Magical White Tie and Tails Soirée

Champagne flows, music soars as Houston Grand Opera takes a Carousel ride

Champagne flows, music soars at opulent Houston Grand Opera ball

Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 decor
The Carousel theme brightens the Wortham Theater Center Grand Foyer. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016Kendall Hanno, Chris Hanno
Chris Hanno, Kendall Hanno. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Margaret Alkek Williams, Martin Fein, Kelli Cohen Fein
Margaret Alkek Williams, Martin Fein, Kelli Cohen Fein. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Patrick Summers, Donna Josey Chapman, Max Chapman Jr., Perryn Leech
Patrick Summers, Donna Josey Chapman, Max Chapman Jr., Perryn Leech. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Janet Gurwitch, Diane Lokey Farb
Janet Gurwitch, Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Beau Miller, Lynn Wyatt, Patrick Summers,
Beau Miller, Lynn Wyatt, Patrick Summers. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello
Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Astley Blair, Alex Blair
Astley Blair, Alex Blair. Photo by Killy
HGO ball, Andrea Carroll, April 2016
Andrea Carroll wows guests with "If I Loved You" from Carousel. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Mary D'Andrea, Dr. Mark D'Andrea
Mary D'Andrea, Dr. Mark D'Andrea. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Kristina Somerville, Bobbie Nau
Kristina Somerville, Bobbie Nau. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Happy Alegarsamy, Tiffany Alegarsamy
Happy Alegarsamy, Tiffany Alegarsamy. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16, Becca Cason Thrash, Suzanne Saperstein
Becca Cason Thrash, Suzanne Saperstein. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Kevin Mitchell, Pat Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell, Pat Mitchell. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Carlos Treistman, Katherine
Carol Treitsman, Katherine Treitsman. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Allison Savire, Sarah Dunagin
Allison Savire, Sarah Dunagin. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 2016, dancers
Dancers from the HGO Carousel production. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Suresh Khator, Renu Khator
Suresh Khator, Renu Khator. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Doug Herron, Winell Herron
Doug Herron, Winell Herron. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Kevin Black, Marguerite Swartz, Christina Stith, Tony Bradfield
Kevin Black, Marguerite Swartz, Christina Stith, Tony Bradfield. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Catherine Bain, Matt Hennesy
Catherine Bain, Matt Hennessy. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Norma Cardenas, Beto Cardenas
Norma Cardenas, Beto Cardenas. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Sri Yalamanchili and Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Sri Yalamanchili and Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Laura McWilliams, Brad McWililams
Laura McWilliams, Brad McWilliams. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Suzanne Saperstein, Crayton Baer, Alexis Saperstein
Suzanne Saperstein, Crayton Baer, Alexis Saperstein. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Courtney Obregon, Jose Obregon
Courtney Obregon, Jose Obregon. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Duncan Rock, Andrew Carroll
Duncan Rock, Andrew Carroll. Photo by Killy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 dancer
Dancer from Carousel part of ball entertainment. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 decor
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016Kendall Hanno, Chris Hanno
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Margaret Alkek Williams, Martin Fein, Kelli Cohen Fein
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Patrick Summers, Donna Josey Chapman, Max Chapman Jr., Perryn Leech
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Janet Gurwitch, Diane Lokey Farb
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Beau Miller, Lynn Wyatt, Patrick Summers,
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Astley Blair, Alex Blair
HGO ball, Andrea Carroll, April 2016
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Mary D'Andrea, Dr. Mark D'Andrea
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Kristina Somerville, Bobbie Nau
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Happy Alegarsamy, Tiffany Alegarsamy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16, Becca Cason Thrash, Suzanne Saperstein
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Kevin Mitchell, Pat Mitchell
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Carlos Treistman, Katherine
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Allison Savire, Sarah Dunagin
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 2016, dancers
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Suresh Khator, Renu Khator
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Doug Herron, Winell Herron
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Kevin Black, Marguerite Swartz, Christina Stith, Tony Bradfield
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Catherine Bain, Matt Hennesy
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16  Norma Cardenas, Beto Cardenas
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016 Sri Yalamanchili and Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Laura McWilliams, Brad McWililams
Houston Grand Opera Ball, April 2016, Suzanne Saperstein, Crayton Baer, Alexis Saperstein
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Courtney Obregon, Jose Obregon
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 Duncan Rock, Andrew Carroll
Houston Grand Opera Ball, 4/16 dancer

Perhaps Houston Grand Opera should consider hiring Richard Flowers and The Events Co. for set design. His team's interpretation of Houston Grand Opera ball chair Donna Josey Chapman's desire to salute HGO's upcoming Carousel production was magical.

As Donna and her husband, Max Chapman Jr., welcomed guests to Wortham Theater Center's Grand Foyer, flying horses circled overhead in whimsical carousels, each centered with a shimmering disco ball. Delighted first impressions were established on the red carpet leading from valet to Wortham Center. Guests, attired in their best white-tie-and-tails formality, arrived through a phalanx of topiary trees and carousel horses.

The vibrant setting was just the beginning of an evening that deserved a standing ovation not only for the $1.4 million raised (surpassing last year) but also for the appealing entertainment and the lavish four-course dinner by Jackson and Company. And let's not forget the Perrier Jouet champagne that flowed throughout the night.

In a tempting introduction to HGO's upcoming production, the entertainment began with 10 dancers performing the Carousel Ballet from the opera, and then moved on to a stunning original piece for eight, choreographed by Charlie Williams. The desire to secure those opera tickets was heightened even more when soprano Andrea Carroll sang the musical's signature "If I Loved You."

Few could have been happier with the results than HGO music and artistic director Patrick Summers and managing director Perryn Leech.

The dinner menu, exceptionally lavish for a gala, included baked New England clams for a starter; Maine lobster and foie gras brulee mousse for the second course; seared duck breast with rice pilaf, butternut squash, and haricot verts as entrée; and for dessert tiny white chocolate carousel horses prancing atop a chocolate confection and atop orange brittle mousse with caramel corn.

Once dinner was complete the Richard Brown Orchestra, which provided heavenly back up for the earlier entertainment, switched gears into a swing time dance band that had the dance floor packed.

The merry throng included Pat and Dan Breen, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Diane Lokey Farb, Susan and Dr. Richard Stasney, Winell and Doug Herron, Lynn Wyatt, Isabel and Danny David, John and Becca Cason Thrash, Omana and Sam Abraham, Shawntell and Keith McWilliams, and Kendall and Chris Hanno, who chaired the after-party aimed at the young professional crowd.

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