Shelby at Opera Ball
At Houston Grand Opera Ball gilding the lily a good thing for the white-tie-and-tails throng
Against a rich tableau of Belle Epoque splendor, the ladies attending the Houston Grand Opera ball blossomed in the Wortham Theater Center Grand Foyer, transforming its utilitarian purpose into a garden of social delights. And a garden it was with 4,000 calla lilies, 3,000 white roses and 2,000 phalaenopsis orchids.
The Belle Epoque era in France is ball chair Anne Mendelsohn's favorite period and in a nod to that gala theme, she carried a shimmering evening bag from the 1890s that had belonged to Dr. John Mendelsohn's grandmother. As gallant as ever, the former head of M.D. Anderson credited his wife with the stellar success of the evening that raised $1.75 million.
Her spirited "Musetta's Waltz" provided the high note for the audience of more than 500.
Rather than speeches and lengthy introductions during this white-tie-and-tails evening, the program was all about music with singers from the HGO Chorus entertaining with a selection from Carmen and HGO Studio soprano Andrea Carol performing from La Boheme (that Puccini masterpiece having opened the 2012-2013 HGO season). Her spirited "Musetta's Waltz" provided the high note for the audience of more than 500.
Visual centerpiece of the setting was the massive Erté-inspired mural that hung from the upper levels of the Grand Foyer. Peacock feathers sprouted from centerpieces that rose from the tables like floral fountains. The iridescent feathers were also sewn into the silken cloths at alternating tables. Kudos to the Events Co.'s Richard Flowers and Kirksey Gregg, both on hand, for the stunning decor that included four vintage Lalique calla lily chandeliers.
Among the notables at the Mendelsohn table were, in from New York, Jeanette and Joseph Neubauer, chairman of Aramark for which Jackson and Co. is the luxury catering arm. Thus, the pressure was on to perform. No worries, however, for Jackson Hicks and his team are accustomed to providing the best for the best.
Working through the A-list crowd were HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers and HGO managing director Perryn Leech.
On this grand night, the swans and their partners maintained HGO ball traditions of fashion grandeur and personal sophistication. Joining the parade down the red carpet were Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Pat and Dan Breen, Diane Lokey Farb with Mark Sullivan, Margaret Alkek Williams with Jim Daniel, Lynn Wyatt and Brad Wyatt, Malinda and Alan Crain, Cesar Galindo, Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr, Carol and Mike Linn, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor and on and on.