JUST IN: Dallas Opera Board Of Directors Chair Holly Mayer To Receive 2017 National Opera Trustee Recognition Award

Holly Mayer (File photo)

For ages The Dallas Opera Board of Directors Chair Holly Mayer has been happily flying under the radar. But for those in the know, she has been the sweetheart of The Dallas Opera (DO). She has served on the DO’s board for 27 years, and what years they’ve been. From the DO’s being on the edge of ruin to its present glory days, she’s stayed the course as vice president of development from 2001 to 2014. Need proof?

According to The National Opera America Center, “During Ms. Mayer’s time as vice president of development, the company achieved a 50 percent increase in annual giving over a two-year period. She helped lead numerous multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns, resulting in $20 million for the company’s endowment (more than doubling its size), $5.1 million for the construction of the company’s administrative offices and $3.1 million in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary, among other successes.”

But her low profile was unveiled to many unknowing types when she received the TACA Silver Cup in 2014 and was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals this past November.  

Fellow DO Board Member/Silver Cup Awardee John Cody described Holly this way: “Perhaps most impressive is Holly’s willingness to take on leadership roles during challenging times — evidence of her blend of optimism and tenacity. She is well-known for her ability to listen and to offer valuable insight, and can be counted on to apply the highest professional standards to all she endeavors. The trust she instills in others is evident in the number of times her colleagues are willing to say ‘yes’ when Holly asks them to join her.”

So, it should come as no surprise that Holly has just been named one of four recipients of the Opera America’s 2017 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards. Along with Carol Lazier of the San Diego Opera, R. Marsh Gibson of Opera Memphis and Jerry Clack of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Holly will be honored at a dinner in NYC on Friday, February 24.

The selection of the recipients is based on their displaying “a significant range of accomplishments, profound generosity and a deep devotion to promoting opera in their communities.”

Congrats to Holly and the DO for having her.

Local And International Opera Types Buy Into The Beauty Of Mulberry For First Sight/first Night

Aishwarya Alsaud*

Aishwarya Alsaud*

The variety of the 2015 fall season prooved itself on Wednesday, September 2. Over at NorthPark’s Mulberry, it was the Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night crowd surrounded by all types of fabulous clothes and accessories and extremely fashionable locals and out-of-towners like Saudi Arabia Princess Aishwarya Alsaud, who found many things to her liking. What good fortune for the opera. Mulbery was donating 10% of evening sales to the DO.

According to Mulberry Director of Marketing and Communications Johanan Merino, who was in from New York, the princess and Agent 007 have something in common. Seems Daniel Craig will be wearing a nifty black scarf and deerskin gloves from Mulberry in his new movie.

One item that seemed so Bond-ish that was just hanging around was a black leather jacket designed by Georgia May Jagger (aka former Mesquite gal Jerry Hall’s and Mick Jagger’s daughter).

All these British touches fit in nicely with Mulberry’s season theme: British architecture that will included everything from hand-painted wallpaper patterns from British manor houses and hand-painted cap-sleeve dresses to degradé dresses.

Ellen and Don Winspear

Ellen and Don Winspear

But back to the evening of First Sight/First Night committee chatting. Mulberry Manager Matthew Minick was chatting with Catherine Leppert, who will be marrying into First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Ellen and Don Winspear’s clan in Scotland come the spring, when Catherine weds Ryan Winspear. Ellen was like a retired racehorse about shopping for the wedding gown with Kathleen. She used to be a bridal consultant!

Don admitted that this trip was gonna be a couple of firsts for him. First, he’s never been to Scotland and, second, this venture will be the first since he’s been wheelchair-bound. For Ellen the wedding will be old stomping grounds for her.

Catherine Leppert and Matthew Minick

Catherine Leppert and Matthew Minick

Kara and Randall Goss

Kara and Randall Goss

But before all that happens, Ellen and Don are overseeing the Dallas Opera’s big fundraiser First Sight/First Night at the Winspear Opera House with a Mulberry fashion show/luncheon on Thursday, October 29, and First Night on the following evening for the opening of the opera’s 2015-2016 season.

Johanan Merino, Steve Stodghill and Micki and Michael Rawlings*

Johanan Merino, Steve Stodghill and Micki and Michael Rawlings*

The locals included First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Micki and Mike Rawlings, Lynn and Allan McBee, Steve Suellentrop, Kara and Randall Goss (Kara looked extremely fashionable sporting above the knee red boots) and First Night Dinner Co-Chair Steve Stodghill, who looked well despite a very nasty run-in with a truck that “impaled Steve’s car with a 12-foot long steel beam” back on August 24. Dallas Opera Executive Director Keith Cerny fessed up that wife Jennifer Cerny hadn’t picked out her gown for the opening night. She’s got her work cut out for her after last year’s knock-out-of-the-park blue scene stealer.

* Photo courtesy of The Dallas Opera

JUST IN: Dallas Opera’s First Sight Fashion Designers Revealed

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

One of the highlights of the Dallas Opera’s First Sight is the parade of knock-out “opera-inspired” fashions created by local designers. And from the list of designers slated to present at the Thursday, October 29th luncheon, it’s going to raise the standard once again.

Here’s the list of designers and the operas that will inspire their creations:

  • Geoffrey HenningGreat Scot
  • Khanh NguyenTosca
  • Ed PopkenBecoming Santa Claus
  • Elizabeth AnyaaManon and
  • Michael FairclothShow Boat

As last year, the fashion show and luncheon will take place in the Winspear lobby with producer extraordinaire Rhonda Sargent Chambers orchestrating the fashion show featuring Mulberry creations.

According to NorthPark Center Director of Marketing and Public Relations Victoria Snee, “North Park Center is thrilled to once again be the official shopping center sponsor of the First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon, which celebrates the artistry of fashion design in reflection with the incomparable Dallas Opera and its exciting performance line up.”

Don and Ellen Winspear (File photo)

Don and Ellen Winspear (File photo)

Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Ellen and Don Winspear will be chairing the two-day First Sight/First Night with Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings serving as the First Sight chair. Tickets are on sale now.

Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night Leadership And Deets Revealed

Don and Ellen Winspear (File photo)

Don and Ellen Winspear (File photo)

It’s been making the rounds among the Dallas Opera lovers, but now it’s official. The Dallas Opera’s 2015 First Sight/First Night deets are official.

