Dallas Opera’s First Sight And First Night Events Sparkle
By Jake Gaines
Photography by Karen Almond and Lara Bierner
THE SCENE: A perfect fall weekend was the setting of the festivities and the official start of the Dallas Opera’s 60th season with a luncheon and gala. Fashionistas first flocked to the First Sight fashion show and luncheon for a fabulous presentation produced by Rhonda Sargent Chambers spotlighting Versace and NorthPark Center. Approximately 230 guests filled the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House for an afternoon of fun, food, fashion, and friendship. The following evening was effervescent with enthusiasm as several hundred patrons also celebrated the kick-off of the opera season with the festivities of First Night. The red carpet was ablaze with glitter and glamour as guests donning designer gowns and dashing tuxedos entered the reception prior to the gourmet pre-performance dinner.
THE VIBE: For the luncheon, the fashion show began with a flurry of fantastic costumes from past Dallas Opera productions to add an air of authenticity and artistry to the event. The designers represented were Peter J. Hall (Rodelinda, Aida, Otello), Allen Charles Klein (La vida breve), and Nicolas Dvigubsky (Boris Godunov). Guests marveled at the creativity, detail, luscious fabrics, and adornments of the pieces enhanced by the beautiful set designed by Larry Leathers.
At the gala, upon entering the Sammons Park Tent, guests marveled at the shimmering décor with a nod to 1957 glamour. Greeted with champagne, the buzz centered on the poignant Linda and Mitch Hart season opening night performance of Eugene Onegin they were to experience later that evening. The room was adorned with glistening crystal chandeliers, lush red carpet, black and white themed table settings and linens, glimmering gold-accented glasses, gold flatware, and a unique crystal lily flower at each place setting.
THE CAUSE: The luncheon chairs were Tiffany Divis, Kara Goss, and Rhonda Marcus. The gala was chaired by Ellen and Don Winspear, with Joyce and Harvey Mitchell serving as honorary chairs. The Opening Weekend Sponsor was The Eugene McDermott Foundation, while NorthPark Center and Deutsche Bank Wealth Management served as the Presenting Sponsors of the gala. The events’ proceeds benefited The Dallas Opera, a world-class performing arts organization producing outstanding mainstage and chamber opera repertoire; attracting national and international attention; committed to extensive community outreach and education; and managed to the highest possible standards of artistic excellence, accountability, efficiency and financial sustainability.