American Friends of Covent Garden to Honor Wallis Annenberg at Royal Opera House Benefit

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The iconic L.A. philanthropist will be feted at an event hosted by an organization her family founded in 1969.

The American Friends of Covent Garden will host a 50th anniversary dinner event July 10 at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills with a special guest. 

Hosted by organization director Susan A. Olde, the invite-only event will fete Wallis Annenberg, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, whose family founded the AFoCG. The organization opened doors in 1969 with a focus on fostering relationships between the United Kingdom and the United States while supporting opera and ballet performances at the Royal Opera House in London as well as its programs.

This summer's event is geared toward support of this global arts initiative and will celebrate the work of the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House. Guests invited to the summer event will find a program that includes special performances from dancers of 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. Performances include: Qualia by Wayne McGregor (Royal Ballet); The Dying Swan reimagined by Calvin Richardson (Royal Ballet); Elegy pas de deux From With a Chance of Rain by Liam Scarlett (Royal Ballet); After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon (Royal Ballet); and arias by Yurchuk and Chiejina. 

Expected to attend are AFoCG chairman Mercedes T. Bass, AFoCG director Olde, Royal Opera House chief executive Alex Beard, Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare, resident choreographer Wayne McGregor and committee members Ann Getty, Goldie Hawn and Barbara Davis.

Said Olde: “As we celebrate the global initiative that is art, it is imperative that we unite to stress the importance of providing funds in order to make platforms like dance and opera accessible to future generations. It takes more than a village, oft times more than one country, to bring the Royal Opera House productions to life, and we have been overwhelmed by the support given in order to make them possible. I look forward to continuing to build these bridges and find even more American Friends of Covent Garden.”

In July, the Royal Ballet returns to L.A. after a 24-year absence by posting up at the Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion from July 5 to 13.