Shelby's Social Diary

Houston's Prince of Parties pulls off an afternoon tea that is straight out of the movies

Prince of Parties pulls off an afternoon tea straight out of movies

94 Jackson Hicks, from left, Patrick Summers, Terrylin Neale and Milton Townsend at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Jackson Hicks, from left, Patrick Summers, Terrylin Neale and Milton Townsend. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
187 Jackson Hicks' tea table at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
The dining room table was elaborately decorated for the glorious tea.  Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
159 Sarah Dunagin, from left, Tom LeCloux and Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Sarah Dunagin, from left, Tom LeCloux and Rebekah Johnson. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
160 Dr. Steve Hamilton, from left, Marquita Masterson and Christopher Gardner at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Dr. Steve Hamilton, from left, Mariquita Masterson and Christopher Gardner. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
172 Erik and Nancy Littlejohn at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Erik and Nancy Littlejohn. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
203 Patrick Summers, left, and NAME at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
HGO's music and artistic director Patrick Summers, left, and Bradley Moore, HGO’s head of music staff and the music director of HGO Studio. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
C.C. Conner, left, and D.L. Grover at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
C.C. Conner, left, and D.L. Groover. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
150 Jackson Hicks and Phoebe Tudor at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Jackson Hicks and Phoebe Tudor. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Houston Grand Opera Tea, March 2015, Cynthia Petrello, Milton Townsend, Lynn Wyatt
Cynthia Petrello, left, Milton Townsend and Lynn Wyatt. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
202 NAMES at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Mezzo-soprano Megan Samarin and baritone Reginald Smith Jr. perform at the tea. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
65 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson fill the vintage home. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
50 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson add spots of color throughout the house. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
17 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Floral arrangements by Rebekah Johnson decorate the dining table. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
1 Strawberries at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
Fresh strawberries on the elaborately decorated tea table. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
94 Jackson Hicks, from left, Patrick Summers, Terrylin Neale and Milton Townsend at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
187 Jackson Hicks' tea table at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
159 Sarah Dunagin, from left, Tom LeCloux and Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
160 Dr. Steve Hamilton, from left, Marquita Masterson and Christopher Gardner at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
172 Erik and Nancy Littlejohn at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
203 Patrick Summers, left, and NAME at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
C.C. Conner, left, and D.L. Grover at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
150 Jackson Hicks and Phoebe Tudor at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
News, Shelby, Houston Grand Opera Tea, March 2015, Cynthia Petrello, Milton Townsend, Lynn Wyatt
202 NAMES at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
65 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
50 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
17 Floral arrangement by Rebekah Johnson at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015
1 Strawberries at the Houston Grand Opera Tea March 2015

Perfection. How else could one describe the beautiful afternoon tea hosted by Jackson Hicks and Milton Townsend in honor of Houston Grand Opera patron Terrylin Neale?

Even the drizzly day could not diminish the glow of this special afternoon in the gentlemen's historic home. Spring flowers in the most beguiling arrangements popped forth throughout the home. The sounds of a harpist welcomed guests. And the dining table was laden with the most luscious collection of sweets and tea sandwiches and dressed in towering spring arrangements.

And that was just the beginning of the afternoon in which HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers orchestrated his own surprise for the lady of the hour and guests. He was joined by Bradley Moore, HGO’s head of music staff and the music director of HGO Studio, at the baby grand piano in the couple's living room to perform Mozart's Sonata in B flat major, written for four hands.

As this was a crowd of heavy opera fans, little could have been more apropos than the performance by HGO Studio singers mezzo-soprano Megan Samarin and baritone Reginald Smith Jr.

 Even the drizzly day could not diminish the glow of this special afternoon. 

Neal chairs HGO's 60th anniversary concert next week and she asked Jackson and Co. to provide catering, just as she did in 1987 when Wortham Theater Center, home to HGO, opened. Known as the Prince of Parties and an opera aficionado, Hicks hosted the mid-week gathering in honor of his good friend.

Of course, the tea goodies came from the talented chefs of Jackson and Co. and the flower arrangements were the handiwork of Rebekah Johnson.

Swooning over the afternoon delight were Phoebe Tudor, Nancy and Erik Littlejohn, Christopher Gardner, Lynn Wyatt, Cynthia Petrello, C. C. Connor and D.L. Groover, Dr. Steve Hamilton and Tom LeCloux, Rosie Zamora, Anne Kennedy, Laura McWilliams, Mariquita Masterson and HGO managing director Perryn Leech, a knowledgeable Brit who took issue with brown sugar lumps on the tea table. He informed that white, granular sugar is the proper accompaniment to a cup of tea.

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