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Ellen and Don Winspear will co-chair the glamorama fundraisers at the Winspear on Thursday, October 29, and Friday, October 30. They’ve arranged for Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings to serve as honorary co-chairs.

Micki is going to have to clone herself. In addition to serving as honorary co-chair for both events, she’s also going to serve as chair for the First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon that will be held in the Winspear lobby and presented by NorthPark Center. On the runway will be fashions by Mulberry plus the showstopping “original opera-inspired designs by Dallas style-makers.”

Who will the 2015 “style-makers” be? Stay tuned. That news is just around the corner.

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

Anne and Steve Stodghill (File photo)

Hopefully, she’ll grab a good night’s sleep and be all ready for Friday’s season opener at the Winspear. Dinner Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill have arranged for the black tie event to include a red carpet arrival for the VIP’s, who will attend a seated three-course dinner in a tent in Sammons Park adjoining the Winspear.

Following dinner, the guests will attend the season’s opening performance of “Great Scott” and then return to the restaged tent for the after party with DJ Lucy Wrubel handling the music.

Individual tickets for the luncheon are $250. As for the Friday evening festivities, the tickets are $1,000 per person with tables starting at $25,000. All the ticket and sponsor information can be found here.

 

Round Robin February 17: Dallas Opera Founders Luncheon, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show And Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning

Even Mother Nature was shocked by the activities slated for Tuesday, February 17. Instead of snow flurries, she backed way off and allowed clear skies for most of the day with crispy temperatures. While the Chi O’s were handing out checks to the 2014 beneficiaries at their sorority house at SMU, others were lunching and burning pieces of paper.

Dallas Opera Founders Luncheon

Lawyers are not known for humor, but attorney Don Glendenning and his better half Carol proved they were ready for prime time. Introductions of award recipients can be ho-hum type affairs, but Carol and Don forewarned the Dallas Opera types at the Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. Founders Award Luncheon in the Dallas Country Club ballroom, that their intro for the 2015 Founders Awardees was going to be a tad bit R-rated.

Don and Carol Glendenning and Holly and Tom Mayer

Don and Carol Glendenning and Holly and Tom Mayer

With that ears perked up. Even the most proper, blue-haired types looked intrigued. How could an intro of Holly and Tom Mayer be naughty?

The Glendennings, who were the 2014 recipients, used a “50 Shades of Grey” theme for their intro. As the Glendennings provided one of the most memorable intros heard in these parts, some folks might have missed bits and pieces because of the guffawing. Even Holly had to use her napkin to handle her tears resulting from her laughter. One of the standing jokes that had elbows nudging table companions was something about Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell. If you’re very good, maybe Don and Carol will share their script with you.

Susan Averitt Duvall and Leslie Champlin

Susan Averitt Duvall and Leslie Champlin

In addition to the Glendennings’ intro and the Mayers’ acceptance, Co-Chairs Leslie Champlin and Susan Averitt Duvall arranged for Miller daughter Patsy Donosky, who thanked the guests for their support of the opera and the award in her parents’ names. After luncheon and the presentation, baritone Jonathan Beyer performed.

Micki Rawlings. Ellen Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Laura Leppert

Micki Rawlings. Ellen Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Laura Leppert

But before the luncheon commenced, the DCC’s lobby was jammed with folks including Jolie Humphreys, Patricia Meadows, Carolyn Rose Hunt, Kersten Rettig, Micki Rawlings, Laura Leppert, Mary Brinegar, Sara Martineau, John Cody, Ellen and Don Winspear, Will Power and Tincy Miller and news. Kersten Rettig’s break has ended as she has undertaken a project for the Dallas Women’s Foundation…Patricia Meadows reported that husband Curtis Meadows had taken a tumble setting back his rehabilitation…Hayley Hamilton Cogill was just back from a Valentine jaunt to Portland with husband Gary Cogill and Ashlee and Chris Kleinert — “It’s so nice to show there are wines outside of Napa.”…Venise Stuart was still receiving accolades about her chairing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s deb presentation.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

Sure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show took place after St. V-Day at the Meyerson, but love is always in the air.

And with Lisa Singleton chairing the event, it was especially true. In addition to fashions from Highland Park Village, young Brooklynn Alexander was presented the Spirit of Tom Landry Character Award by Alicia Landry and Jennifer Houser received the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award from her son Ryan, who is a leukemia survivor having been cancer-free for the past 10 years.

Marybeth Conlon and Don and Robyn Conlon

Marybeth Conlon and Don and Robyn Conlon

Touchingly poignant was the creation and awarding of the Memorial Hero Award to the late Linda Somerville, who had died 16 years ago from leukemia. It was Linda’s death that inspired her best friend/former luncheon chair Robyn Conlon to pitch in with the luncheon during its early days. Adding a love touch was the recent announcement of Robyn’s son Keith Conlon’s engagement to Linda’s and husband Tom Somerville’s daughter Megan Somerville.

Keith Conlon, Megan Somerville, Shannon and Ahmad Ajami, Nicole and Tommy Somerville and Tom Somerville

Keith Conlon, Megan Somerville, Shannon and Ahmad Ajami, Nicole and Tommy Somerville and Tom Somerville

To accept the award were Tom and the Somerville children (Megan, Shannon Somerville Ajami and Tommy Somerville), following a touching video featuring Megan and Robyn.

Habitat For Humanity’s Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning

Sarah and Alan Losinger may appear to be the souls of propriety. That’s until they trot out Aunt Marji. She’s really a stay-at-home type. They rarely if ever take her out of their Preston Hollow home. But when there’s a party, she’s the hit of it. Oh, you’re thinking she’s like your eccentric Aunt Maudie who only showed up at holiday gatherings? Close but no cigar.

Bill Hall, Aunt Marji and Doug and Jeanne Reinelt

Bill Hall, Aunt Marji and Doug and Jeanne Reinelt

The Losingers’ Marji came from Las Vegas and is always the center of attention without uttering a syllable. On this evening when Habitat for Humanity held its “Builder’s Circle Mortgage Burning,” Marji was perfection for the occasion with her polished nails, fur jacket, Habitat for Humanity helmet, tape measure, tool apron, hammer and protective eyewear.

As one guests said, “She looks like everybody’s idea grandma.”

