The American Friends of Covent Garden (AFoCG) celebrated their 50th anniversary with a very special dinner event – An Intimate Celebration of the Arts – in Los Angeles.

Tom Ellis and Lesley-Ann Brandt
Tom Ellis and Lesley-Ann Brandt

Hosted by Susan A. Olde OBE, this “by invitation-only” dinner took place at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills on July 10, 2019. The AFoCG is an organization that was established in 1969 by Leonore Annenberg to foster relationships between the UK and the US. The organization supports opera and ballet performances at the Royal Opera House in London, and its outreach and education programmes. The celebration captivated and drove support of this global arts initiative and promoted the extraordinary work of The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House.

Attendees included Ella Balinska, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Cat Deeley, Tom Ellis, Nicholas Hoult, Toby Kebbell, Vanessa Kirby, Mark Mothersbaugh, Noomi Rapace, Marco Perego, and many more!

The evening also honored Wallis Annenberg, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, whose family founded the AFoCG, and whose generosity towards the Royal Opera House continues to this day with the GRoW Annenberg. Ms. Annenberg surprised the audience by announcing that she would give $500,000 to the American Friends of Covent Garden, to further their outreach efforts and her ongoing commitment to their work.

Guests invited to the event were treated to a special performance by The Royal Ballet and arias by Yuriy Yurchuk and Francesca Chiejina, both former members of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House.

The event was presented by the Erika Film Foundation, which builds the path for aspiring young filmmakers to become high-achieving film professionals.

The Royal Ballet recently made its welcomed return to Los Angeles after an absence of 24 years.

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