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Excitement Builds for 30th Anniversary of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Famous Wine Auction!


Wine Auction 2018’s Honored Guest:
Château Margaux, the Legendary Wine of Bordeaux
Important Donations Already Secured

Lyric Opera Women’s Board:
Mimi Mitchell, President
Keith Kiley Goldstein and Nancy S. Searle, Wine Auction 2018 Co-Chairs

The fabled wines of Château Margaux will be the centerpiece of Wine Auction 2018, the highly regarded triennial event organized by The Women’s Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The legendary first-growth Bordeaux, Château Margaux, will be the Honored Guest of Wine Auction 2018. Honoree Shirley Welsh Ryan will be recognized for her extraordinary foresight in creating the first Wine Auction 30 years ago and for her ongoing dedication to Lyric and musical expression throughout Chicago. Northern Trust is the Presenting Sponsor of Wine Auction 2018. Liz Stiffel is the Catalogue Sponsor.

Since its 1988 inception, Wine Auction has raised $9 million in support of Lyric Opera. The 12th Wine Auction will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2018, following the regular opera season and preceding the company’s annual musical theater production.

This formal affair draws nearly 500 guests and is held in Lyric’s historic Civic Opera House, built in 1929 and renowned for its beautiful Art Deco/Art Nouveau décor. Wine Auction 2018 will commence with a reception and sizeable silent auction in the Rice Grand Foyer, followed by an elegant dinner and live auction on the Ken Pigott stage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre, specially expanded and decorated for the occasion. The setting underscores the Wine Auction’s raison d’être, which is to support the productions and community-engagement activities of this internationally acclaimed opera company.

Following tradition, a dazzling array of curated wines, luxury items, unique dining experiences, and exquisite travel packages will be featured in the auction.

Some highlights featured in Wine Auction 2018 include:
A bottle of 1945 Mouton Rothschild, donated by Women’s Board member Lili Gaubin from the wine collection of her late mother and longtime Women’s Board member, Catherine Graham, in honor of Shirley Welsh Ryan, for her extraordinary vision in creating the Wine Auction 30 years ago.

An imperial (8-bottle format) of 1986 Château Margaux – purchased on its release in the late 1980s, still in its original wooden case, untouched and in great condition. This spectacular item has been donated by Stephen A. Kaplan, a Lyric board member and Wine Auction advisor emeritus, in honor of Corinne Mentzelopoulos, the widely admired owner and CEO of Château Margaux since 1980.

A case (12 bottles) of 1990 Château Margaux from the Aubrey McClendon Collection, donated by Wine Auction 2018 co-chairs Keith Kiley Goldstein and Nancy S. Searle in honor of Wine Auction Honoree Shirley Welsh Ryan.

An in-depth tour of the Château Margaux cellars, followed by a private tasting and meal at the Château for up to 8 people; and a 5L bottle of 2003 Château Margaux, donated by Château Margaux.
Over the coming months, the Wine Auction 2018 committee of Lyric’s Women’s Board will solicit additional fine-wine and other luxury donations. For donation information please contact Leah Bobbey at (312) 827-5682 or [email protected]

About Château Margaux and Corinne Mentzelopoulos

Château Margaux is one of four wines to have achieved premier cru (first growth) status in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855. The estate in southwestern France has been occupied since at least the 12th century. In 1977, the Greek businessman André Mentzelopoulos bought the property and set about restoring it to its former glory, as Bordeaux wines were just beginning to emerge from a serious economic and qualitative crisis. When the new owner died suddenly in 1980, his daughter Corinne Mentzelopoulos took over the business at the age of 27. After studying classical literature and economics in Paris, she had started a career in international advertising. Subsequently, she became financial controller of a holding company for a major retail-store chain in Paris. Her father’s death necessitated an abrupt change of course. She managed her family’s business empire until 2003, when she took full ownership of Margaux. She has been awarded the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite for excellence in her field. In 1995, Mentzelopoulos received Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award.

About Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, and Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become the great North American opera company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1617 #LongLivePassion

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