Jan 27
2019


Buoyed by Mendelssohn’s fairy music and perhaps a flute or two of champagne, supporters of the Academy of Music gathered Saturday night at the hall to celebrate its birthday. Helen Mirren was the special guest for the Academy of Music 162nd Anniversary Concert. This year’s iteration of the benefit, to which tickets cost from $350 to $1,950 for the concert, dinner, and ball, featured Mirren as host, narrator of excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – and, she joked, as adopted Philadelphian. The words she has already learned you needed to know to pass as a local, she told the crowd, were anything but Shakespeare: hoagie, jawn, and Double Doink. Mirren also spoke passionately about the importance of arts education, the audience of tomorrow, and future generations of Academy supporters. Addressing the audience way up high in the Academy, which she took to be populated with a younger crowd, she said: “We believe in you, we have faith in you, help us out.” Many already have. This year, 1,800 tickets were sold for the concert and 1,400 for the dinner and ball at the Bellevue, a spokesperson said, a little under last year’s 2,100 tickets to the concert and 1,500 for the dinner and ball. The event raised $2.2 million gross (before expenses), slightly more than last year’s $2 million. Net proceeds will be split between the orchestra and academy restoration projects. You can read more about the evening in this in-depth article by The Philadelphia Inquirer.