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‘Hippest volunteer group in town’ to raise funds for Detroit Opera House

By | 2018-01-16T15:28:01-05:00 June 16th, 2005|Entertainment|

DETROIT – A much anticipated event is expected to attract more than a thousand young professionals to downtown Detroit June 25, but it won’t have anything to do with business, politics or sports.
Instead, what’s called “the hottest event of the season” – “BravoBravo!” – is designed to help raise funds for the ongoing restoration of the Detroit Opera House.
“It’s become the event that people don’t want to miss,” Vittoria Katanski, the event’s co-chair, told BTL. “It’s the thing people talk about almost all season long.”
The sixth annual gala – a fun and funky evening that celebrates the tastes, sounds and people of Detroit – is sponsored by Encore!, the hippest and youngest volunteer group of the Detroit Opera House. It’s a diverse mix of suburbanites and city dwellers, Katanski noted, primarily between the ages of 21 and 36. Since 2000, Encore! has raised nearly $125,000 for its cause. This year, it hopes to raise $35,000.
“Our goal is to get people interested in downtown, but also interested in opera and the [opera] house itself,” Katanski said.
The event is spread across the spectacular three-tiered Grand Lobby of the Detroit Opera House, with music, lights, art and performances reminiscent of a New York club. Music will be provided by two of Detroit’s favorite DJs, Liz Copeland of WDET-FM and DJ Shortround.
The evening’s strolling dinner format will offer food and libation from a wide range of Metro Detroit’s finest restaurants and bars, including American Coney Island, Beans & Cornbread, Carl’s Chophouse, Como’s, La Zingara, Small Plates, Union Street Saloon and Vicente Cuban Cuisine. “We have a lot more downtown restaurants now because more are coming into the city,” Katanski said.
This year’s event will include a Silent Auction that will offer for bid a host of goodies, including Gold Cup Tickets donated by The Detroit Yacht Club and a weekend stay at The Westin Hotel. Each guest will also walk away with a decorative mask and a wonderful gift selected from the Masked Grab Bag draw.
Another highlight will be The Desperate Divas of Opera Fashion Show that’s based on the upcoming season’s operas. “It has a funky quirk to it that you’ll have to be there to find out about,” teased Katanski.
Additional entertainment will be provided by such groups as the Detroit Roller Derby, Greenstreet and Hellbenders. An art gallery showcasing the work of local artists will be open, and local favorite SLAW will host a gallery complete with go-go dancers and works from his private collection.
An after-party will follow at Karras Brothers Tavern, located at 225 Joseph Campau in Detroit’s Rivertown district. Admission is free; normal drink charges apply. “They’re donating 25 percent of their profits to the event,” Katanski said. Bus transportation will be provided.
General admission tickets to “BravoBravo!” are $55 in advance or $65 at the door; VIP tickets (which include valet parking, exclusive bar until 9 p.m., gift bag and entertainment by DJ Liz Copeland) are $75 in advance and $85 at the door.
“This evening promises nothing but memories, tons of fun and a fantastic party,” Katanski concluded. “We hope everyone will come and support this amazing treasure!”

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