But like everybody, Marji had a “oops” factor in her makeup.

Alan Losinger

Alan Losinger

Despite her patient listening to one and all and loving features, Marji was not a breathing type. She was the creation of artist Gary Mirabelle and Sarah and Alan had “adopted” her. Like any grandmotherly type, she even has an album of photos like her seated on Santa’s lap, feet soaking at Eddie Dean’s, riding with Alan on a bike, etc.

But as captivating as Marji was, she found herself soon all alone in the dining room when guests gathered in the living room for the presentation.

First Sara and Alan were presented with personalize hard hats for their contributions. Alan popped his on, but Sarah’s head of red curls seemed a bit cramped trying to fit into the helmet. Then the Jones family was recognized by Habitat for Humanity CEO Bill Hall for paying off their mortgage. Family matriarch Cathy Jones told the guests, “I would still be living in public housing if not for Habitat for Humanity.”

Finally, slips of paper with names of people who had paid off their mortgages were handed out to the Builder’s Circle guests, who headed out the back terraces to a fire pit for burning. Aunt Marji decided to sit that one out.

After the mortgages went up in smoke, folks like Mike Gruber, Jeanne and Doug Reinelt, Serena Connelly and Micki Rawlings returned to the house to chat. One story making the rounds was about last fall’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s Work Project. At the celebration dinner in AT&T Cowboys Stadium featuring Wynonna Judd on stage, the singer’s husband Cactus Moser gave a shout out to Rosalynn. Not only did he pronounce her name “Rose-a-lynn,” he was waving to the wrong gal. The former first lady wasn’t able to attend the celebration. The woman who was the recipient of his waves was Dallas First Lady Micki Rawlings. Realizing that Cactus wasn’t going to give up until some acknowledgment was made, she stood up and waved to the crowd.

First Night’s Festivities Ranged From Glamorama Red Carpet To A Record-Breaking Crowd For Opera Simulcast In Klyde Warren Park

Nicole and Robert Furno

Nicole and Robert Furno

The red carpet extended from Flora to the Winspear Opera House front door on Friday, October 24. Along the way were mini-stages for one-of-a-kind creations by area designers. Each represented a Dallas Opera production (Elizabeth Anyaa — “LA Wally”, Michael Faircloth — “Iolanta”, Abi Ferrin — “Salome”, Khahn Nguyen — “La Boheme”, Edo Popken — “Everest” and Nicolas Villalba — “The Marriage Of Figaro”) that would take place during the 2014-2015 season.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny

Cellphone photographing

Cellphone photographing

Just the day before the designer’s outfits had been showcased on the runway in the Winspear lobby for First Sight luncheon and fashion show of the Roberto Cavalli collection.

But on this evening when “The Marriage of Figaro” was to officially open the DO’s season, Larry Leathers’ staging with models’ and guests’ gowns and jewelry glammed up the First Night walkway so much that passersby took cell phone photos.

Sara Wilson and Nick Even

Sara Wilson and Nick Even

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. First Sight First Night Co-Chair Nick Even was with his sister Sara WilsonDon Winspear was sporting red socks, while wife Ellen razzle-dazzled in jewelry heels…Designer Ed Popken watched from the sidelines…Lee Bailey was taking time off from tending her black swan, Ziggy, who had gotten in a rumble…First Sight First Night Co-Chair Lynn McBee and husband Allan were having a busy week. After the Friday night gala, they were setting sites on the Stars And Stripes Film Festival at the Angelika the following week and the BrainHealth Center’s Legacy dinner the next week…Doris Jacobs reported that husband Jack was on the mend and having dinner with their daughters…Emmanuel’s representative Brit/Yankee Jeffrey Vanderveen flew in for the evening. Before heading to the red carpet, he was greeted by Cleve Schneider and Jonathan Pell. He revealed that he and Emmanuel have “had crazy parties throughout the world. Ask him about the Ice Bar in London.” With a twinkle and a smile, he was off to join the other beautiful people.

Jonathan Pell, Jeffrey Vanderveen and Cleve Schneider

Jonathan Pell, Jeffrey Vanderveen and Cleve Schneider

Others strolling the red carpet included Sara and David Martineau, Patsy Donosky with sis-in-law Tincy Miller, Wanda Gierhart with Dean Fearing, Abraham Salum and Randy Katz, Kaki and Shelton Hopkins, Mary McDermott Cook with Dan Patterson, Britt Harless with designer Elizabeth Anyaa, Simona Beal with Bob Gibbs, Iain Day, Dee Simmons, Scott and First Sight Chair Liz Kimple with her sister Stefani Burns and Nicole and Robert Furno.

Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Scott and Liz Kimple

Scott and Liz Kimple

After a seated dinner chaired by Nancy D. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger in a tent adjoining the Winspear, the crowd attended the opera with music director Emmanuel Villaume at the helm.

Just a block away, the opera was being simulcast in Klyde Warren Park for a record-breaking crowd of 7,000.

Afterwards, the black-tie guests let their hair down for an after party back in the tent chaired by Jenifer Strauss and Robert Weatherly with Lucy Wrubel in charge of the music.

As for the designer gowns on the mini-stages, they were headed for an online auction conducted by Heritage Auctions benefiting the Dallas Opera, of course.

For more photos of the gowns and guys in tuxedos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: First Night

Keith and Jennifer Cerny

Keith and Jennifer Cerny

Stefani Burns

Stefani Burns

Just the day before opera lovers were lunching at the Dallas Opera’s First Sight with fabulous food and fashion. Friday, October 24, the crowd had gussied up with the most amazing gowns for the Dallas Opera’s First Night and the season’s opening night. The evening was headlined with perfect weather, gents just made to suit for tuxedos and models standing on platforms showing off one-of-a-kind fashions completing the seasons performances.

Pictures from the red carpet showcase entrance can be seen at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Round Robin October 23 (Daytime): First Sight And Encore Park Sculpture Wall Unveiling

Duh! Duh! Duh! That was the chorus being sounded by the end of Thursday, October 23. Too many places to go, events to cover and people to see. If something’s left out, it’s because memory cells were shot down during the day.

