HGO Opening Night

Up, up and away at Houston Grand Opera opening night dinner, where glamorous gowns rule

Up, up and away at HGO opening night dinner where glam gowns rule

Yvonne Cormier, Valerie Dieterich, Jana Arnoldy, Mary D'Andrea at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Yvonme Cormier, Valerie Dieterich, Jana Arnoldy, Mary D' Andrea. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Daniel Slater, Dimitri Pittas, Nicole Heaston, Michael Sumuel, Alicia Gianni at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Daniel Slater, Dimitri Pittas, Nicole Heaston, Michael Sumuel, Alicia Gianni. Photo by Jacob Power
Houston Grand Opera opening night decorations
Décor by The Events Company featured murals and projections of clouds giving guests the feeling that they were dining in the sky. Photo by Jacob Power
Jim Daniel, Margaret Alkek Williams, Princess Tatiana Galitzine, Guillermo Sierra at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Jim Daniel, Margaret Alkek Williams, Princess Tatiana Galitzine, Guillermo Sierra. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Yvonne Cormier, Valerie Dieterich, Jana Arnoldy, Mary D'Andrea at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Daniel Slater, Dimitri Pittas, Nicole Heaston, Michael Sumuel, Alicia Gianni at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Houston Grand Opera opening night decorations
Jim Daniel, Margaret Alkek Williams, Princess Tatiana Galitzine, Guillermo Sierra at Houston Grand Opera opening night
Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs at Houston Grand Opera opening night

What: Houston Grand Opera 2016-17 Season Opening Night Performance and Dinner Celebration.

Where: Wortham Theater Center’s Ray C. Fish Plaza.

The scoop: Houston's social set dressed in glamorous gowns and sharp tuxedos for the opening of HGO's 62nd season with a performance of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love followed by a late night dinner celebration chaired by Mary and Dr. Mark D’Andrea and Valerie and Tracy Dieterich. The Events Company transformed a party tent with murals and a video projection of puffy clouds and a hot air balloon inspired by the opera production for the dinner, which drew 400 black-tie guests.

The cast, led by tenor Dimitri Pittas, soprano Nicole Heaston and bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi mingled with the crowd. Anne And Dr. John Mendelsohn were honored for their support of HGO. Bidding was spirited for several coveted auction items, as Marguerite Swartz was top bidder for a VIP Super Bowl package while Jana Arnoldy won the opportunity to conduct the national anthem at HGO's 2017 opening night.

The dinner raised $463,000.

Who: Seen in the crowd were HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech, HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers, Divya and Chris Brown, Diane Lokey Farb, ​Princess Tatiana Galitzine, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Connie Kwan-Wong, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Kelli and Martin Fein, Denise and Philip Bahr.

Also enjoying the evening were Andrea and Bill White, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Robert Bruni, Cynthia and Anthony Petrello, Donna Josey Chapman, Donna Moylen and Benjamin Chu, Bobbie-Vee and Jerry Cooney, Rufus and Yvonne Cormier, and Margaret Alkek Williams.