Gearing Up for HGO Ball

Tea at the Granduca celebrates past and present chairs of white-tie-and-tails gala

Tea at the Granduca celebrates past and present HGO ball chairs

News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Rudy Avelar, Jana Arnoldy
Former Houston Grand Opera Ball chairs Rudy Avelar and Jana Arnoldy. Photo by Gary Fountain
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Eileen Hricik, Robin Angly, Scott Ipsen, Donna Josey Chapman
Eileen Hricik, Robin Angly, Scott Ipsen, Donna Josey Chapman. Photo by Gary Fountain
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Anne Mendelsohn, Lynn Wyatt
Anne Mendelsohn, Lynn Wyatt. Photo by Gary Fountain
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Joanne King Herring, Cynthia Petrello
Joanne King Herring, Cynthia Petrello. Photo by Gary Fountain
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Robin Angly, Pat Breen
Robin Angly, Pat Breen. Photo by Gary Fountain
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Rudy Avelar, Jana Arnoldy
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Eileen Hricik, Robin Angly, Scott Ipsen, Donna Josey Chapman
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Anne Mendelsohn, Lynn Wyatt
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Joanne King Herring, Cynthia Petrello
News, HGO Tea, Dec. 2015, Robin Angly, Pat Breen

Ah, the memories that were tossed around the formal living room at Hotel Granduca when 2016 Houston Grand Opera Ball chair Donna Josey Chapman invited past ball chairs in for a tea party celebrating their past successes and launching her debut as ball chair in Houston.

The hostess chairs the April 9, 2016, white-tie-and-tails evening at Wortham Theater Center with her husband, Max Chapman. The cat is out of the bag — the ball theme will be inspired by HGO's upcoming production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel.

Chapman declared the gathering "The Royal Society of Former Opera Ball Chairs" and went on to amuse with her description of the lot — "a group of industrious, flattering, wise and wicked women who cajoled their friends, family and husbands, by any means necessary, to make their opera ball the best ever.” 

The only one among them who did not have a husband to cajole was Rudy Avelar, who chaired the "My Fair Ladies" ball in 2011, the only gent to chair the stellar evening solo.

The ladies included Robin Angly, Jana Arnoldy, Susan Black, Pat Breen, Danielle Ellis, Lynn Guggolz, Eileen Hricik, Anne Mendelsohn, Cynthia Petrello, Lynn Wyatt and Joanne King Herring, who chaired the gala in 1963. HGO's director of special events Scott Ipsen was in the mix.