-Antoinette educated in dance and music. The Opera Lafayette’s festival programming of a modern performance of a favored opera, Silvain, performances that transport one to the Queen of France’s Versailles musical salons of chamber works and composers under her patronage.

Susan Gutfreund, Shining Sung, Jean Golden

The three-day event features baroque music performed by international musicians, a roundtable discussion, gala dinner, and reception.

Jérémie Robert

Consul General of France in New York Jérémie Robert shared “This festival will redress some misconceptions about Queen Marie-Antoinette. For one, she was fond of Gretry’s Silvain, a work Opera Lafayette will present on June 7th, that reflects on land rights of farmers as well as on the softening of paternal authority through the display of familial virtue, evidently sympathized with both aspects. The Salon de musique of Marie-Antoinette, to be performed on June 8th, reminds us on the one hand that she was a musician and that she was open minded, having the Chevalier de Saint-Georges as one of her chamber musicians and composers. On June 9th will be a performance of Concert Spirituel aux Caraïbes, which illustrates the global reach beyond Europe of the queen’s musical taste for French opera-comique and for Italian music.”

Caroline Jahn, Max Jahn

As handsome bilingual servers passed flutes of champagne and trays of filet mignon, duck, brie, foie gras and tuna canapés, the lively conversation centered on the inaugural music festival they have long to attend for two years.

Rosemary Zraly, Max Ansbacher

The excitement for the upcoming celebration for opera lovers who had and had not attended the galas was equal. The concert & gala dinner will be held the evening of June 8th at El Museo del Barrio with Opera Lafayette’s presentation of Le Salon de Musique de Marie Antoinette (The Musical Salon of Marie Antoinette). The gala will honor Emily K. Rafferty, President Emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and feature a post-dinner performance by internationally-renowned bass Nathan Berg.

Francois Dubois, Galina Novikova, Jeremie Robert, Patricia Forelle

Ladies bring out your finest gowns and opera glasses (jumelles de théâtre) and gentlemen prepare your best bib and tucker for a splendid evening to come.



Yvonna Russell

Yvonna Russell is a writer with over 10 years of experience in covering the arts, style, and good causes.