Gala Celebration


Join us for our Gala Celebration – let’s toast our return to the stage! Start your evening with sumptuous food and drinks, while bidding on one-of-a-kind auction items. Then, enjoy a stunning performance by Annapolis Opera artists.

Friday, September 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM
Maryland Hall | 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD

Individual Tickets: $150 each
Group Tickets: 8 or more at $137.50 each

Annapolis Opera Gala Celebration

In accordance with health regulations at Maryland Hall, all attendees are required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. In addition, in order to provide patrons the safest environment possible, the Annapolis Opera will require all Gala Celebration attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of full vaccination prior to the event.

Please email proof of your vaccination to the Opera office at for quick and easy entry to the event. If you cannot provide this via email you may provide a picture on your cell phone or show your card at entry to the event.

Please note that if you do not have proof of vaccination, you will not be allowed to attend. If you purchased a gala ticket prior to September 1 and are not vaccinated, you may request a refund.


Joshua Conyers La Boheme
Kara Mulder Goodrich La Boheme
Craig Kier
Sofia Selowsky Cinderella
David Walton Cinderella

Joshua Conyers

Kara Goodrich

Craig Kier

Sofia Selowsky


Wantagh, New York, USA - May 25, 2014: The Blue Angels fly five F/A-18 Hornet Aircraft at the 11th Annual Jones Beach Air Show Sponsored by the Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Blue Angels VIP Package

Donated by the Blue Angels Foundation

This very special VIP Blue Angel practice show on Tuesday May 24, 2022, from 11 AM to 3 PM, is sponsored by the Blue Angels Foundation, and is by invitation only! You and three guests will be driven by bus from Navy Marine Corps Stadium to the VIP tent at Hospital Point, where you will have front row seats to view the Blue Angels airshow, which will be narrated by retired Blue Angels pilots. Lunch is catered by Mission BBQ with a beer and wine garden. This package also includes Blue Angel Foundation logo shirts, hats, challenge coins, and one 75th anniversary lithograph. This is a one-of-a-kind event and the only one held in the entire country!

Cinderella VIP Package

Donated by the Annapolis Opera

Be treated like royalty in parterre seats and learn the secrets to this amazing production in November 2021. You and your guest will be swept off your feet with the beauty of Rossini’s music, attend a behind-the-scenes rehearsal, have a backstage tour with Annapolis Opera General Director Kathy Swekel, enjoy intermission champagne and attend the VIP post performance reception.

Annapolis Opera Cinderella
Annapolis Opera Gala Celebration

Conduct the National Anthem on Opening Night

Donated by the Annapolis Opera

Can you imagine the thrill of standing in front of a symphony orchestra, receiving the enthusiastic applause of supportive patrons, and conducting our National Anthem? Experience this once in a lifetime opportunity for you (or a family member – young or old!) as you take to the podium and become Maestro for one of Annapolis Opera’s 2022 opening nights. Artistic and Music Director, Craig Kier, will meet with you privately to assist with your preparation, which will include a rehearsal with the orchestra prior to the performance, guaranteeing your successful debut with Annapolis Opera!

Private Magic Show & Cocktail Party

Donated by Chris Dugdale & Kathy Swekel

You and your seven guests will be amazed by international magician and mentalist, Chris Dugdale, Having an unparalleled resumé in the field of magic, Chris presented 14 Royal Performances including a private show for HM The Queen, and has mystified everyone from Beyoncé to the Pentagon. Chris is a 7-time award-winning Edinburgh festival performer and the only act ever to win the Edfest Bouquet 4 times. You may well recognize him as one of the stars of Penn and Teller: FOOL US. His magic has been seen by over 10 million people worldwide.

Included in this mystifying event is a cocktail party for your guests with delicious wine, savory and sweet treats prepared by Annapolis Opera General Director, Kathy Swekel.

Annapolis Opera La Boheme

La Boheme VIP Package

Donated by the Annapolis Opera

You and your guest will be on the edge of your seats as you learn the secrets to this amazing production in January 2022. You and your guest will experience the grandeur of Puccini’s masterpiece from premium seating, attend a behind-the-scenes rehearsal, have a backstage tour with Annapolis Opera General Director Kathy Swekel, enjoy intermission champagne and attend the VIP post performance reception.

Come Aboard the Blue Martini 3

Donated by Cary Melnyk

Four guests will enjoy the sea breeze in their hair as they set out with Annapolis Opera Board President, Cary Melnyk, for sunset cruise aboard a 39′ Intrepid Sport Yacht, with hors d’oeuvres and libations.

Annapolis Opera Gala Celebration

Sail on the Wilma Lee

Donated by the Annapolis Maritime Museum

Experience Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay like never before on this sunset sail aboard the historic Skipjack Wilma Lee for 6 guests. Built in 1940, and meticulously restored in 2019, the Wilma Lee offers an authentic setting for a special celebration, family outing or corporate event. You and your guests are invited to sit back and let the wind carry you across the water as you enjoy the golden hour of the day with beverages, wine and cocktails aboard one of the last Skipjacks on the Bay.

