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The Metropolitan Opera Opens With 'Manon'

Yves Saint Laurent sponsored the opera house's annual opening night gala.

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Metropolitan Opera 2012 Emmy Rossum Yves Saint Laurent

“You should write that the Yves Saint Laurent flowed…and it was delicious,” Emmy Rossum said of the gala premiere of “Manon” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Monday night where the French house was a co-sponsor and there were lots of ladies, but none fat and very few singing. While YSL’s trademark fuchsia adorned the tablecloths and orchid centerpieces, and while some skirts certainly could be described as flowing, none of the trappings were edible, rendering Rossum’s suggestion impossible. The actress, who spent a good deal of her youth at the opera house before transitioning to film roles, offset her own YSL gown with a black velvet choker replete with jeweled brooch.

“It does remind me a little of ‘Beverly Hills 90210,’” she laughed of the necklace.

“I had to take it down a notch or two, before I asphyxiated myself.”

There was a hint of that good old “upstairs, downstairs comedy” to be had on the evening, at least for those who attempted to make their way from cocktails on the balcony level to dinner at the Grand Tier.

“I was on the wrong floor for a minute there,” Christine Baranski explained of navigating the velvet swells of walkways and staircases between balconies. Baranski’s date for the evening was her “The Good Wife” co-star Julianna Margulies’ husband, Keith Leiberthal. “Jules was busy and he’s an opera enthusiast,” Baranski explained. The pair expressed their excitement for Anna Netrebko’s performance following dinner, and weren’t alone. Around 6:45, operagoers not invited to the gala lined the balconies facing the Grand Tier and watched the dinner unfold below as if it was a prelude to the performance.

Emma Roberts sat near Chloë Moretz and her date, her brother Trevor, 10 years her elder.

“Oh, I’m so, so excited to be here,” Moretz, who also sported a velvet choker, grinned. “Am I a singer? Not really. In the shower, of course. I can’t wait to see it, and everyone looks so beautiful.”

January Jones was on hand, near Michael Stipe and Salman Rushdie, who spoke of a recent New York Times article that detailed his many extracurricular activities with a brief shake of his head, saying, “You wouldn’t expect that from the Times, would you?”

Barbara Walters, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, Aaron Young, Julie Macklowe and Zang Toi were joined by a late-arriving Behati Prinsloo and Shannan Click at the gala. Ann Ziff, who donated $30 million to the Met in 2010, briefly took to the podium between courses to applaud the efforts of Mercedes Bass, for whom the Grand Tier was named, and to reveal that the evening had raised $1.3 million for the company. Notably absent was Stefano Pilati, whose name graced the invitation but who was dismissed by YSL parent PPR last month in favor of Hedi Slimane. YSL chief executive officer Paul Deneve briefly addressed the group, voicing his pleasure at being a part of the gala for the fifth year in a row.

Amber Heard wore a gravity-defying black gown and a slick of red lipstick. “Fashion moves pretty quickly, doesn’t it?” the actress said of the recent shuffling deck of high fashion designers and of the stampede of gowns headed for the theater before she turned and made her way to her seat.