AshevilleNews Stories

Lyric Opera Gala Returns as Three Act Concert, Three Course Meal


Tenor Grant Knox

Staff Reports-Saturday, January 25, the Asheville Lyric Opera is presenting a unique Winter Gala at the Crowne Plaza Expo Center, filled with musical and gastronomic gems. This event supports and celebrates the many operatic productions brought to Asheville by David Craig Starkey, General and Artistic director over the last fifteen years. Very few cities of this size in the United States can boast of having their own opera company. In addition, the funds raised for this 501C3 organization helps support the many Educational and Outreach programs, which are brought to this area. ALO provides in-schools performances, preview dress rehearsal performances, master classes, and community opera concerts. Collegiate, professional internships and summer Artist Training programs are made available in arts administration, music business and arts management.

This Winter Gala Evening promises to be filled with elegance, fine dining, and entertainment. Guests arrive to trays of appetizers and wine stations. They can sign up for a wide variety of silent auction items, view cars from Harry’s on the Hill, then sit down at their reserved table with friends. Music and singing will be presented all evening with ten operatic singers bursting into song–concert style. Grant Knox is a nationally acclaimed tenor and the new Director of Lyric Theater at Furman University. Solmaaz Adeli is an internationally acclaimed soprano. Jonathan Ross is a local baritone, most recently seen in the ALP production of Marriage of Figaro. While Baritone Mark Owen Davis made his ALO debut as Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni and most recently appeared this season as Tonio in I Pagliacci. These are only a few of the professional vocalists performing that night.

Borrowing from the Asian Dim Sum style of dining, carts will be passed to the tables by celebrated local chefs. Frankie Bones, Posana Cafe, Red Stag Grill, and Vincenzo’s Ristorante & Bistro will all be offering platters of delicious entrées. Santé Wine Bar & Tap Room and Table Wine will serve a fine selection of red and white wine. Bruce’s Fabulous Foods, known for their delicious cheesecakes, Doubletree Catering, and Kilwin’s have planned enticing desserts. Dynamite Roasting Co. will provide their renowned certified organic coffee.

Indeed this Winter Gala is part of Asheville’s restaurant week and a festive gourmet evening is planned at the Expo Center with easy parking. Many of the ALO sponsors, such as the Crowne Plaza Resort, Oppenheimer, and Harry’s on the Hill have purchased full tables. Individual tickets can still be purchased online for only $75, all inclusive, at or telephone 828 236-0670 during business hours to make a reservation. Cocktail attire is recommended.

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