On The Avenue

When Sting Met Santa

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Santa was in the house when the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Revlon Concert for The Rainforest Fund was held at Carnegie Hall last night. Artists including Sting, Chris Botti, Vittorio Grigòlo, Darlene Love, Idina Menzel, Ronnie Spector, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Gina Gershon, Jennifer Nettles and the Manhattan Girls Chorus performed holiday tunes at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.

The festive biennial event was held to raise awareness and money for the Rainforest Fund. Founded by Sting and Trudie Styler, the charitable foundation aims to help conserve the environment as well as support indigenous people in the fight to protect their rights. Styler, who produced the concert, thanked all those who were involved, including musical director Narada Michael Walden and conductor Gil Goldstein.

After one of his performances, Sting welcomed a special guest to the stage. “It’s a miracle that he’s here tonight,” he says. Next thing you know, Santa—well, singer Vittorio Grigòlo, dressed up in a classic red suit—arrives and belts out some opera, earning a standing ovation from the crowd.

The evening continued with a silent auction and dinner at the JW Marriott Essex House. Attendees included Revlon CEO Fabian Garcia, Donna Karan, Celine Rattay, Damian Lewis, Paul Haggis and Sandra Lee.

“Trudie and Sting are the most giving, intelligent and conscious people that I know,” says Karan. “They are involved with it personally as well as emotionally and bring people together to raise awareness, and I think that’s fantastic.”

As far as how it feels to perform at Carnegie Hall? “It’s pretty amazing. It was my first time singing with a large orchestra!” says Gershon, who made her debut at the venue last night.

“It’s incredible to sing at a hall where so many great stars have performed in,” says Grigòlo. “Doing so without a mic and shouting everything off, I hope, will let people understand how strong the language of opera is. It has that real love and passion.”

The event raised more than $30 million with all proceeds donated to the Rainforest Fund projects and programs.


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