High Notes

Dallas opera lovers raise the curtain on spring with a gala for the ages

Dallas opera lovers raise the curtain on spring with gala for the ages

Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Claire Dillahunty, Karina Buruca, Elizabeth Henderson
Claire Dillahunty, Karina Buruca, Elizabeth Henderson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lynn McBee, Lisa Cooley
Lynn McBee, Lisa Cooley Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lauren Gergeceff, Camille Cox
Lauren Gergeceff, Camille Cox Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
Young professionals gather for their own reception. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
Patrons enjoy the colorful dinner. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lynn Mock, Presley Mock
Lynn Mock, Presley Mock Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Ian Derrer, Emmanuel Villaume, Kern Wildenthal
Ian Derrer, Emmanuel Villaume, Kern Wildenthal Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Whitney MacDonald, Jane Weir
Whitney MacDonald, Jane Weir Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Krista Butler, David Butler
Krista Butler, David Butler Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Bob Brooks, Patsy Brooks
Bob Brooks, Patsy Brooks Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
The event was catered by Wolfgang Puck. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Virginie Verrez, Jennifer Quintard
Virginie Verrez, Jennifer Quintard Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lorena Loera, Maryanne Prueitt, Shella Sattler
Lorena Loera, Maryanne Prueitt, Shella Sattler Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Claire Dillahunty, Karina Buruca, Elizabeth Henderson
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lynn McBee, Lisa Cooley
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lauren Gergeceff, Camille Cox
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lynn Mock, Presley Mock
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Ian Derrer, Emmanuel Villaume, Kern Wildenthal
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Whitney MacDonald, Jane Weir
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Krista Butler, David Butler
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Bob Brooks, Patsy Brooks
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Virginie Verrez, Jennifer Quintard
Dallas Opera Springs Gala 2018, Lorena Loera, Maryanne Prueitt, Shella Sattler

What: The Dallas Opera Springs Gala

Where: Winspear Opera House

The 411: April 28 saw a kaleidoscope of people and events swirling around the Winspear Opera House, all culminating in the final round of the 30th annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. The gala, benefiting The Dallas Opera’s education programs — which serve 25,000 children and teachers each year — was co-chaired by Susan Geyer and Lynn Mock. Opera lovers of all ages celebrated the art form in three distinct areas of the opera house.

In the lobby, 100 high school and university music students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Southern Methodist University, Uplift Williams Preparatory, University of North Texas, UT Dallas, and Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center were treated to a teen-themed feast of chicken fingers, green beans, and mashed potatoes — prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering.

Upstairs, young professionals whetted their appetite for top-flight entertainment with wine and cheese.

In Hamon Hall, against a backdrop of the charming “Pépito” set (created for The Dallas Opera Family Series), the gala centerpieces — consisting of multicolored roses in paint cans — set a playful mood amid the eye-popping chargers, paint-spattered linens, hand-crafted notes created by area school children, and colorful sauces drizzled across the plates.

Patrons dined on sophisticated appetizers and salads before the main course arrived: slow braised boneless short rib with poached white asparagus, truffle gnocchi, and English Pea nage. The dessert of milk and cookies was another nod to children.

After dinner, everyone came together in Margaret McDermott Performance Hall for the vocal competition finals. Six talented young finalists sang opera arias, accompanied by The Dallas Opera Orchestra and music director Emmanuel Villaume. First prize was awarded to American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who also won the People's Choice award. Canadian tenor Josh Lovell won second, and Mexican tenor Mario Rojas placed third.

Following the awards ceremony, patrons headed back to Hamon Hall, which had been transformed into a New Orleans-style nightclub for the gala after-party. The Booker T. Washington Jazz Band serenaded with jazz standards, and patrons got a final surprise in the way of a performance by bass Morris Robinson, one of the stars of Dallas Opera's Don Giovanni.

Who: Lynn McBee, Lisa CooleyLorena Loera, Maryanne Prueitt, Shella SattlerPresley MockIan Derrer, Kern WildenthalWhitney MacDonald, Jane Weir, Krista Butler, David ButlerVirginie Verrez, Jennifer QuintardBob Brooks, Patsy Brooks, Lauren Gergeceff, Camille CoxClaire Dillahunty, Karina Buruca, Elizabeth Henderson.