Glamour was the name of the night at the Dallas Opera First Night celebration for the opening of the 2012-2013 season themed "Pursuits of Passion."
Upon arrival, VIPs and opera devotees, donning their finest gowns and tuxedos, stepped onto the red carpet leading the way to the Winspear Opera House. Guests posed for the paparazzi (even on the surprisingly cold night) as jealous Dallasites lined up behind the rope to gaze upon the well-heed crowd.
Because basketball superstar Nancy Lieberman was the honoree, it was only fitting that sports-related models — Brigetta Barrett, Martina Moravcova, Diane Johnston, Toni Munoz-Hunt, Daniel Hunt and Deanna Stone Waddell (subbing in for Charlotte Jones Anderson) — flaunted custom looks of several local designers.
The fusion of fashion and performing arts was evident in all of the designs:
- Michael Faircloth incorporated three operas in his red gown. It was adorned with an Egyptian collar that represented Aida's enslavement; the three-tiered skirt with burned edges represented the three riddles of Turandot and the burning of the manuscript in The Aspern Papers.
- Abi Ferrin created an ensemble inspired by Aida. She paired a flowing white blouse with a long feathered skirt to symbolize the enslaved Ethiopian princess.
- Khanh Nguyen designed a royal blue gown based on Princess Turandot in the Puccini opera.
- Geoffrey Henning was influenced by the heroine, Juliana, in The Aspern Papers to create a soft pink gown with a white feather capelet.
- Nicolas Villalba combined traditional men's formal wear with playful ruffles and color for the Hunt couple — a spin-off the attire in Doctor Miracle.
In addition to these elegant creations, Paulette Martsolf designed three draped Egyptian-esque gowns symbolizing the three ladies waiting for the Pharoah's daughter in Aida. Ellen Winspear was also seen wearing a unique Villalba gown with long, vibrant, multicolored coat.
A cocktail reception in the dramatically draped and warmly lit Nancy B. Hamon Hall awaited the well-dressed guests, including Don Winspear, Lynn and Allan McBee, Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Daniel Hunt, Mina Chang, Tom Grieve, Liz and Doug Quinn, Jonathan Pell, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, Brant McFarlain, Kaki Hopkins, Billy Fong, Kelly Taylor, Charla and Paul Parette, Rick Martsolf, and Mary McDermott Cook. The crowd enjoyed light bites and libations before the main performance of Aida.
Even though dinner wasn't plated until past midnight, the evening will definitely go down in history as a glorious one.