Venice in Monaco - Grand Masked Ball
By Celina Lafuente de Lavotha - Monaco Reporter
Traveling back in time to the splendor of La Serenissima
The Principality of Monaco hosted the Venice in Monte-Carlo Grand Masked ball to open the international Carnival season this past weekend February 3-5, 2017, under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, and the support of the Tourist Office of Monaco, and under the main sponsorship of Distinction Fine Armagnac.
The founder’s motto is “do everything with your heart”, and she did, making her dream came true of re-introducing costumed balls in Monaco with a series of events representing the spirit and tradition of the legendary Carnival in Venice. The complex operation that took two years in the making had just a few logistic flaws, usually expected for a first edition, but all in all it was quite a fruitful achievement.
Backstage trying costumes for the Ball
The organisers thought of every detail and hundreds of period costumes and elaborated masks were brought directly from Venice by the celebrated Nicolao Atelier, to be used by the more than 70 performers and that the 300 guests were able to rent to get into the real spirit of the Grand Masked Ball of Venice in Monte-Carlo.
The opulence and mystery of a masked ball
The Grand Masked Ball in the Salle des Etoiles, the legendary venue on the Côte d’Azur, provided a dreamlike setting for an exclusive magical evening.
On arrival, pageants in period costumes flanked the entrance sounding their trumpets and drums making everybody feel like royalty. Upon accessing the Salle des Etoiles everybody was in awe admiring the beautiful decorations on the stage, feeling as if you were wandering around the streets of La Serenissima, taking in the ambiance where guests were dressed in richly decorated and flamboyant period costumes from the famous Nicolao Atelier in Venice, and wearing wonderful masks adorned with gems, ribbons and feathers, hiding their true identity, feeling mysterious and part of a guessing game where no one would reveal who they are until well after midnight! You felt actually transported back in time to mysterious Venice in the middle of the Carnival Celebrations, where masked revelers enjoy music and dancing until the wee hours of the morning!
The atmosphere was that of an exclusive party in an Italian Palazzo, where the distinguished guests were invited to savor a delicious gourmet dinner at candlelight, seated at the lavishly decorated tables, while enjoying a myriad of fantastic performances by more than seventy talented comedians, dancers, acrobats and singers coming from Venice, wearing beautiful costumes dancing and singing to love, and in between the acts the orchestra playing the Four Seasons of Vivaldi, all under the baton of no other than Casanova the superb official Master of Ceremonies of Venice. Guests were witnesses to a crescendo of visual effects, sublime music, fascinating dances and artistic performances worthy of the most famous musical comedies, making it an unforgettable experience. The guest star of the evening was the celebrated Italian singer Richard Cocciante who delighted the audience with his famous songs. The lavished, refined and exclusive Grand Masked Ball was a truly artistic event of excellence and an unforgettable experience that united the privileged guests to experience a magical illusion and share a dream in which everything is possible.
As it is customary with this kind of social gatherings in the Principality, there was tombola of attractive items offered by generous donors, where the profits raised benefited the Princess Charlene Home for Children which objective is the protection of minors in difficulties.
The evening reached its peak at exactly midnight, when they introduced the Doge of Venice and his cohort in an allegoric Royal Entry, and the Ball founder Delia Grace Noble started singing Opera tunes dressed in a magnificent white costume and wearing a white mask with feathers, with Casanova inviting guests to join them at the dance floor. Just sublime and truly memorable!
With the excitement this splendid Ball created among the privileged guests, we hope that with a subsequent edition it may become part of the Principality’s social calendar together with the Rose Ball, the Red Cross Ball and the Christmas Ball.
“Masks reveal. They don’t conceal. Masks reveal your cravings, your passion, your deepest most secret desires.” Chloe Thurlow, Katie in Love