Scotch Tasting & Gourmet Dinner

Donated by Richard Krimm & Kathy Swekel

Back by popular demand! Eight guests will have the pleasure of learning about and tasting single malt scotch from Scotland’s five principal regions. The sampling, from a private collection, ranges from the most famous distillers to the rare and regional small batch creators. Each scotch will be paired with a unique course that will enhance your experience.


Primitive Shell Sculpture

Donated by the Estate of Nancie Kennedy

This is a piece by the artist duo, Stephen Gartner and Danielle Blade, of Gartner Blade Glass. The results are exquisite works of art including functional works, vases and sculpture. The inspiration for their work comes from both primitive and contemporary cultures. Elements in their glass often resemble natural objects like bones, wood, leaves, and vines. Approx. 6” h x 12” w.

One Week Vacation in Waterfront Cottage

Donated by Kathy & Chris Swekel

Enjoy a week in this cozy three-bedroom, one-bathroom fishing cottage situated on Farnham Creek and the Rappahannock River. Explore historic sites including the ancestral homes of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and James Madison. Visit Strafford Hall, Manokin, Christ Church, and more. Travel to Tangier Island or explore the streets of local villages, with great restaurants and vineyards. Sleeps nine.


Sunset Cocktail Party

Donated by Paula Abernethy

Enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre party for six people on a waterfront patio overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Bask in the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay at sunset while enjoying delicious food and great company

“UNITY” Vase by American Pottery

Donated by the Estate of Nancie Kennedy

Each piece of stoneware by the African American artist, Larry Allen is hand-crafted solely by him. His inspiration comes largely from African and Native American art. Larry makes each vessel from a special black stoneware clay through multiple glazings and firings. The pieces involve delicately carved designs into the surface of the wheel-thrown vessel. All the carving is done free-hand. He is specifically known for the “UNITY” motif (people holding hands) which was inspired by the tragedy of 9-11. Approx. 4” h x 6” w.

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Annapolis Opera Into the Woods

Into the Woods VIP Package

Donated by the Annapolis Opera

Have the best seats in the house for Sondheim’s fabled production, Into the Woods. You and a guest will attend a behind-the-scenes rehearsal, have a backstage tour with Annapolis Opera General Director Kathy Swekel, enjoy intermission champagne and attend the VIP post performance reception during the March 2022 production.

“Ancestry” Banded Blown Glass Art Vessel

Donated by the Estate of Nancie Kennedy

From Nancie Kennedy’s private collection, this one-of-a-kind work was donated by her estate to benefit the Annapolis Opera. Winners of the prestigious “Excellence in Glass” award from the Smithsonian Institute, Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli are a husband-and-wife team that own and operate Twisp River Glass, a studio where they collaboratively design and create blown glass sculpture. Their simple, earthy forms serve as blank slates for their abstract, narrative imagery created by layering colors of glass and adding frit, powdered glass, and steel fibers. Finally, the surface is acid-etched, giving the finished piece its soft, matte finish and stone-like appearance. According to the artists, “We use cultural artifacts as a way of exploring our relationship with the land and to remind us of our interconnection with nature, with each other, and with our collective past.” Approx. 15” h x 10” w.

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American Indian Pottery

Donated by the Estate of Nancie Kennedy

From Nancie Kennedy’s private collection, this one-of-a-kind work was donated by her estate to benefit the Annapolis Opera. Noted potter, Marie Gonzales Kailahi’s works are from the Pueblo, NM region and are known for their beautiful motifs. Approx. 3” h x 4.5” h.

Signed Original M.E. Warren Photograph

Donated by Anonymous

Gelatin Silver Print Photograph
“Racing Aboard Freedom” circa 1955
Mr. Warren spent years documenting the lives of watermen, oyster shuckers and sailcloth makers. He spent hours with his subjects before he pulled out a camera, often shooting without looking in the viewfinder. No obstacle seemed insurmountable as seen from this photograph captured from the prow of the Skipjack Freedom.
Authenticated work. The 15×19 work is matted and in 24×28 Black metal frame.

Red Glass Vessel

Donated by the Estate of Nancie Kennedy

Renowned glass artist, Michael Nourot (decd. 2015,) came from the famed Pilchuck Studio where he worked alongside the talents of Dale Chihuly and others before opening his own studio with his wife, Ann Corcoran. Nourot glass became especially well known for its red glass, a color difficult to produce with consistent results. The Nourot’s work has been commissioned worldwide by major corporations and individuals including the White House, and was also displayed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

Handmade Italian Handbag with Financial Planning

Donated by CovingtonAlsina

This incredible stylish leather bag, crafted in Italy, can take you anywhere, and it comes with equally incredible advice!

You will receive a personalized two-hour financial planning session at CovingtonAlsina and a copy of “Smart Women Finish Rich.”