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Houston Grand Opera previews new season for young professionals at fashion-forward fete

Houston Grand Opera previews new season at fashion-forward fete

Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster, Ann Malcolm, Sandra Manela, Ruchi Mukerjee, Raquel Lewis
Ann Malcolm, Sandra Manela, Ruchi Mukerjee, Raquel Lewis. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Ishwari Subbiah, Vivek Subbiah. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Paul Hopper, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Paul Hopper, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl. Priscilla Dickson Photography
David and Sarah Keck at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
David Keck, Sarah Keck. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Carolyn Dorros, Claire Cormier Thielke at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Carolyn Dorros, Claire Cormier Thielke. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Patricia Resterpo, Michael Yafi at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Patricia Resterpo, Michal Yafi. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Mahzad Mohajer, Elina Htun, Dr. Parissa Mohajer at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Mahzad Mohajer, Elina Htun, Dr. Parissa Mohajer. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Christopher and Kendall Hanno at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Christopher Hanno, Kendall Hanno. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Model from The Webster at Houston Grand Opera party
A model showcases an attention-getting red gown. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Peter Walsh, Anthony Robin Schneider at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Peter Walsh at the piano, Anthony Robin Schneider. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Sweets from Artisans at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
The crowd enjoyed desserts from Artisans. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Rachel and Warren Ellsworth Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Rachel Ellsworth, Warren Ellsworth. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Darrin Davis, Emily Schrieber, Mario Emundsson at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Darrin Davis, Emily Schrieber, Mario Emundsson. Priscilla Dickson Photography
light bites from Artisans restaurant at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
The crowd enjoyed light bites from Artisans. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Jeremy Garcia, Carrie Brandsburg-Dahl, Brian McCulloch at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Brian McCulloch, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Brian Garcia. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster, Ann Malcolm, Sandra Manela, Ruchi Mukerjee, Raquel Lewis
Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Paul Hopper, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
David and Sarah Keck at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Carolyn Dorros, Claire Cormier Thielke at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Patricia Resterpo, Michael Yafi at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Mahzad Mohajer, Elina Htun, Dr. Parissa Mohajer at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Christopher and Kendall Hanno at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Model from The Webster at Houston Grand Opera party
Peter Walsh, Anthony Robin Schneider at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Sweets from Artisans at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Rachel and Warren Ellsworth Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Darrin Davis, Emily Schrieber, Mario Emundsson at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
light bites from Artisans restaurant at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster
Jeremy Garcia, Carrie Brandsburg-Dahl, Brian McCulloch at Houston Grand Opera party at The Webster

A few days before Hurricane Harvey descended on Texas, more than 150 Houston Grand Opera supporters gathered at The Webster to preview the new 2017/2018 season and view some opera-inspired high-fashion looks by such designers as Christian Dior, Gucci, Dries Van Notten and Saint Laurent.

Opera officials are still hopeful that the show will go on in the fall, with productions of the Verdi classic la Traviata and Handel's Julius Caesar, updated to 1930s Hollywood with Cleopatra as a platinum blonde film star, planned to premiere on October 20 and October 27, respectively. Both productions are up in the air as officials assess flooding damage at the Wortham Theater Center, where the operas are scheduled to be performed.

HGO assistant artistic director Paul Hopper gave guests — many of who are part of the opera's Young Patrons Circle and Opening Night Professionals — a dramatic overview of the entire opera season, which also includes the world premiere of The House without a Christmas Tree, in December, followed by Elektra ("shock and horror with gallons and gallons of blood") and The Barber of Seville ("a great entry point to opera") in January 2018.

Closing out the season in April 2018 are the first major opera house version of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and the first HGO production of Norma in 25 years, with soprano powerhouse Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role. 

Guests gathered near the baby grand piano in the Galleria store as bass Anthony Robin Schneider and pianist Peter Walsh from the HGO Studio performed Verdi’s “Illacerato spirito” from Simon Boccanegra.

Seen in the crowd were the evening's host Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl (solo since hubby Sverre was called away to Norway on business), The Webster's Contstance Bost, Claire Cormier Thielke, Duyen and Marc Huynh, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Kendall and Christopher Hanno, Carolyn Dorros, Michelle Aviña, Claudio Gutierrez, Mahzad Mohajer, Dr. Parissa Mohajer, Elina Htun, Patricia Resterpo, Dr. Michal Yafi, Sarah and David Keck, Jeremy Garcia and Brian McCullough, Tijuana Harvey, and Ruchi Mukerjee.