Noteworthy party begins Opera Ball preparations


Remember the line in "Amadeus" when the emperor told Mozart he had too many notes in his music? It was the favorite line of the movie for Carol Jean and Jay Young, who remembered it when they built their dream house and called it "Too Many Notes."

It is a most appropriate name for the home of these two, who are busy working on the Grand Opera Ball this summer. (She's chairing the ball, and he's the opera company's chairman of the board.) I attended a party at their home in northern Baltimore County recently to kick off work on the ball, scheduled for Nov. 4. There certainly was an upbeat mood when Ms. Young announced that enough tables had been sold so far to net $42,000 for the Baltimore Opera Company, a good start toward the $150,000 goal. She also talked about Ira Siff of New York's La Gran Scena Opera Company, who, dressed as the imaginary opera diva Madame Vera Galupe-Borszkh, will entertain attendees with a tribute to grand opera.

Caterer Martha Royall's tasty hors d'oeuvres were popular with party-goers Stephen Geppi and Mindy Moran -- he's honorary chair of the ball, and they are neighbors of the Youngs; Dr. Charles and Lucy Samorodin -- she's chairing the auction; Mike and Kelly Lasky -- he's owner and president of Inphomation Inc; ** Lola and Bob Jones of Jones Lighting; Tom and Nancy Stuehler of Truffles and La Fontaine Bleu Catering; Judy and Ed Civera -- he's with Coopers & Lybrand; Dee and Joe Lewin -- he's vice president and general manager of WMAR-TV; Patricia and Michael Harrison -- he's general manager of the opera company; and Carl and Barbara Hecht -- he's president of U.S. Tag and Label.

Jim Harp, the opera company's artistic administrator, provided background music, playing one of Carol Jean Young's four pianos. She served on the piano faculty of Peabody Prep for eight years, before deciding to take some time off for family and projects like the Opera Ball.

It was good to see an old friend, artist Jay Schlossberg Cohen, chatting with guests about his artwork, which adorns several walls at the Youngs' home. I especially loved the one of a diva that hangs in the living room.

If you are interested in attending the Grand Opera Ball, call (410) 625-1600 for tickets, which are $225.

Fine dining and wining

Members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs band together every few months to enjoy their first loves -- fine food and wine.

The most recent dinner, at DaMimmo's in Little Italy, featured food prepared by two talented chefs. Mimmo Cricchio shared his kitchen with Jean-Louis Palladin, best-known in our area for his intimate restaurant in Washington, Jean-Louis at the Watergate Hotel. Mr. Cricchio said he even picked up a few tips working with the talented Mr. Palladin.

The dinner committee consisted of Mr. Cricchio's wife, Mary Ann, Gregory Papaloukas and Duke Goldberg, who received compliments on the menu. Imagine dining on mushroom soup with foie gras, stuffed leg of squab and quenelles; piquillo pimento stuffed with Maryland crab and piquillo sauce; and filet of mahi mahi with vegetable and bouillabaisse coulis, followed by a wonderful lavender and orange flower water sherbet to cleanse the palate before eating roasted loin of veal with an artichoke risotto and a dessert of roasted pineapple with vanilla, caramel coulis and huckleberry sherbet. And with each course, a little vino was served.

The food and company were good at our table, which included Duke and Marlene Goldberg, owner of International Eyewear; and Jayme and Jay Weinstein -- he's a financial consultant, and she sells corporate gifts for Dahne & Weinstein.

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