What a night! Thank you to General Director Zachary Gordin for the fabulous opportunity to host Walnut Creek Festival Opera’s opulent black tie Gala: Masquerade Ball, October 22, 2021. This was the first time the Festival Opera family had gathered in person since the Pandemic, and the joy of fellowship and music was in abundance. I was honored to perform on stage along with soprano Lila Khazoum, tenor Taylor Thompson, pianist Bryan Nies and the amazing composer/singer Adrienne Shamszad-Manoukian. With a program of beloved arias and Adrienne’s soulful Persian music, our little troupe dazzled the adoring audience with gorgeous singing. We heard from operatic characters Violetta, Musetta, Cunegonde, Olympia, The Duke of Mantua & Alfredo – and all in one evening! This event was Vanessa’s first public, unmasked appearance in almost years, so the delight of the experience was just beyond words. Brava tutti!