Houston Opera Ball Gala Celebrates New Season
By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Priscilla Dickson, Gary Fountain and Wilson Parrish
THE SCENE: The Wortham Theater Center in Houston was transformed into a red-carpeted Venetian Carnevale for the 2017 Opera Ball, Carnevale di Venezia, presented by The Houston Grand Opera. With masked anticipation, event chairmen Zane and Brady Carruth welcomed friends of the organization to the annual white tie ball for a magical evening of Italian-inspired celebration. Upon their arrival, guests were greeted by mysterious and elaborately masked Venetian characters including a ten-foot-tall marionette provided by J & D Entertainment.
THE VIBE: Inside the venue’s Grand Foyer, guests were transported to the Piazza San Marco in Venice, complete with its iconic astrological clock tower that towered over dinner guests from the sixth floor, as well as the famous Harry’s Bar Bellinis. Sparkling chandeliers and embroidered Italian velvet tapestries hung overhead, while playfully costumed marionettes and jaw-dropping florals in a rich color palette of blush to cinnamon to merlot adorned the dinner tables. The Richard Brown Strings Ensemble enhanced the arrival with the sounds of Italian classics, and City Kitchen Catering served an Italian inspired menu.
THE CAUSE: With 420 guests in attendance, the gala raised over $1.75 million dollars to support the company’s internationally renowned performances and community programs that distinguish HGO as one of America’s great opera companies. Immediately following Carnevale di Venezia, late-night attendees made their way to the Encore Party—a lively “after party” co-chaired by Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl.