Fashion and performing arts converged seamlessly as patrons, dressed in their finest, descended on the Winspear Opera House for the Linda and Mitch Hart season opening night performance of The Marriage of Figaro for the Dallas Opera First Night gala.
Co-chairs Lynn McBee and Nicholas Even welcomed guests — including Rhonda and Fraser Marcus, Lynn and Presley Mock, Heather and Scott Alexander, Pasty Donosky, Tincy Miller, and Jennifer and Keith Cerny — who walked the red carpet while admiring looks created by six local designers, each inspired by an opera from the upcoming season. These creations were first revealed two days prior, at the First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon, orchestrated by Rhonda Sargent Chambers.
Participating designers included Nicolas Villalba (The Marraige of Figaro), Abi Ferrin (Salome), Elizabeth Anyaa (La Wally), Edo Popken (Everest), Khanh Nguyen (La Boheme) and Michael Fairthcloth (Iolanta), who introduced their inspirations prior to a finale fashion presentation featuring Roberto Cavalli.
But back to the main event. As guests neared the end of the red carpet, they posed for a final photo at the step-and-repeat, sipped rosé, and conversed with fellow attendees giddy for the opening-night festivities. When it was time to dine, everyone made their way to Sammons Park, which was transformed into a glamorous dining room (by way of an enormous tent), where a pre-show dinner by Wolfgang Puck Catering, co-chaired by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, awaited.
After the multi-course meal, it was finally opera time. The evening’s performance was conducted by music director Emmanuel Villaume and staged by Dallas Theater Center artistic director Kevin Moriarty, and guests hung on every note as Figaro boldly declared his love for Susanna.
Following the final standing ovation, after-party co-chairs Jenifer Strauss and Robert Weatherly led guests back to the tent for yet another epic celebration featuring beats by DJ Lucy Wrubel, breakfast and dessert bars, and opera-inspired cocktails. But the best part for these enthusiasts was mingling with the cast who just gave the performance of their lives.
The Marriage of Figaro is only the beginning of Dallas Opera’s 2014-2015 season titled “Heights of Passion,” which runs through April 18, 2015, with a final performance of Iolanta. The complete schedule is available on the Dallas Opera website.