One Night Only

Dallas' biggest opera fans pour on the bubbly and bravos at elegant spring gala

Dallas' biggest opera fans pour on bubbly and bravos at spring gala

Lisa Swaim and Daniel James
Lisa Swain, Daniel James Photo by WJNPHOTO
Beth Vaughan, Joseph Jacques
Beth Vaughan, Joseph Jacques Photo by WJNPHOTO
Kim and Greg Hext
Kim Hext, Greg Hext Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Tenors Michael Fabiano, Bryan Hymel, and Matthew Polenzani were the featured attraction. Photo by Karen Almond
Lynn and Presley Mock
Lynn Mock, Presley Mock Photo by WJNPHOTO
Mark and Dianne LaRoe
Mark LaRoe, Dianne LaRoe Photo by WJNPHOTO
Holly Mayer, Ann Williams
Holly Mayer, Ann Williams Photo by WJNPHOTO
Ian Derrer, Joyce Mitchell, Mark LaRoe
Ian Derrer, Joyce Mitchell, Mark LaRoe Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Dinner was served in the lobby of the Winspear. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Guests danced the night away at the after-party. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Wolfgang Puck catered the elegant dinner. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Logan Scheps and Alicia Dewitt
Logan Scheps, Alicia Dewitt Photo by WJNPHOTO
Gae Whitener and David Devan
Gae Whitener, David Devan Photo by WJNPHOTO
Lori Smith and Linda Barry
Lori Smith, Linda Barry Photo by WJNPHOTO
Anthony Fabiano, Caroline McNeel and Carole Fabiano
Anthony Fabiano, Caroline McNeel, Carole Fabiano Photo by WJNPHOTO
Justin Helms and Jessica Vittorio
Justin Helms and Jessica Vittorio Photo by WJNPHOTO
Asia Jackson and Rachel Calderon
Asia Jackson, Rachel Calderon Photo by WJNPHOTO
Allison Hoyt and Jeanette Stone
Allison Hoyt, Jeanette Stone Photo by WJNPHOTO
Lisa Swaim and Daniel James
Beth Vaughan, Joseph Jacques
Kim and Greg Hext
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Lynn and Presley Mock
Mark and Dianne LaRoe
Holly Mayer, Ann Williams
Ian Derrer, Joyce Mitchell, Mark LaRoe
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Dallas Opera spring gala 2019
Logan Scheps and Alicia Dewitt
Gae Whitener and David Devan
Lori Smith and Linda Barry
Anthony Fabiano, Caroline McNeel and Carole Fabiano
Justin Helms and Jessica Vittorio
Asia Jackson and Rachel Calderon
Allison Hoyt and Jeanette Stone

Hours after a spring deluge tried to drown Dallas on May 11, the clouds parted, and the city's most ardent opera supporters descended on the Winspear Opera House. There, The Dallas Opera's 2019 “One Night Only Gala” would treat patrons to a kaleidoscope of artistry from beginning to end.

The evening began with an exclusive pre-performance Champagne reception hosted by gala co-chairs Cindy Feld and Daffan Nettle. Guests — including Beth Vaughan, Joseph JacquesLynn Mock, Presley MockMark LaRoe, Dianne LaRoeLisa Swain, Daniel JamesKim Hext, Greg HextHolly Mayer, Ann WilliamsAllison Hoyt, Jeanette StoneAsia Jackson, Rachel CalderonAnthony Fabiano, Ian Derrer, Carole FabianoDavid DevanLori Smith, Linda BarryLogan Scheps, and Alicia Dewitt — mingled while they sipped bubbly and nibbled charcuterie. (From their second-floor perch, party-goers also had fun watching a parade of prom-going teens, dressed to the nines, snap formal photos in the plaza outside.)

Next came the featured attraction — a concert that brought together three of the world’s finest tenors for the first time: Michael Fabiano, Bryan Hymel, and Matthew Polenzani. They sang a 90-minute set consisting of opera arias, Broadway favorites, tributes, and standards, supported by The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the direction of Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro.

The enthusiastic patrons clapped, yelled, and shouted "Bravo!," often before the maestro dropped his baton. In fact, when the tenors began their final encore, the famous “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot, virtually the entire audience sighed, “Ohhhh” in unison.

Afterwards, the celebration continued back in the lobby, at an elegant seated dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering with paired wines provided by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. The striking malachite design of the tablecloths gave a pungent “spring green” look to the setting, punctuated by regal touches of black and gold.

The menu included a snap pea, Asian pear and pomelo salad; a melt-in-your-mouth pan roasted filet with mixed vegetables in a smoked butter sauce; as well as a dessert guests simply couldn’t say “no” to — a silky strawberry and blood orange tart that provided a sweet finish to the meal.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Winspear lobby, the wine was flowing and the dance floor was moving and grooving. Thanks to the outdoor cool breezes, the AT&T Performing Arts Center decided to raise the windows on the east side of the building to allow after party-goers to dance late into the night without breaking a sweat. And dance they did, to the exuberant singers and high-energy musicians of The Booker T. Washington Contemporary Ensemble.

The evening full of song and celebration whetted Dallas Opera fans' appetites for next spring’s gala, a once-in-a-lifetime concert by the legendary Plácido Domingo in his first appearance with The Dallas Opera since making his U.S. debut with the company in 1961. For social diary purposes, that concert will take place on March 11, 2020.