“First Night” Celebration Honors New Dallas Opera Season

By Jason Grosgrain Photography by Kristina Bowman

THE SCENE: The rain didn’t damper the spirits of the 325 guests that filled the tent at Sammons Park outside of the Winspear Opera House for First Night, a dazzling black-tie affair in celebration of The Dallas Opera’s new season opening. The glittering guests mingled amongst models who wore opera-inspired designs from the First Sight Fashion Show. The anticipation of the new season could hardly be contained, for the occasion also marked the world premiere production of Great Scott by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, which provided delightful entertainment for the evening’s guests.

THE VIBE: The dinner kicked-off with a hilarious video, written by Ellen Winspear. The Honorable Mayor Michael S. Rawlings, Steve Stodghill, and Mark LaRoe played starring comical roles in an opening skit. Then, Ellen and Don Winspear crashed opera superstar Joyce DiDonato’s dressing room so Ellen could try on gowns and channel her inner diva. The video ended with a warm thank you from all the Chairs for the support of sponsors and patrons. After dinner, guests flowed in to the Winspear Opera House for the world premiere of Great Scott starring Joyce DiDonato, a tremendous success. Following the opera, the exhilarating events continued with the after party with the cast, composer Jake Heggie, and librettist Terrence McNally. Party-goers danced to DJ Lucy Wrubel’s groovin’ selections and dined on themed bites throughout the evening.
THE CAUSE: First Night, which celebrates the eagerly anticipated new season, was chaired by Ellen and Don Winspear with Honorary Chairs Mrs. Micki Rawlings and The Honorable Michael S. Rawlings, Dinner chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill, and presenting sponsor Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management. Attendees agreed the evening was a solid win for The Dallas Opera, which provides Dallas with outstanding operatic programming season after season.

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