First Sight

Nicholas Villalba

Nicholas Villalba

Dallas Opera’s Keith Cerny has become the GNG of the Dallas Arts District. GNG? Good Neighbor Guy. Instead of hunkering down and acting like the Winspear and the Dallas Opera should have a moat with meat-eating critters and only allowing the snooty types in, he solicited involvement by all the neighbors in the hood and reached out to the entire community to join the fun.

With that reach out came a whole new breadth of enthusiasm and fresh newcomers. Those new kids on the block were filling the Winspear Opera House for First Sight, a fashion show and luncheon.

Unfortunately, Keith’s success meant that the Skokos stage was filled to the brim with construction for the upcoming season. The result? The entire First Sight luncheon including the designer gowns (Elizabeth Anyaa, Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen, Edo Popken and Nicolas Villalba) representing the season’s operas and Roberto Cavalli fashions were presented in the lobby under the direction of fashion producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers.

At one point designer Faircloth and his model in a gloriously red sequined gown showed up prematurely during the final roll call. Did anyone care? Not one iota. It was perfect for an extra encore.

Talk about lunch included Anne Stodghill in pink satin jacket and shoes with pink highlights. Immediately following the show, she was headed to LA to join husband Steve for the Pink concert. The next morning both Stodghills were going to grab a flight back to Dallas for the DO’s “First Night.”

Nick Even and Emmanuel Villaume

Nick Even and Emmanuel Villaume

Luncheon Chair Liz Kimple brought along her sister and niece. The wee one was nonplussed by the day’s festivities and settled back on a couch with a chocolate energy bar.

Lynn McBee and Don and Ellen Winspear

Lynn McBee and Don and Ellen Winspear

Other pretty peeps in attendance included Jolie Humphrey, Karen Settle, Lee Bailey, Judy Kelly, Suzanne Palmlund, Ellen and Don Winspear, First Sight First Night Co-Chairs Lynn McBee and Nick Even, ever-charming DO Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, Holly Mayer, Donna Arp Weitzman, Brian Bolke, Jennifer Cerny and Michal Powell using just one crutch.

For more photos of the designer fashions, head to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

Unveiling The Wall

Encore Park is not like other well-known Dallas parks like Lee Park, Reverchon Park and White Rock Park. Nope. It’s across the street from the First Presbyterian Church Community Ministries Building and First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. But it’s “an innovative outreach program bringing together people of all cultures and faiths through service, dialogue, education, music and art.” Plans call for the two-block area at Young Street and Park Avenue to have three main components:

508 Amphitheater

508 Amphitheater

  • 508 Park — The Stewpot’s Open Art Studio and Gallery, a Museum of Street Culture, a recording studio and special event space.
  • 508 Amphitheater and the Encore Park Community Garden
  • 515 Park (formerly The Power and Light Building) — The Stewpot’s “collaborative partners (Crossroads Community Services, the Dallas Police Athletic and Activities League, Metrocare and the Dallas Winds

It has been a mammoth undertaking, but it is happening.

On this day a small coterie of supporters and area leaders (Mary McDermott Cook, Howard Hallam, Robert Decherd, Stacey Malcolmson, Joe Alexander and Carol Adams) assembled in the amphitheater that was still under construction for the unveiling of Encore Park’s sculpture wall, “The Birth Of A City,” hosted by Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Jan and Fred Hegi and Joan and Elvis Mason.

Mike and Micki Rawlings, Jan and Fred Hegi and Howard Hallam

Mike and Micki Rawlings, Jan and Fred Hegi and Howard Hallam

While waiting for the program to begin, Micki told Mary McD C about seeing Mary’s mother, Margaret McDermott, at a dinner earlier in the week for Ken Burns…When asked about “Bentley the Ebola Dog,” Mayor Mike didn’t hesitate — “We’ve got to keep him alive.”…First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ Rev. Joe Clifford was unable to attend the unveiling due to his uncle’s death.

As the sun was still high enough in the sky to force the sunglasses look, speakers like Buddy Jordan, Rev. Bruce Buchanan, Mike Rawlings and wall designer Brad Oldham kept their remarks brief because they had more important things to do.

Unveiling the wall

Unveiling the wall

The guests were asked to head to the sidewalk along Park Avenue for the official unveiling of the “lost-wax bronze sculpture wall” by designer Brad Oldham. On this side of the wall, and thanks to the sun lowering in the sky, the need for sunglasses was no longer. Joined by his wife Christy Coltrin, Brad pulled the cords that lifted the lengthy blue tarp. What was revealed were ten 6’ by 4’ bas relief panels that were inspired by the history of Dallas up to the mid-1930’s, when the city made its remarkable step onto the world stage and when important recordings were made at 508 Park. Drawing upon a 1930s mural by Jerry Bywaters and Alexandre Hogue for the Old City Hall (painted over 20 years later),” the panels featured “iconic and lesser-known visual stories unique to Dallas.”

Bruce Buchanan, Carol Adams, Brad Oldham, Micki Rawlings, Christy Coltrin and Mike Rawlings

Bruce Buchanan, Carol Adams, Brad Oldham, Micki Rawlings, Christy Coltrin and Mike Rawlings

The guests pointed to specific areas of the lengthy artwork that truly captured a bygone era for a forward thinking program.

No, Encore Park isn’t like the other area “parks.” It may have been the brainchild of those working with the needy, but it turned out that all of Dallas needed this brainchild for the dreams will grow into reality from it.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: First Sight

Michael Faircloth creation

Michael Faircloth creation

The glory and “Wow!” factor of opera is not limited to the Winspear stage. Nope! First Sight on Thursday, October 23, was a perfect example with magnificent gowns designed by six designers (Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Elizabeth Anyaa, Edo Popken, Khanh Nguyen and Nicholas Villalba) and the Roberto Cavalli collection benefiting the Dallas Opera.

The post is being prepared, but it pales compared to the photos of the guests and exquisite outfits on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Makes you want to sing an aria.

