LE BELLE ÉPOQUE

Houston Grand Opera Raises $1.75M At Annual White Tie Ball

By Jen Roosth Photgraphy by Priscilla Dickson, Wilson Parish and Anthony Rathbun

It was as fun as a night at the opera with all the grandness one expects from such a gala occasion. Over 600 guests attended the 2013 Houston Grand Opera Ball, La Belle Époque, with the French-themed gala raising $1.75 million to support the company’s renowned performances and community.

Chairs Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn welcomed Houston Grand Opera’s white tie and begowned patrons and guests who enjoyed a lavish evening of celebration, luxury and elegance at the Wortham Theater Center. The Perrier-Jouët bubbly flowed, while Jackson Hicks and Company created an impressive French-themed dinner menu including duck à l’orange, filet mignon, with brie and pear en brioche.

After dinner, the dance music of David Caceres transformed the venue into a chic fin–‐de–‐siècle Paris salon and supper club complete with the famous cigarette girls from Bizet’s Carmen (led by Houston Grand Opera’s chorus master Richard Bado), and the marching band from Act II of Puccini’s La Bohème. The organization’s Young Opera Patrons joined for the Encore Party in the Grand Foyer, chaired by Leslie Jackson and Marcus Carter. DJ Little Martin and a midnight breakfast jadded to the spectacular evening. “We are fortunate to be in a city where opera is valued,” noted Perryn Leech, the Houston Grand Opera’s managing director. Isn’t life grand with events like this?

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