Shelby's Social Diary

A $2 million night: Houston Grand Opera Ball raises big bucks with stunning gowns & Italian delights

A $2 million night: Houston Grand Opera Ball raises big bucks with stunning gowns & Italian delights

News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Patrick Summers_Cynthia Petrello_Perryn Leech.jpg
Patrick Summers , Cynthia Petrello , Perryn Leech Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Michelle Hevrdejs_Frank Hevrdejs.jpg
Michelle Hevrdejs , Frank Hevrdejs Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Laurie Morian_Lynn Wyatt.jpg
Laurie Morian , Lynn Wyatt Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Pat Breen_Dan Breen.jpg
Pat Breen , Dan Breen Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Beth Madison_Sandy Parkerson.jpg
Beth Madison , Sandy Parkerson Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Vicki Olson_Paul Pettie
Vicki Olson , Paul Pettie Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Jana Arnoldy_Scotty Arnoldy.jpg
Jana Arnoldy , Scotty Arnoldy Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Franci Crane_Jim Crane.jpg
Franci Crane , Jim Crane Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Ryan Seleznov_Richard Seleznov.jpg
Ryan Seleznov , Richard Seleznov Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Mike Linn_Carol Linn.jpg
Mike Linn , Carol Linn Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Christina Schmitz_John Schmitz.jpg
Christina Schmitz , John Schmitz Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Phoebe Tudor_Bobby Tudor.jpg
Phoebe Tudor , Bobby Tudor Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_John Thrash_Becca Cason Thrash.jpg
John Thrash , Becca Cason Thrash Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Laura Lasco_Jerry Lasco.jpg
Jerry Lasco , Laura Lasco Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_John Evatz_Joanne King Herring.jpg
John Evatz , Joanne King Herring Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Tony Petrello_Cynthia Petrello.jpg
Tony Petrello , Cynthia Petrello Photo by Gary Fountain
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Janice McNair , Bob McNair Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Linda Lorelle_Lou Greggory.jpg
Linda Lorelle , Lou Greggory Photo by Gary Fountain
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Danielle Ellis , John Ellis Photo by Gary Fountain
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Charles Foster , Lily Foster , Jackson Hicks Photo by Gary Fountain
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Bob Cavnar , Gracie Cavnar , Dancie Ware , Jim Ware Photo by Gary Fountain
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Eric Littlejohn , Nancy Littlejohn Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Scotty Arnoldy_Dan Tutcher_Ed Jones.jpg
Scotty Arnoldy , Dan Tutcher , Ed Jones Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Patrick Summers_Cynthia Petrello_Perryn Leech.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Michelle Hevrdejs_Frank Hevrdejs.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Laurie Morian_Lynn Wyatt.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Pat Breen_Dan Breen.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Beth Madison_Sandy Parkerson.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Vicki Olson_Paul Pettie
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Jana Arnoldy_Scotty Arnoldy.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Franci Crane_Jim Crane.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Ryan Seleznov_Richard Seleznov.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Mike Linn_Carol Linn.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Christina Schmitz_John Schmitz.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Phoebe Tudor_Bobby Tudor.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_John Thrash_Becca Cason Thrash.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Laura Lasco_Jerry Lasco.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_John Evatz_Joanne King Herring.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Tony Petrello_Cynthia Petrello.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Janice McNair_Bob McNair.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Linda Lorelle_Lou Greggory.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Danielle Ellis_John Ellis.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Charles Foster_Lily Foster_Jackson Hicks.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Bob Cavnar_Gracie Cavnar_Dancie Ware_Jim Ware.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Eric Littlejohn_Nancy Littlejohn.jpg
News_Houston Grand Opera Ball_April 2012_Scotty Arnoldy_Dan Tutcher_Ed Jones.jpg

There is always something magical about the Houston Grand Opera Ball with its the dazzling array of ladies in designer gowns and jewels, gents in white-tie-and-tails, the lavish decor and, on occasion, a pleasing musical element. Saturday night's "Viva Italia" enjoyed it all with the added benefit of bringing in sumptuous proceeds of $2 million.

With Cynthia and Tony Petrello, already recognized for their beautiful entertaining talents, at the helm as ball chairs, it was no surprise that the Italian-themed evening soared.

 For the record, and as it should be, Cynthia Petrello took top fashion honors in her stunning gown by Alexander McQueen. 

The decor in the Grand Foyer of Wortham Center richly evoked the gardens of Villa d'Este on Lake Como with a massive mural of the famed hotel grounds and with 20,000 pink roses displayed in varying arrangements across the tables. In music selections, first by the Brookwood Community Bell Choir, then by the HGO Children's Chorus and finally by the Opera Chorus, the theme was classic Italian.

Jackson & Co. provided the exquisite Italian-inspired meal that featured braised short ribs with orzo as its main course and that had guests swooning from the lobster tortellini all the way through the trio of Italian desserts. Macchiato pot-de-creme, anyone?

For the record, and as it should be, Cynthia Petrello took top fashion honors in her stunning gown by Alexander McQueen. Also cutting beautiful swaths down the red carpet that led to the Wortham were Phoebe Tudor in Vera Wang, Lynn Wyatt in Valentino, Diane Lokey Farb in Valentino, Becca Cason Thrash in haute couture Ralph Rucci, Terrie Turner in Carolina Herrera, Joanne King Herring stunning in Cesar Galindo, Karen Payne in vintage Galanos, Margaret Williams in Ripetta, Susan Krohn in Monique Lhuillier and more than a few in Oscar de la Renta incuding Dancie Ware, Karen Mayell, Pat Breen and Ileana Trevino.

The swell party crowd included Beth Madison with Sandy Parkerson, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Franci and Jim Crane, Bobbie Vee and Gerald Cooney, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Donna and Bob Bruni, Kathi Mosbacher and Mike Wheeler, Eileen and George Hricik, and, of course, Patrick Summers and Perryn Leech, the duo who lead the opera company.