Dallas' finest — and most finely dressed — performing arts philanthropists descended on the Arts District Friday night for First Night at the Dallas Opera featuring Carmen. It was all about the wow factor, from the first red carpet photo opp to the opera-inspired couture gowns to the glamorous 1930s Hollywood-esque dinner beneath an opulent tent.
Between the thousands of people gathered at Klyde Warren Park to watch the live simulcast to the gussied-up gala attendees — including Lynn and Allan McBee, Marnie and Brandon Andreason, , Brittany and Thomas Glendenning, Tolby Holly, Julianne Magnuson, Elizabeth Kimple, and Ginny Neal — at the Winspear Opera House, everyone was buzzing about gorgeous and gifted French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, who was making her American debut.
As guests weaved in and out of the opera house prior to the performance, models struck a pose wearing gowns presented during the opera's inaugural First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon the morning before. First Sight featured the work of five outstanding and internationally renowned Dallas-based designers, who created breathtaking interpretations of the operas that will take center stage this season. Designers included Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen, Nicolas Villalba and Elizabeth Anyaa.
Carmen was sung in the original French, with English language translations projected above the stage and on the simulcast screen at Klyde Warren Park. This performance and simulcast launched the Dallas Opera’s sixth production of Carmen in its 56-year-history. It was estimated that more than 3,700 people watched from the park. Talk about an innovative way to get Dallas into the performing arts.
"It was a consistently thrilling evening from the first red carpet arrivals till the final note sounded," said chair Lynn Mock.
The after-party happened back in the tent, with a late-night breakfast buffet prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering. DSQ (Dallas String Quartet) Amplifica provided unique dance music underneath the giant, flashing mirror balls.