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www.blacktiemagazine.com
Career Bridges 19th Annual Awards Gala
Story by Lorraine Silvetz, MSW
Photos by:
Hechler Photography
 
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Joan Dornemann, co-Artistic Directors of CareerBridges, Barbara Meister Bender and David Schuyler Bender

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Joan Dornemann, co-Artistic Directors of CareerBridges, Barbara Meister Bender and David Schuyler Bender

Legendary figures in Opera embrace the next generation
of Opera Stars!
Career Bridges 19th Annual Award Winners
Career Bridges 19th Annual Award Winners
 Dr Joan Taub Ades and Barbara Meister Bender 
 Dr Joan Taub Ades and Barbara Meister Bender 
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner, Adam Guettel Luna Seongeun Park, and Kira Kaplan 2nd Row: Jonyue Gong, Kristen Marie Gillis, Kevin Godinez, Ilana Nobel Torres 3rd Row: Maggie Renee, Chelsea Laggan and Shanley Horvitz
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner, Adam Guettel
and this years award winners
First Row: Natalia Gonzalez Santaliz, Abigail Raiford, Adam Guettel,
Luna Seongeun Park, and Kira Kaplan
2nd Row: Jonyue Gong, Kristen Marie Gillis, Kevin Godinez,
Ilana Nobel Torres
3rd Row: Maggie Renee, Chelsea Laggan and Shanley Horvitz
 
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner, Adam Guettel with Barbara Meister Bender
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner, Adam Guettel
with Barbara Meister Bender
Walter MacNeil and Jane Thorngren
Walter MacNeil and Jane Thorngren
Career Bridges Gala Host,  Theodore S. Chapin
Career Bridges Gala Host,  Theodore S. Chapin
Julianne Michelle, Lorraine Silvetz, Luisa Diaz, Alan Brown, Anna Cley and Jessy Moya
Julianne Michelle, Lorraine Silvetz, Luisa Diaz, Alan Brown, Anna Cley
 and Jessy Moya
Joan Dornemann and 2019 Career Bridges Award Winner, Meghan Picerno
Joan Dornemann and 2019 Career Bridges Award Winner, Meghan Picerno
 Ray Belair and Yvette Bender Wenger
 Ray Belair and Yvette Bender Wenger
Tatyana Horoshko Gegera (Taty) and Barbara Meister Bender  and Barbara Meister Bender 
Tatyana Horoshko Gegera (Taty) and Barbara Meister Bender 
Jill Usdan, Chris Usdan, Jane Bergere, two guests and Theodore S. Chapin
Jill Usdan, Chris Usdan, Jane Bergere, two guests
and
Theodore S. Chapin
Anne Akers and Errol Rappaport 
Anne Akers and Errol Rappaport 
Cory Orosz, Liza and Flora Pllumaj, Lorraine Silvetz and Abe Shainberg
Cory Orosz, Liza and Flora Pllumaj, Lorraine Silvetz and Abe Shainberg


Legendary figures in the world of Opera gathered in force to celebrate the next generation of opera stars, recipients of awards, for the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges. The evening was a classic Gala in every sense from the exceptional performance to the sumptuous dinner at the gorgeous Metropolitan Club.

The Foundation has been performing a vital service for 19 years now. Career Bridges  founded by David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Meister Bender with the mission of providing vital assistance to young opera singers as they transition from training to stage. Awardees receive three years of mentoring, financial support, and performance opportunities based on the recommendations of a 20-25 member Panel of Experts, comprised of internationally recognized experts in repertory and vocal coaching, conductors, stage directors, artist managers/agents, opera company impresarios, et al. A combination of expert selection and this assistance has had a phenomenal rate of success. Every year, barring the pandemic, Career Bridges spearheads a competition where they award career grants to young artists. Those winners have the opportunity to perform and receive expert critique from a panel of professionals in the business; directors, voice teachers, performers etc. The singers are then granted a conference with David and Barbara where the critiques are discussed and further helpful suggestions are given. The grant winners have the opportunity to return for 3 more years to “check in” to see if the hard work they have done has been realized for the panel. What an incredible mentorship for these fortunate young artists.

This year's award winners include Natasha Gonzalez-Santaliz, Abigail Raiford, Adam Guettel, Luna Seongueun Park, Kira Kaplan, Jonyue Gong, Kristen Marie Gillis, Kevin Godinez, Ilana Nobel Torres, Maggie Renee, Chelsea Laggan, and Shanley Horvitz. Each and every performer was outstanding.

The Benders are a beautiful and talented, power couple whose welcoming remarks set the tone for an elegant evening.  Guests basked in the delightful entertainment which enveloped them throughout the evening. Many who have attended Career Bridges' previous Gala's commented that this was the best array of talent they had discovered in the foundation’s long history. That is saying something since they have found world class talent
each year.

Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was the legendary, Joan Dornemann, a renowned coach, pianist, and prompter. She has had an international career which led her from New York City Opera, to the Gran Liceo of Barcelona, to the Metropolitan Opera. In her many years as an assistant conductor at the Met she coached and prepared countless operatic stars for their performances. She inspired all with her acceptance speech.

Upon receiving the Distinguished Achievement Award, Adam Guettel, Composer and Lyricist of musical theater and opera spoke eloquently The grandson of musical theater composer Richard Rodgers, he is best known for his musical “The Light in the Piazza” for which he won the Tony for Best Original Score and the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations. He is an internationally known and widely sought after vocal coach.

The entire ensemble joined in the highly appropriate “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha. For many having a career in Opera might seem an impossible dream but Career Bridges’ Co-Artistic Directors, Barbara and David Bender and team’s mission is to make the dream all the more possible!

For more information on Career Bridges go to www.careerbridges.org

#careerbridges #mission #buildingbridges #studiotostage #gala #careerbridgeshechler #metropolitanclub #operastars #recipientsofawards #schuylerfoundation #symbolize #hechlerphotography

 

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