Shelby's Social Diary

A night of musical highs: Affordable opera tease builds party anticipation

A night of musical highs: Affordable opera tease builds anticipation

7 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Amanda Kingston, Charles Chester, Julia Engel
Amanda Kingston, from left, Charles Chester and Julia Engel at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
6 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Sara Heaton and Steven Wallace
Sara Heaton and Steven Wallace at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
1 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Ben Edquist and Allegra De Vita
Ben Edquist and Allegra De Vita at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
2 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Meredith Crockett and Fred Whitty
Meredith Crockett and Fred Whitty at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
8 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Lizz Martin and Kelly Mathena
Lizz Martin, left, and Kelly Mathena at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
3 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Frederick Ballentine and Teresa Procter
Frederick Ballentine and Teresa Procter at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
9 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Jose and Sylvia Serra
Jose and Sylvia Serra at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
4 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Eloise Bereds and William Nettles
Eloise Bereds and William Nettles at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
11 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Chris and Jackie Sternat, Janet and Rick Sympson
Chris and Jackie Sternat, from left, and Janet and Rick Sympson at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
10 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Katherine Smith and Nick Brownlee
Katherine Smith and Nick Brownlee at the Opera in the Heights party. Photo by Melanie Barrett
7 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Amanda Kingston, Charles Chester, Julia Engel
6 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Sara Heaton and Steven Wallace
1 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Ben Edquist and Allegra De Vita
2 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Meredith Crockett and Fred Whitty
8 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Lizz Martin and Kelly Mathena
3 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Frederick Ballentine and Teresa Procter
9 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Jose and Sylvia Serra
4 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Eloise Bereds and William Nettles
11 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Chris and Jackie Sternat, Janet and Rick Sympson
10 Opera in the Heights party September 2013 Katherine Smith and Nick Brownlee

What a musically delicious sampling it was when Opera in the Heights presented a potpourri of popular pieces from the upcoming season at its party launching the 2013/2014 repertoire. Fans gathered at Four Oaks Place for a cocktail hour followed by the presentation that served as a teaser to the coming season.

Keith Chapman emceed the program that began with Amanda Kingston singing a show-stopping aria from Lucia di Lammermoor, which opens in the spring. Julia Engel presented a preview of her role as Norina in Don Pasquale, which plays in November. The entire Opera in the Heights chorus then joined lead role singers Sara Heaton and Steven Wallace in a round of the famous brindisi (drinking song) from October’s La Traviata.

The singers, under the tutelage of artistic director Enrique Carreón-Robledo, are members of the professional company that provides a stage for emerging opera performers and brings affordable opera to the greater Houston area. Season ticket packages, including four operas, are priced from $86 to $193.

Among guests saluting Oh!, as it is affectionately known, were Ben Edquist, Allegra De Vita, Meredith Crockett, Fred Whitty, Frederick Ballentine, Teresa Procter, Eloise Bereds, William Nettles, Alvin Major Jr. and Opera in the Heights board chair Rosalie Bates.

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