Round Robin October 14: Dallas Opera Patron Party, TexProtects Gala And BBVA Compass Foundation Check Presentation

The week before, Wynonna Judd was in town for the Habitat for Humanity gala. On Tuesday, October 14, her stepsister Ashley Judd was at the Perot for TexProtects. At the same time, over at The Joule, the opera -oving types were warming up for the October 23 and 24 splashy kick-off, First Sight First Night, of the Dallas Opera season. And then there was the handing over of bucks by BBVA Compass Foundation at the Meadows Museum. Whew! What a night! Here are the deets:

Dallas Opera Patron Party is a Real Joule

Lynn McBee and Nick Even*

Lynn McBee and Nick Even*

At the Joule Hotel, about 120 people turned up for the Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night patron party. Keith Cerny, the opera’s general director and CEO, welcomed the crowd with an upbeat report about plans for the Oct. 23 Fashion Show and Luncheon, as well as the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night pre-performance dinner and production (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro) on the 24th.

But most exciting to Lynn McBee, who’s co-chairing both events with Nick Even, was Keith’s revelation that the DO had balanced its budget for the second year in a row. Lynn said she expected 200 to attend the luncheon and 400 to show up for the opening-night gala.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Tiffany Divis*

Ellen and Don Winspear and Tiffany Divis*

While guests including Tiffany Divis, Caroline Rose Hunt and Robert Brackbill, and Sara and David Martineau enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and desserts provided by the Joule, DO soprano Angela Mannino performed several selections (from Puccini to “I Could Have Danced All Night”) accompanied by pianist Laurie Rogers. Attendees (including Fashion Show gown designers Elizabeth Anyaa and Nicholas Villalba) also sipped wines provided by St. Michelle Wine Estates and spirits from Pernod Ricard USA.

Bryan Johnson, Summer Nilsson and Nicolas Villalba*

Bryan Johnson, Summer Nilsson and Nicolas Villalba*

TexProtects Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Jane Nelson**

Jane Nelson**

Meantime, actress Ashley Judd was a major attraction at the 10th anniversary celebration for TexProtects—the Texas Association for the Protection of Children—with a keynote speech about her childhood trauma as an abuse victim. But the real stars at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science fundraiser were the Texans who’ve helped the nonprofit achieve its mission of reducing child abuse and neglect. Chief among them: the Hon. Florence Shapiro, who chairs the TexProtects advisory board; and state Sen. Jane Nelson, who received the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Florence Shapiro, Madeline McClure and Donna Campbell**

Florence Shapiro, Madeline McClure and Donna Campbell**

“Ashley’s personal story and her humanitarian work on behalf of abuse victims exemplifies the far-reaching effects of child maltreatment, but also the promise of healing from invisible wounds and most importantly, committing to investing in prevention,” said TexProtects Founder/Executive Director Madeleine McClure.

Mary Jalonick, Ashley Judd, Margaret Keliher and Maurine Dickey**

Mary Jalonick, Ashley Judd, Margaret Keliher and Maurine Dickey**

Others in the high-powered crowd of more than 340 included Mary Jalonick, state Sen. Royce West, Lee Jackson, Sarah Losinger, state Rep. Donna Campbell, the Hon. Maurine Dickey, Brent Christopher, Don Glendenning, and Margaret Keliher (husband Lester had “the night off,” Margaret explained, because she’d been invited by Shapiro to sit at a “girls’ table”).

John and Pat Harloe**

John and Pat Harloe**

Pat Harloe served as event chair and Lisa Simmons was honorary chair for the dinner event, which netted over $315,000 on total revenue of more than $438,000 for the group.

BBVA Compass Foundation Check Hand Over

Whoever thought bankers just sat in august institutions with calculators? They evidently had met up with the BBVA Compass types, who were at the Meadows Museum. Thanks to the BBVA Compass Foundation, the museum received a $30,000 grant “to extend its Compass Classroom Scholarship Program. The program serves Dallas Independent School District visual arts teachers who educate and inspire their students to study art.”

Mark Zacheis, Darrell Lafitte, Jay Tweed, Key Coker, Mark Roglán and Sam Holland*

Mark Zacheis, Darrell Lafitte, Jay Tweed, Key Coker, Mark Roglán and Sam Holland***

“This generous grant from the BBVA Compass Foundation allows the Museum to greatly expand its reach into DISD art instruction. It connects students more deeply to art and opens them to seeing the world in a new way,” said Dr. Carmen Smith, the Meadows Museum’s Director of Education.

Since the program’s launch, the foundation has donated $120,000. This year alone, “approximately 2,500 middle- and high-school students” would benefit with “nearly 1,000 of those students will visit the museum, be introduced to the SMU campus and, more pointedly, to college education and careers in the arts.”

But the students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the program. There are 16 teachers, who will “receive professional development training through a series of workshops held at the Museum. During the workshops, they learn about the collection and special exhibitions at the Museum and are trained in art instruction methodology.”

“We are grateful to the BBVA Compass Foundation for helping Dallas teachers to inspire so many children to experience the power of art and learn the importance of creativity,” said Dr. Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU.

Among the happy bankers, educators and museum folks were BBVA’s Mark Zacheis, Darrell Lafitte, Jay Tweed, Key Coker and Meadows’ Sam Holland.

* Photo credit: Celeste Hart
** Photos provided by TexProtects
*** Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

Dallas Opera Scores Points By Sharing Emmanuel Villaume With The Prestigious Richard Tucker Music Foundation

Was it just a year-and-a-half ago that charming Emmanuel Villaume was named the Dallas Opera Music Director? Leave it to Keith Cerny to spot and snatch a winner! In the opera world, the DO was showing its stuff by landing the Frenchman.

Emmanuel Villaume (File photo)

Emmanuel Villaume (File photo)

But along with the giddiness of having Emmanuel comes a need to be big enough to share. And that’s what’s happened.

Emmanuel was slated to conduct the season’s opening opera, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. However…well, let’s let Keith’s memo explain the situation:

“Emmanuel was engaged to conduct Le nozze more than two years ago, but when the chance arose for him to take the podium at the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s once-a-year gala in New York, we bent over backwards to make that possible.  Rehearsals here in Dallas are currently in the capable hands of our Assistant Conductor Keith Chambers, along with Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty, who is already stirring things up with his lively staging of this delightful period piece.

“We are thrilled that Emmanuel Villaume will be able to enjoy this moment in the spotlight, and The Dallas Opera also celebrates his remarkable achievements.  Bravo, Maestro!”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chair Lynn McBee,

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

“The season opening of the Dallas Opera has to be one of the most thrilling times of year in the city! Nicholas Even and I are really excited to be co-chairs of the First Sight/First Night events.

