Command Performance

Dallas Opera lovers don their dramatic best for gala events

Dallas Opera lovers don their dramatic best for gala events

Bela Cooley, Lisa Cooley, Kim Hext
Bela Cooley, Lisa Cooley, Kim Hext Photo by WJNPHOTO
Elizabeth Kimple, Scott Kimple
Elizabeth Kimple, Scott Kimple Photo by WJNPHOTO
Kara Goss, Randall Goss
Kara Goss, Randall Goss Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera First Night
The party tent outside the Winspear Opera House. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jim Lafontaine, Carrie Ellen Adamian
Jim Lafontaine, Carrie Ellen Adamian Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Opera costumes
Costumes from previous Dallas Opera productions were on display. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Lynn McBee
Lynn McBee Photo by WJNPHOTO
Linda Hart, Mitch Hart
Linda Hart, Mitch Hart Photo by WJNPHOTO
Andrew Coleman, Karen Coleman
Andrew Coleman, Karen Coleman Photo by WJNPHOTO
Debbie Braun, Donald Braun
Debbie Braun, Donald Braun Photo by WJNPHOTO
Marlene Sughrue, John Sughrue
Marlene Sughrue, John Sughrue Photo by WJNPHOTO
Greg Hext, Kim Hext
Greg Hext, Kim Hext Photo by WJNPHOTO
Michael Byrd, Stephanie Byr
Michael Byrd, Stephanie Byrd Photo by WJNPHOTO
Howard Manning, Jay Terpstra, Dan Thompson
Howard Manning, Jay Terpstra, Dan Thompson Photo by WJNPHOTO
David Howard, Amanda Howard
David Howard, Amanda Howard Photo by WJNPHOTO
Nancy Nasher, Lisa Cooley
Nancy Nasher, Lisa Cooley Photo by Celeste Hart
Ciara Cooley, Bela Cooley
Ciara Cooley, Bela Cooley Photo by Celeste Hart
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Don Winspear, Ellen Winspear
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Don Winspear, Ellen Winspear Photo by Celeste Hart
Dallas Opera First Sight
Costumes from some of opera's most celebrated couples were modeled during the fashion show. Photo by Celeste Hart
Bela Cooley, Lisa Cooley, Kim Hext
Elizabeth Kimple, Scott Kimple
Kara Goss, Randall Goss
Dallas Opera First Night
Jim Lafontaine, Carrie Ellen Adamian
Dallas Opera costumes
Lynn McBee
Linda Hart, Mitch Hart
Andrew Coleman, Karen Coleman
Debbie Braun, Donald Braun
Marlene Sughrue, John Sughrue
Greg Hext, Kim Hext
Michael Byrd, Stephanie Byr
Howard Manning, Jay Terpstra, Dan Thompson
David Howard, Amanda Howard
Nancy Nasher, Lisa Cooley
Ciara Cooley, Bela Cooley
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Don Winspear, Ellen Winspear
Dallas Opera First Sight

When the tent goes up at Sammons Park in front of the Winspear Opera House, that's the signal it's time for Dallas Opera's First Night gala. The official start of the company's 61st season, this year's black-tie affair treated arts supporters to a sumptuous meal, a lively after party, and a performance of the season opener, Camille Saint-Saëns' Samson and Dalila​.

Chaired by Dianne and Mark LaRoe​ and with support from presenting sponsor Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, the elegant evening began with guests — including Kara and Randall Goss, Elizabeth and Scott Kimple, Nerissa Von Helpenstill, Lynn McBee, Linda and Mitch Hart, and Greg and Kim Hext — walking the red carpet. Honorary chairs Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger were also in attendance, along with advisory chairs Ellen and Don Winspear.

A gourmet Wolfgang Puck dinner, chaired by Betty and Steve Suellentrop, preceded the night's performance, and there were more Wolfgang Puck treats to be had after the show. The Dallas String Quartet played while patrons partied until 1:30 am. On their way out, guests made sure to stop and admire the 10 magnificent costumes on display, each from previous Dallas Opera productions and representing celebrated couples from opera history. The exquisite gowns and other garb came from RigolettoSalomeNabucco, Ermione, and Tosca

The day before, many of the same guests marveled as the elaborate costumes made their way down the runway at the First Sight fashion show and luncheon. Sponsored by NorthPark Center, the elegant afternoon featured a peek at Salvatore Ferragamo's winter 2017 collection and a pop-up shop of the Italian designer's handbags and shoes.

First Sight chairs Lisa Cooley, Ciara Cooley, and Bela Cooley welcomed the 125 fashionistas and art lovers before everyone sat down to a three-course meal prepared by Wolfgang Puck, with dishes and cocktails inspired by the upcoming season: Champagne with elderflower liqueur and demerara sugar (for Sunken Garden); handmade marscapone with celery root, wild marjoram, and pecorino (for La Traviata); crispy chicken schnitzel (for The Ring of Polykrates); and pistachio olive oil cake with salted honeycomb gelato (for Don Giovanni).