Shelby's Social Diary

A little night music at Mercury Baroque gala

A little night music at Mercury Baroque gala

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Mercury Baroque held its "A Knight in Verona" gala at the Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center. Photo by Kim Coffman
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Deana Blackburn , Janine Iannarelli Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Antoine Plante_Martha Turner
Antoine Plante , Martha Turner Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Marty Goossen_Kathy Goossen
Marty Goossen , Kathy Goossen Photo by Kim Coffman
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Carnival masks decorated tabletops. Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Kimberly Gremillion_Terrell Hillebrand
Kimberly Gremillion , Terrell Hillebrand Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Wade Wilson_Anna Dean
Wade Wilson , Anna Dean Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Susan Olguin_Jimmy Olguin
Susan Olguin , Jimmy Olguin Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Jeanne Ruberti_Jody Eicher
Judy Oudt Photo by Kim Coffman
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Jeanne Ruberti_Jody Eicher
Jeanne Ruberti , Jody Eicher Photo by Kim Coffman
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News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Deana Blackburn_Janine Iannarelli
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Antoine Plante_Martha Turner
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Marty Goossen_Kathy Goossen
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_mask
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Kimberly Gremillion_Terrell Hillebrand
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Wade Wilson_Anna Dean
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Susan Olguin_Jimmy Olguin
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Jeanne Ruberti_Jody Eicher
News_Mercury Baroque_March 2010_Jeanne Ruberti_Jody Eicher

For only its second dip into black-tie gala waters, Mercury Baroque did swimmingly well at Wortham Theater Center Friday night when 400 patrons gathered for dinner, dancing and a bit of Baroque music. 

There was a sweetness to the evening that more high-falutin' arts groups have somehow outgrown. There was little posturing and even less preening among the loyal supporters of the group whose audience following is a youthful twentysomething to fortysomething crowd. Of course, with more than $100,000 raised, there was a substantial number of established professionals in the mix. Consider, for starters, gala chairs Deana Blackburn and Janine Iannarelli and honorary chair Martha Turner.

The threesome orchestrated "A Knight in Verona," a whimsical evening that evoked carnival vibes with tabletop centerpieces that featured festive masks. Projections of Verona provided overtures of Italy. In a festive mood, the Mercury Baroque musicians donned masks for their performance.

The entertainment was under direction of ensemble founder Antoine Plante. What a pleasant surprise when soprano Ana Trevino-Godfrey began singing from the balcony overlooking the foyer and, as she sang, made her way down the stairs, through the dining area and onto the stage.  Dance was part of the evening as well with artists from Dominic Walsh Dance Theater performing with the ensemble. Even emcee Linda Lorelle joined the line-up, swirling across the floor with her dance partner Joe Lozano.

On a special note, Plante conscripted his parents, Gilles Plante and Diane Plante, who have their own Baroque music ensemble in Montreal, to perform during the reception on period instruments and in Renaissance costume.

The gala honored JP Morgan Chase & Co. with the Mercury Baroque Maestro Award, which was accepted by Marty Goossen, president for the Houston region.