“The season opens with a stunning fashion show, First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon, featuring styles by world-class Italian designer Roberto Cavalli and custom-made gowns created by internationally renowned Dallas designers. Each of the operas presented during the 2014-15 ‘Heights of Passion’ Season will be reflected in the gown designs. And of course we will be having a lavish gourmet luncheon prepared by Wolfgang Puck catering. The event is being held Thursday, October 23 at 11:00 a.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.

“We can’t wait to see the spectacular fashions presented by Roberto Cavalli, NorthPark Center —a name synonymous with joy, glamour, and success!

“The Dallas designers creating the opera-themed gowns are Nicolas Villalba who will design for The Marriage of Figaro; Abi FerrinSalome; Elizabeth Anyaa La Wally; Edo PopkenEverest; Khahn Nguyen, (Nha Khahn line) – La Bohème; and Michael FairclothIolanta.

“The ambiance of the occasion is certain to be fabulous with Event Architect Jeffrey Horn at the helm!

“First Sight is also a fundraiser and the opera gowns will be available to purchase online through Heritage Auctions. Table sales for First Sight start at $10,000 and individual tickets are $250.

“The activities continue with the First Night Pre-Performance Dinner, Friday, October 24, 5:30 p.m., beginning with a dramatic ‘Red Carpet’ arrival. This lovely affair is held at Sammons Park in a tent (adjacent to the Winspear Opera House) with magnificent opera décor. Held prior to the opera, it features an elegant three-course, gourmet dinner. Tables start at $25,000 and individual tickets are $750. (All tickets include a ticket to the After Party.)

“The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance is The Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart, Friday, October 24, 8:00 p.m., a comedic gem, also presented at the Winspear Opera House. Tickets prices vary and are available by calling 214-443-1000 or by visiting www.dallasopera.org.

“First Night After Party begins as the opera ends in the Sammons Park tent with DJ Lucy Wrubel rocking the house while guests mingle with the cast. Patrons will enjoy a fantastic breakfast bar, decadent desserts and Opera-inspired cocktails. Tickets are $125.

“The Winspear Opera House is located at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

“We are also pleased to announce the corporate sponsors we already have participating in the FIRST SIGHT/FIRST NIGHT festivities—NorthPark Center, Haynes and Boone, LLP, St. Michelle Wine Estates, and Heritage Auctions! We invite other companies to support these events and enjoy the exposure affiliated with this wonderful arts organization.

“We have tickets, table sales, and sponsorships on sale now. For more information please visit http://dallasopera.org/firstnight. All proceeds benefit the Dallas Opera, a non-profit arts organization.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at these fantastic events!”

* Photo provided by the Dallas Opera

Lynn McBee And Nick Even To Co-Chair Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night

Is there anything that Lynn McBee is not chairing? Word just arrived that she and legal eagle Nick Even will co-chair the Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night this fall.

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even and Lynn McBee*

Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny said, “The Dallas Opera is truly grateful for the support and involvement of Chairs Lynn McBee and Nick Even. It is only through the dedication and commitment of these generous philanthropists that organizations like ours can thrive to successfully serve our audiences and community. With the enthusiasm and wide range of experience these accomplished individuals bring to our season-opening events, we are prepared to be both dazzled and delighted!”

According to Lynn, “I’m truly delighted to be a part of the wonderful events that open the Dallas Opera’s 2014-2015 Season! It’s a pleasure to work with and represent an organization that not only brings magnificent opera to the stage, but also enriches our community by touching thousands with its education and outreach programs.”

The two-day fundraising activities will kick off Thursday, October 23, at 11 a.m. with First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Winspear with a Rhonda Sargent Chambers-produced fashion show featuring “the iconic Italian designer Roberto Cavalli.” In addition to the Cavailli fashions will be six “custom-made gowns created by nationally renowned Dallas based designers — each reflecting the theme of one of the operas to be presented during the 2014-2015 ’Heights of Passion’ season.” The gowns will be auctioned off later by Heritage Auctions to benefit the Dallas Opera.

The next night (Friday, October 24) the First Night Pre-performance dinner will take place starting at 5:30 p.m., with the red carpet arrival of VIP guests and models displaying the six designer gowns unveiled at the Thursday luncheon.

Following a three-course supper prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering in “a beautifully appointed tent on the approach to the” Winspear Opera House, the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro will take place.

To close out the evening, DJ Lucy Wrubel will supervise the music at the First Night After Party following the performance.

Nick added, “There is something for everyone to enjoy with the season kick-off events from the fashion show and luncheon, to the pre-opera dinner, the performance itself and the after party. If you haven’t yet experienced the fun and inspiration that comes from the extraordinary events that the Dallas Opera produces, this is a great season to get involved!”

It should be a very fun and fashionable two days with Lynn and Nick at the helm. Last year’s luncheon proved to be a surprise when an “operatic flash mob” surprised guests at their tables. There are presently tickets and sponsorship opportunities available, so now is a good time to lock down a table.

Oh, you’re probably wondering what the 2014-2015 DO season will offer. Good question. The answer is:

  • October 24, 26 (m), 29, November 1, 7 and 9 (m), 2014 — The Marriage of Figaro
  • October 30, November 2 (m), 5 and 8, 2014 — Salome
  • January 30, February 1 (m), 4 and 7, 2015 — La Wally**
  • January 30, February 1 (m), 4 and 7, 2015 — Everest**
  • March 13, 15 (m), 18, 21, 27 and 29 (m), 2015 — La Bohème
  • April 10, 12 (m), 15 and 18, 2015 — Iolanta
* Photo provided by the Dallas Opera
** Double bill

JUST IN: Jake Heggie’s And Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking‘s First Stop Will Be At The Dallas Opera

Sister Margaret Ann Moser (File photo)

Sister Margaret Ann Moser (File photo)

Ran into Sister Margaret Ann Moser on the way to the Attorneys Serving the Community luncheon today at the Anatole. In addition to being in sorta-non-retirement status, she told how she knew Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking.

That coincidentally played into today’s announcement by the Dallas Opera that along with San Diego Opera, the two groups would be tapping the resources of composer Jake Heggie and Librettist Terrence McNally. This collaboration will be the first of the twosome since their “acclaimed Dead Man Walking.”

The project is Great Scott starring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and will premiere at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House thanks to The Eugene McDermott Foundation, The Hoblitzelle Foundation and The Carol Franc Buck Foundation.

