Monday, September 27, 2010

JPAS Pasta & Puccini Fundraising Gala October 29!

Jefferson Performing Arts Society’s 15th Annual Pasta & Puccini Gala October 29
at InterContinental New Orleans
Proceeds benefit the JPAS Theatrical Endeavors and Arts Outreach throughout the 33rd Season

Also sponsored by The Robert & Jeri Nims Foundation, InterContinental New Orleans
and supported by At&T Real Yellow Pages, Lexus of New Orleans, Republic National Distributing Co., Goldring Family Foundation

Jefferson Performing Arts Society’s (JPAS) 15th Annual Pasta & Puccini Gala will be held Friday October 29, 2010 at InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Doors will open at 6:30PM. Gala patrons will enjoy an evening of world class entertainment, delicious food donated by a wide array of local restaurants and caterers and exciting auctions to the music of the great Giacomo Puccini. Proceeds from this annual fundraiser will benefit the Jefferson Performing Arts Society's annual theatrical productions and arts outreach programming that annually enrich and serve over 20,000 arts patrons and reach over 10,000 youth throughout five parishes in Southern Louisiana. Tickets and tables for this elegant affair are available for purchase now - only a few open tables remain! The evening includes an open bar, an array of delicacies provided by over 30 local restaurants and caterers, live and silent auctions and live entertainment provided by international performers and the JPAS Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis G. Assaf. Single tickets start at $125 per patron. Tables of ten start at $1250. To reserve your table/tickets or for more information, contact Pasta & Puccini coordinator Valerie Hart at 504.885.2000 ext. 212, email or visit
It will be an enchanted evening featuring the romantic opera classics of Giacomo Puccini performed by international vocalists HIROKO MORITA, NANCY ROSS, JUAN VALLS and VICTOR GARCIA SIERRA, the principal performers in the upcoming JPAS production of LA BOHEME at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell on October 23, Tulane University's Dixon Hall on October 27 and November 6 at Benet Hall, St. Joseph's Abbey in Covington. The performers will be accompanied by the JPAS Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Dennis G. Assaf, JPAS Executive/Artistic Director.

Renowned artist James Michalopolous and Reese Johanson will serve as honorary gala chairs and celebrity auctioneers. They will auction gorgeous jewelry pieces from Hiller Jewelry, Symmetry, Wellington & Company, a spa package for 8 from LaRiveria Salon and Spa, a dinner for 10 with wine parings from the Marriott Lakeway and a beautiful Marc Chagall work of art from Windsor Gallery.  Our silent auction will amaze guests with over 200 gift items including hotel and dinner packages, rides in Mardi Gras parades, jewelry and other exciting items. For your culinary appetite, there’s a dinner buffet provided by thirty of the area’s finest restaurants and caterers and libations include a Champagne bar sponsored by Lexus of New Orleans, a Puccini Punch from the Old New Orleans Rum and Sangria from Cucos, to name a few.

JPAS is honored to have the support and friendship of Sammy L. Steele, III and the Dr. Donald and JJ Dooley Fund for this year's Gala. Mr. Steele, III will be honored as "Prince Calaf" of the Gala for his generous support.
JPAS is also honored to once again have the support of the Robert & Jeri Nims Foundation for this year's gala. The Jefferson Performing Arts Society is proud to once again partner with InterContinental New Orleans for a second year with hosting the annual Pasta & Puccini Fund-Raising Gala. InterContinental New Orleans is one of the few hotels in the New Orleans Metro Area that is able to comfortably host over 500 patrons with room for large stage for live performances by a full symphony orchestra. This lavish event will once again extend throughout all the ballrooms on the third floor of this world-class hotel.

(Pictured: "Prince Calaf" SAMMY L. STEELE, III and "Turandot" JERI L. NIMS)

All proceeds from this annual Gala will benefit the many facets of Jefferson Performing Arts Society's programming and outreach including
productions in the JPAS 33rd Theatrical season, arts outreach programs and children's arts programs. Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a non-profit professional arts organization whose mission is to promote arts performance, training and outreach by providing a diverse range of quality programs that entertain, educate and enrich the cultural and economic vitality of Jefferson Parish, Greater New Orleans and the Gulf South.

Jefferson Performing Arts Society is grateful for the support of the members of the 2010 Pasta & Puccini Committee that is currently
planning this event. The 2010 Gala is chaired by Wayne Nocito and Karen Villavaso, with honorary gala chairs and celebrity aucitoneers James Michalopolous and Reese Johanson with Nancy Keylon (Art Auction Chair), recently inducted Louisiana Center for Women & Government Hall of Fame Faith Peperone and Nick Hebert (Decorations Chairs), Brenda Melancon and Rita Nelson (Hospitality Chairs), Kellie M. Barnes (Marketing Chair), Ginger Crawford (Publicity Chair), Beth Goddard and Jane Miller, M. D. (Patron Party Chairs), Jackie Elliott (Table Sales Chair), Gloria Esthus (Lobby Decorations Chair), Sharon Kochera (Restaurant Chair) and Carrel Epling (Auction Chair). Committee Members include Shelli Ali, Barbara Ballard, Lee Baraldi, Kellie Barnes, Howard Bennett, Veronique Black, Melinda Bourgeois, Bonnie Broel, Danny Bruza, Margie Carmadelle, Brenda Chetta, Ilana Cohen, D.C., Marilyn Cox, Barbara Darcy, Dale Daly, Gloria Esthus, Antoinette Fitzpatrick, Mike Falati, Kurt C. Garcia, Esq., Bonnie Gourgues, Laura Grasso, Nancy Gros, Josephine Haas, Sharon Hannahan, Robin Houston, Glenn Hayes, Janie Kahn, Irene Klinger, Judith Johnson, D.D.S. Mary Moises, Gloria Parrish, Bernie Renton, Joy Shane, Dean Shapiro, Sylvia Stripling, Gayle Viles and Councilman John Young.

More About the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS)
Founded in 1978 by Dennis G. Assaf and Hannah Cunningham, Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a non-profit professional arts organization whose mission is to promote arts performance, training and outreach by providing a diverse range of quality programs that entertain, educate and enrich the cultural and economic vitality of Jefferson Parish, Greater New Orleans and the Gulf South.
JPAS focuses on three main elements:

  • PERFORMANCE JPAS annually provides a wide range of theatrical performances that appeal to many interests and age groups. Most seasons include a selection of grand opera, musical theater, dance and music. JPAS strives to network and partner with national and international artists and companies to bring new and diverse programming to the Southern Region.
  • TRAINING JPAS provides performance and technical based training in the arts for all ages with a particular focus on young people.
  • OUTREACH JPAS provides arts education programming in local area schools, as well as access to professional theatrical experiences that align to classroom curricula and Louisiana Content Standards, including Arts Adventure Series, Cultural Crossroads and Stage Without A Theatre. JPAS provides performers, musicians, artistic experiences and expertise to select area events and organizations to enrich the community.

Special Thanks to the Sponsors & Supporters of the JPAS 33rd Season, Including:


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