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Galloping Gansevoort... Nicole Kidman to Placido Domingo... Alber's Take...

The Gansevoort Hotel Group is hoping that the weak economy will mean folks will want to escape even more.

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BREAK TIME: Apparently some people think that the weak economy doesn’t preclude vacations — in fact, the Gansevoort Hotel Group is hoping that it will mean folks will want to escape even more. With that in mind, they are opening a 91-room hotel in Turks and Caicos next week. It’s the third after the Meatpacking District and the recent Miami addition. (Next up is one on Park Avenue and 29th Street in New York, followed by Toronto and Chicago). Of course, the hotel group is importing a little bit of Manhattan to Providenciales Island in the form of a Bagatelle restaurant, an open-air Exhale Spa and staff wearing Rag & Bone uniforms.

COSTUME BALL: It will be a starry night when the Metropolitan Opera celebrates its 125th anniversary on March 15 with a gala evening sponsored by Yves Saint Laurent. Not only will musical icons like Renée Fleming, Roberto Alagna, Joseph Calleja, Natalie Dessay and Angela Gheorghiu be among those performing 26 different scenes on stage, but Placido Domingo will be feting the 40th anniversary of his Met debut. Offstage will be celebs from the Honorary Committee, which includes Nicole Kidman, Tilda Swinton, Julianne Moore, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Carine Roitfeld, Eva Mendes, Claire Danes and Ginnifer Goodwin. Meanwhile, Tony-award-winning costume designer Catherine Zuber has been deep in the Met archives re-creating 35 ensembles for the event. Among them is a matador-inspired gown originally designed by the couturier Valentina in 1935 for “Carmen.” The modern-day version will be worn by mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier.

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