Great Scott will be the opening production for the DO’s 2015-2016 season.

Keith Cerny (File photo)

Keith Cerny (File photo)

“For months now, the San Diego Opera saga has been the most closely watched story in the western opera world,” said Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny.  “It is incredibly gratifying to be able to welcome the company as a partner in this exhilarating project.  SDO’s involvement sends a powerful message to our industry—and the message is this: San Diego Opera is here to stay and planning for an exciting future!”

The announcement was made in San Francisco at the opening session of Opera America’s Opera Conference 2014.

If you thought opera was lots of rouge and waiting for the fat lady to sing, forget it. This announcement is just another example how the DO is making in-roads into the new world of opera. And guess what? Dallas is leading the charge. How appropriate.

JUST IN: Dallas Opera Receives Historic $2.5M Matching Gift From Betty And Steve Suellentrop And Hunt Consolidated

The Dallas Opera is singing to the rafters! The announcement just arrived that history was made today. The largest corporate gift in the opera’s history was revealed from Betty and Steve Suellentrop and Hunt Consolidated “in support of opera-based education, family performance and community outreach.

How much? How about a $2.5M matching gift?

What’s the connection between the Suellentrops and Hunt? You haven’t been reading your business publications. Steve is the opera’s incoming chairman of the board and he’s also president of Hunt Oil Company.

Somewhere Elsa von Seggern, Larry Kelly, Nicola Rescigno and John Ardoin are shouting “Brava! Bravo!”

Round Robin March 27: Dallas Opera Spring Gala, Recess And A Legendary Evening Patron Parties And JLD Scholarship Presentation

The floodgates of Dallas fundraising were wide open on Thursday, March 27. Perhaps it was to make up for the spring break week, where it seemed like the wheels came to barely moving. Or, perhaps it was due to the approaching tsunami of activities on the April calendar starting with the Final Four and Dallas International Film Festival. Whatever the reason, this Thursday evening tested the well-heeled in racing all over town.

Dallas Opera Spring Gala Patron Party

Anne Stodghill

Anne Stodghill

Over at Anne and Steve Stodghill’s mansion, it was a true celebration for the patrons of the Dallas Opera Spring Gala. While waiting for DO General Director/President Keith Cerny to arrive, Gala Co-Chairs Betty and Steve Suellentrop handled the welcome duties and pianist Jason Smith played in the background.

And at one point it appeared like the real action was taking place in the entry hall.

Meg and Jay Hunter Morris

Meg and Jay Hunter Morris

One cute couple, who seemed to glow as they arrived, were Meg and Jay Hunter Morris. As the door opened, the operatic crowd looked thrilled and the Morrises seemed so cool. That is, until the valet tapped Jay on the shoulder and whispered something about keys for the car. Oops, seems the operatic tenor had left the car but taken the keys. Now, most folks would have looked embarrassed at the faux pas, but the Morrises aren’t most folks. With a laugh and apology, Jay handed over the keys and joined the guests.

But then what would you expect from a fella from Paris, Texas? It was in Dallas that Jay, as a youngster, first experienced opera years ago. On Friday, April 5, he was to perform a private recital for the Dallas Opera Spring gala.

Vacheron Constantin timepieces

Vacheron Constantin timepieces

Patsy Donosky and Richard Eiseman

Patsy Donosky and Richard Eiseman

At the party presented by Eiseman Jewels and Vacheron Constantin, it was no surprise to see jeweler Richard Eiseman immediately open the front door as Patsy Donosky arrived and drop to one knee for her. The man knows how to stage a welcome. And speaking of staging, it was pretty nifty to see the precious Vacheron timepieces safely in a couple of cases around the entry hall. And, of course, these little gems had their own “security” standing nearby.

Richard has been very busy as Eiseman prepares to celebrate its 50 anniversary. While the salon is undergoing a massive redesign and expansion to 3,200 square feet, the operation has moved to temporary digs at NorthPark, where Kate Spade had been. How convenient! It’s just next door to “Eiseman’s recently opened dedicated Rolex space.” According to Richard, the renovation is due to be completed by June.

The Stodghill library

The Stodghill library

Across the entry hall, Bank of Texas’ The Private bank Executive VP Bob White was directed to the Stodghill library, where a crowd was gathering to check out the memorabilia including the infamous “bat cave.” One guest noted the small size of the Doc Holiday ulster overcoat. Steve followed that comment with the fact that they had to have a special form created because of the small size — smaller than a woman and larger than a child.

Carol and Don Glendenning

Carol and Don Glendenning

Once Keith arrived, he welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support of the DO especially Bank of Texas, which is the 2014 Spring Gala presenting sponsor at the Winspear on April 4th.

As typical of most parties at Stodghill manor, the party extended beyond the slated closing hour with guests like Carol and Don Glendenning, John Cody, Nick Even, Marnie and Kern Wildenthanl, Betsy Eiseman and Jennifer Cerny receiving a gift bag that included “two beautiful books by Vacheron Constantin, “The Collection 2013-2014” and “Collectors’ Island: passion art excellence, Vol. 1”, as well as a complimentary valet pass for NorthPark Center.”

Women Leader Scholarship Presentation

The presentation by the Junior League of Dallas and Mary Kay Inc. at Emmett J. Conrad High School was laudable. . . in more ways than one. As part of the new JLD Women LEAD (Learn, Excel, Achieve, Dream), an oratory competition was held among eight high school students. The winning four would receive scholarships amounting to a total of $25,000.

Given three to five minutes, each of the young women presented speeches on “How My Female Role Model Overcame Obstacles to Achieve Her Goals and How It Inspires Me.”

The selection of the following winners was based on the “merit of their scholarship applications and speech presentations:

Crayton Webb, Maria Monjaras, Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, Sumayah Al Haddad, Lauren Jackson, Shannon Powell Hart and Laura Johnson

Crayton Webb, Maria Monjaras, Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, Sumayah Al Haddad, Lauren Jackson, Shannon Powell Hart and Laura Johnson*

  • First place ($10,000) — Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, who is deciding between the University of Texas and Texas A&M to continue her education. With a passion for math and science, she plans to major in electrical engineering and neuroscience.
  • Second place ($5,000) — Lauren Jackson plans to attend Louisiana State University and major in nursing. It is her way of helping people and staying directly involved in the community.
  • Third place ($5,000) — Sumayah Al Haddad will attend community college before enrolling in the University of Arlington. She has decided to pursue a career in bio-medical engineering, as she always dreamed of being in the medical field.
  • Fourth place ($5,000) — Maria Monjaras is deciding between the University of Arlington and the University of Dallas and will pursue a degree in business administration. She aspires to be a successful entrepreneur.

