Shelby's Social Diary

Fireworks on all levels made the opera ball one for the record books

Fireworks on all levels made the opera ball one for the record books

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Anthony Freud , Denise Bush Bahr , Philip Bahr Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Danny David_Isabel David_Mary D'Andrea_Dr. Mark D'Andrea
Danny David , Isabel David , Mary D'Andrea , Dr. Mark D'Andrea Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Opera Ball_April 2010_Prince Talal of Jordan_Oscar Wyatt_Lynn Wyatt_April 2010
Prince Talal of Jordan , Lynn Wyatt , Oscar Wyatt Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Pat Breen_Dan Breen
Pat Breen , Dan Breen Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Terrie Hogan Turner_Mike Turner
Terrie Hogan Turner , Mike Turner Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Frank Hevrdejs_Michelle Hevrdejs_Tina Pyne_Joe Pyne
Frank Hevrdejs , Michelle Hevrdejs , Tina Pyne , Joe Pyne Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_John Thrash_Becca Cason Thrash
John Thrash , Becca Cason Thrash Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Sallymoon Bentz_Dr. Alan Bentz_Carolyn Farb
Sallymoon Bentz , Dr. Alan Bentz , Carolyn Farb Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Gordon Bethune_Jessica Rossman_Cindi Rose_Dr. Franklin Rose
Gordon Bethune , Jessica Rossman , Cindi Rose , Dr. Franklin Rose Photo by Gary Fountain
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Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Phyllis Williams_Cornel Williams
Phyllis Williams , Cornel Williams Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Cesar Galindo_Joanne King Herring_Mete Tasin_Jon Vague
Cesar Galindo , Joanne King Herring , Mete Tasin , Jon Vague Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_fireworks_2_by Kim Coffman
Fireworks accentuated the performance by the Texas A&M Singing Cadets at Wortham Theater Center. Photo by Kim Coffman
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Patrick Gehm_Susan Krohn_Sandra Barrett_Dr. Barney Barrett
Patrick Gehm , Susan Krohn , Sandra Barrett , Dr. Barney Barrett Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Ilyas Colombowala_Elizabeth Abraham
Ilyas Colombowala , Elizabeth Abraham Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Michael Francisco_Ellie Francisco
Michael Francisco , Ellie Francisco Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Ford Wyatt_Cate Wyatt_Steven Wyatt_Catherine Wyatt
Ford Wyatt , Cate Wyatt , Steven Wyatt , Catherine Wyatt Photo by Gary Fountain
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Anthony Freud_Denise Bush Bahr_Philip Bahr
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Danny David_Isabel David_Mary D'Andrea_Dr. Mark D'Andrea
News_Opera Ball_April 2010_Prince Talal of Jordan_Oscar Wyatt_Lynn Wyatt_April 2010
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Pat Breen_Dan Breen
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Terrie Hogan Turner_Mike Turner
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Frank Hevrdejs_Michelle Hevrdejs_Tina Pyne_Joe Pyne
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_John Thrash_Becca Cason Thrash
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Sallymoon Bentz_Dr. Alan Bentz_Carolyn Farb
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Gordon Bethune_Jessica Rossman_Cindi Rose_Dr. Franklin Rose
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_table settings_decorations
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Phyllis Williams_Cornel Williams
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Cesar Galindo_Joanne King Herring_Mete Tasin_Jon Vague
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_fireworks_2_by Kim Coffman
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Patrick Gehm_Susan Krohn_Sandra Barrett_Dr. Barney Barrett
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Ilyas Colombowala_Elizabeth Abraham
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Michael Francisco_Ellie Francisco
News_HGO Ball_April 2010_Ford Wyatt_Cate Wyatt_Steven Wyatt_Catherine Wyatt

Even before entering Wortham Theater Center's Grand Foyer, guests arriving on Fish Plaza Saturday night for Houston Grand Opera's ''Yellow Rose Ball" could see that this white-tie-and-tails evening was going to be out of the ordinary. Consider the country-western music, the longhorn steer and the calf that meandered around the plaza, and the mini-oil derricks that spewed water like gushers.

Certainly, it was a gusher of a night for Houston Grand Opera. Even before it was announced that oilman Oscar Wyatt was donating $1 million to HGO in honor of his wife, ball honoree Lynn Wyatt, the coffers were overflowing.

Expectations were that the extraordinary evening, chaired by Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr, would net $1 million — in addition to Oscar's gift. While the money poured in before the ball, both the silent auction and the wine auction, chaired by Ellie Francisco and Jerry Lasco, respectively, belied any economic hardships locally.

A change of pace

In the Grand Foyer, the ambience quickly shifted from the plaza's country mood to Continental splendor. Richard Flowers and his Events Co. team employed 16,000 yellow roses, scores of elaborate crystal candelabrum and urns, and hundreds of silver vases — all in a floral embrace of the ball theme. Myriad swaths of broad yellow ribbons, suspended from a grid work high above the dance floor, held bouquets of yellow roses in crystal vases.

The elaborate setting, framed in vine-strewn white lattice, provided a lavish stage upon which the creme-de-la-creme of Houston society played. Social stalwarts Pat and Dan Breen; Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and wife Janice; Rich Kinder, 249th on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, and wife Nancy; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Peter Marzio and wife Frances;  Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and wife Tricia; philanthropist Margaret Williams on the arm of Jim Daniel; and Sterling Group co-founder Frank Hevrdejs and wife Michelle.  

And there was royalty in the house  — Prince Talal of Jordan, a personal friend of Lynn Wyatt, who flew in from Middle East just for the gala.

Oh what a night

Not since Lynn Wyatt chaired HGO's Golden Jubilee gala in 2005 has the city seen an evening as spectacular as this. Entertainment included opera world great Susan Graham, a guest of the gala chairs, singing in honor of Lynn Wyatt. Even the Texas A&M singing cadets joined the party later in the evening, entertaining with "San Antone Rose" and "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame," (Graham quietly singing along from her seat at the chairs' table).

A stunning (and surprise) tableau of indoor fireworks erupted throughout the latter part of the evening, fire marshals observing from corner posts. On an equally festive note, uniformed stewards from Geo. H. Lewis & Sons  (where Bradford Wyatt is a major-domo) served the Pommery bubbly to key guests. 

The stellar turnout

And then there was the drop-dead gorgeous contingent of ball patrons including John and Becca Cason Thrash, Franci and Jim Crane, Sue and Lester Smith, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Diane Lokey Farb with Cerón, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Ann and Don Short, Isabel and Danny David, Tara and David Wuthrich and so many more that I could go on all day. In addition to Bradford Wyatt, the family table was filled with sons Steve Wyatt, in from Washington D.C., and Trey Wyatt, in from home base in Aruba, and their families.

On a fashion note, Lynn Wyatt wore a billowy, yellow gown designed especially for her for the ball by close friend Oscar de la Renta. Gala chair Denise Bush Bahr wore a couture creation in golden yellow by New York designer Norman Ambrose, who designed matching shoes for the bejeweled gown. Bobbie Vee Cooney enlisted Ambrose to create her yellow rose gown that was covered in three-deminsional roses. Joanne King Herring wore a Cesar Galindo gown that he designed especially for her for the evening.

What will HGO have up its sleeve for the 2011 ball? With 2010 a tough act to follow, HGO special events director Guyla Pircher said, "Wait 'til you see what we do next year . . . as Rudy Avelar chairs the ball to be themed 'My Fair Ladies.' We have big plans."