Grand Opera Gala

Dallas Opera marries performing arts and fashion for unforgettable First Night gala

Dallas Opera marries performing arts and fashion for First Night gala

Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Dallas Opera First Night
Rhonda Sargent Chambers (far right) poses with models dressed in interpretations of each of the six operas that will be performed at the Dallas Opera this season. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Don and Ellen Winspear, Keithr Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Dallas Opera First Night
Ellen Winspear, Don Winspear, Jennifer Cerny, Keith Cerny Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Lynn McBee, Allan McBee, Dallas Opera First Night
Lynn McBee, Allan McBee Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Dallas Opera First Night
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Lynn Mock, Dr. Presley Mock, Dallas Opera First Night
Lynn Mock, Dr. Presley Mock Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Illa Gaunt, Maya Nairn, Jacqueline Taylor, Max Sinsteden, Dallas Opera First Night
Illa Gaunt, Maya Nairn, Jacqueline Taylor, Max Sinsteden Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
liz kimple, Scott Kimple, Dallas Opera First Night
Scott Kimple, Liz Kimple Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Wanda Gierhart, Dean Fearing, Dallas Opera First Night
Wanda Gierhart, Dean Fearing Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Heather Wiese Alexander, Scott Alexander, Dallas Opera First Night
Heather Wiese Alexander, Scott Alexander Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Carrie Ellen Adamain, John Harpool, Dallas Opera First Sight
John Harpool, Carrie Ellen Adamain Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Bob Gibbs, Simona Beal, Dallas Opera First Night
Bob Gibbs, Simona Beal Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
patsy donosky, tincy miller, dallas opera first night
Patsy Donosky, Tincy Miller Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
fraser marcus,  rhonda marcus, dallas opera first night
Rhonda Marcus, Fraser Marcus Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Nicolas Villalba, Marriage of Figaro, dallas opera first night
Nicolas Villalba's interpretation of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Abi Ferrin, Salome, Dallas Opera First Night
Abi Ferrin's interpretation of Salome. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Khanh Nguyen, La boheme, Dallas Opera First Night
Khanh Nguyen's interpretation of La Boheme. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Michael Faircloth, Iolanta, Dallas Opera First Night
Michael Faircloth's interpretation of Iolanta. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Elizabeth Anyaa, La Wally, Dallas Opera First Night
Elizabeth Anyaa's  interpretation of La Wally. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
Figaro, Villalba, First Sight, Dallas Opera
Nicolas Villalba's interpretation of The Marriage of Figaro at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
everest, edo popken, dallas opera first sight
Edo Popken's interpretation of Everest at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
Iolanta, Faircloth, First Sight
Michael Faircloth's interpretation of Iolanta at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
Salome, Abi Ferrin, Dallas Opera First Sight
Abi Ferrin's interpretation of Salome at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
Elizabeth Anyaa, La Wally, Dallas Opera First Sight
Elizabeth Anyaa's interpretation of La Wally at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
Boheme, Nguyen, Dallas Opera First Sight
Khanh Nguyen's interpretation of La Boheme at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon. Photo by Kristina Bowman
Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Dallas Opera First Night
Don and Ellen Winspear, Keithr Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Dallas Opera First Night
Lynn McBee, Allan McBee, Dallas Opera First Night
Keith Cerny, Jennifer Cerny, Dallas Opera First Night
Lynn Mock, Dr. Presley Mock, Dallas Opera First Night
Illa Gaunt, Maya Nairn, Jacqueline Taylor, Max Sinsteden, Dallas Opera First Night
liz kimple, Scott Kimple, Dallas Opera First Night
Wanda Gierhart, Dean Fearing, Dallas Opera First Night
Heather Wiese Alexander, Scott Alexander, Dallas Opera First Night
Carrie Ellen Adamain, John Harpool, Dallas Opera First Sight
Bob Gibbs, Simona Beal, Dallas Opera First Night
patsy donosky, tincy miller, dallas opera first night
fraser marcus,  rhonda marcus, dallas opera first night
Nicolas Villalba, Marriage of Figaro, dallas opera first night
Abi Ferrin, Salome, Dallas Opera First Night
Khanh Nguyen, La boheme, Dallas Opera First Night
Michael Faircloth, Iolanta, Dallas Opera First Night
Elizabeth Anyaa, La Wally, Dallas Opera First Night
Figaro, Villalba, First Sight, Dallas Opera
everest, edo popken, dallas opera first sight
Iolanta, Faircloth, First Sight
Salome, Abi Ferrin, Dallas Opera First Sight
Elizabeth Anyaa, La Wally, Dallas Opera First Sight
Boheme, Nguyen, Dallas Opera First Sight

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.