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NYC Opera Benefit Goes Regal Red

April 16, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

New York City Opera's Thrift Shop benefit Casa Italiana at Columbia University Monday, 04.08.02, 6 PM to 10:30 PM
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For whatever reason, red is the hot event color again. Maybe it's because red can be a fairly simple theme (“I see everything in red light..."). Maybe it's because the color is one-third of the patriotic red-white-and-blue look that popped up everywhere immediately after September 11. Maybe the slightly decadent ideas that come from the scarlet tones are a needed antidote to the stress of terrorism, war and economic woes. Or maybe designers just think it looks good. But whatever the reason, the color was all over the New York City Opera's Thrift Shop benefit, which had a red-flecked Don Giovanni theme and included a seated dinner, shopping with merchandise from the store, and a performance of selections from the Mozart opera. (Red was also the color at a Target-sponsored event on the same night.)

MF Productions produced the opera event, and the red decor was courtesy of Ron Wendt of Ron Wendt Designs and Robert Rufino, vice president of creative services at Tiffany & Company, the design duo that did the Young Fellows of the Frick Collection's benefit. For the dinner area in the second floor stage hall at Casa Italiana at Columbia University, the designers covered long tables with tablecloths in a variety of red patterns, gold tinted silverware and glassware accented with red tones. The tall centerpieces were wrapped in ivy and thick bouquets of red roses, and topped with white tapered candles. And the napkins and chair cushions were red, too, of course. Meanwhile, a luxurious-looking bed with Frette linens--in guess what color--was set up in another area of the event and raffled at one point in the evening.

Canard Inc. served a Don Giovanni-inspired menu with penne puttanesca, breast of chicken and flaming molten devil's food cake. And the special drink was made with Campari, the red liquor that manages to pour its way into just about every red-themed event.

Fred Schneider of the B-52's and James Murphy served as the DJs, and Nell Campbell was the event's M.C. To match the event's color scheme, a number of partygoers, including co-chairs and co-Conde Nast-ies Hamish Bowles and Amy Fine Collins, donned red outfits.

--Chad Kaydo

Read our coverage of the Target-sponsored Lifebeat benefit on the same night...

Read our coverage of the red decor at the Harper's Bazaar relaunch party...

Read our coverage of the decadent Champagne Mumm Paint the Town Rouge party...

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