What: Opera in the Heights' Maestro Circle welcome reception for new executive director Stephanie Helms.
Where: Home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez.
The 411: Another New Yorker moving to Houston . . . now that's something to celebrate. Leaving her post at Opera America in the Big Apple, Stephanie Helms recently relocated to the Bayou City to helm Opera in the Heights. The executive director was welcomed by 65 opera cognoscenti in the tastefully appointed 1900s-era historic Woodland Heights home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzales, whose collection of contemporary art and well-stocked wine cellar impressed the evening's guests.
Music director Enrique Carreón-Robledo introduced rising star mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, winner of the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in Wales. Young artist training programs, including the Houston Grand Opera Studio, were stepping stones for Barton, and she emphasized the importance of such opportunities for young singers as they develop in their careers. Barton, who will appear as Fricka in Houston Grand Opera's production of Das Rheingold, applauded Opera in the Heights' commitment of nurturing young talent.
Who: Event sponsors Pam Boring and Zahava Haenosh plus Kelly and Dan Mathena, Dixie and Ron Messner, Josie and Fred Nevill, Shirley and Don Rose, Barbra and Joseph Munisteri, Barbara Henley, Kimberly Gremillion, Ginger Maughs and Byron Rush, Marcia and Mike Feldman and Emily and Tom Ryan.