According to JLD President Laura Johnson, “We are honored to award our first Women LEAD scholarships in collaboration with Mary Kay. It is our wish to empower these four women and help them achieve their dreams. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have on their lives and their future.”

Recess Patron Party

Amy Turner and Aimee Sheahan

Amy Turner and Aimee Sheahan

Patrons of the April 25th Recess fundraiser for Dallas Afterschool were in for a surprise from Amy Turner. Not only did she open her Park Cities residence for the party, she also arranged for an OMG  Recess prize — a trip to Turtle Island Resort in the Fiji Islands. The gasps that arose in the living room when the announcement was made by Dallas Afterschool CEO Tanya McDonald could be heard around the Park Cities. Ah, so that was why a flat screen near the fireplace had a slideshow of the luxury resort. Someone thought it was just a collection of Amy’s latest trip.

Anne and Terry Conner

Anne and Terry Conner

While the mood in the room rose, so did a sly smile on Amy. Talk about looking like a cat that ate the canary! She knew she had hit a home run.

To get guests like Anne and Terry Conner, Christie Carter and Aimee Sheahan in the mood for fun and games, a magician ambled through the room performing little tricks of the trade.

Recess Co-Chairs Meredith Camp and Christina Norris have arranged to have the adult-sandbox playtime and game-playing event return to the Faye Briggs estate.

Ah, but there was more good news. Well, sorta. The individual tickets have sold out. That’s good news for those who didn’t wait to buy their tickets. That’s not so good if you waited. However, Meredith and Christina have a waitlist already for you. So, don’t wait and sign up on the wait list.

A Legendary Evening Patron Party

This report from the field came in about A Legendary Evening Patron Party:

Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther**

Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther**

“Antèks Home Furnishings in the Dallas Design District was the site for a cocktail reception on Thursday, March 27 honoring patrons of A Legendary Evening, benefiting Family Compass.  Chairs Kristine Schwope and Heather Walther welcomed over fifty guests including honorary co-chair Marty Turco, who stopped by the event before meeting wife and fellow honorary chair, Kelly at their child’s band concert. Before Mr. Turco had to leave, board chair Adam Connatser quieted the group to thank Marty and Kelly for their support again this year of A Legendary Evening and for their commitment to Family Compass and its mission of building healthy families and a strong Dallas community by preventing child abuse and neglect.

Jessica Trudeau and Marty Turco**

Jessica Trudeau and Marty Turco**

“Guests mingled over wine and signature cocktails and a beautiful display of appetizers from Wendy Krispin Caterer while perusing the amazing selection of sophisticated rustic furniture, art and accessories. Anyone who made a purchase received a 10% discount with 10% of sale benefiting Family Compass. This generous offer from Antèks proprietor and designer Jason Lennox, is good through next Saturday, April 5.

“Later in the evening, executive director Jessica Trudeau recognized the chairs, host committee and many sponsors of “A Legendary Evening,” which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 and recognized Spirit of Compassion award recipients Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, who were not able to attend but were represented by Terese Stevenson from their foundation. The Spirit of Compassion award is given to individuals who view the prevention of child abuse as a community responsibility and whose support exemplifies that belief.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky
** Photo credit: Lisa Stewart

Dallas Opera’s Inaugural “First Sight” Impressed Guests With Fashions, Food And Flash Mob Courtesy of SMU’s Meadows Chorale

Nobody saw it coming. After all, the Dallas Opera is a very staid and proper operation. Wrong! First they did the simulcast a couple years ago on a big screen in front of the Winspear, and eventually moved it over to Klyde Warren Park. Then they had a red carpet opening night with designer gowns. And don’t forget that other gargantuan, free simulcast at AT&T Stadium. But those were all planned and promoted way far in advance.

Changes were in the air for the opening of the DO’s 2013-2014 season. Chair Lynn Mock decided that the fashion factor needed to be ramped up and stand on its own. So, she created First Sight on Thursday, October 24, to precede Friday’s First Night. In addition to presenting gowns by five local designers and an Escada fashion show with the Carmen scenery as a backdrop, there would a luncheon afterwards. To coordinate arrangements with the designers, Escada and all the fashionable activities on the Skokos stage, Lynn had opera-loving, event-producing brain trust Rhonda Sargent Chambers take over. If you’ll remember, Rhonda has been at the helm of all things fashionable since the first First Night back in 2011.

According to Lynn, “The overwhelming public interest in the fashion element of First Night prompted us to expand our vision to match the creativity of an iconic brand, Escada, as well as these five incredible designers. By giving them the spotlight, exclusively, in this very special event, we hope to excite and engage our patrons while giving art and fashion their due. It’s a perfect extension of the First Night celebrations.”

Smart move on the surface, but Lynn, the DO team and presenting sponsor JP Morgan had an ace up their silk sleeves. Lots of aces, in fact. Some might sniff that Tutu Chic had held its fashion show in a similar manner at the Winspear with ballerinas as models. And the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon had joined the movement to the Arts District with last year’s move to the Meyerson. So having the DO’s fashion show was not a big, huge surprise. But the designers’ (Nicolas Villalba, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen, Elizabeth Anyaa and Michael Faircloth) gowns were simply amazing and showstopping. And the Escada collection was especially tempting with the offer of a 10% discount at the Escada boutique in Highland Park Village.

Five designers and their First Sight creations

Five designers and their First Sight creations

Nicholas Villalba and model

Nicholas Villalba and model

Abi Ferrin and model

Abi Ferrin and model

Khanh Nguyen and model

Khanh Nguyen and model

Elizabeth Anyaa and model

Elizabeth Anyaa and model

Michael Faircloth and model

Michael Faircloth and model

No, everything was following the fashion show/luncheon format — reception in the lobby, fashion show in the hall and luncheon back in the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby.

Ah, but that lunch in the lobby was where the surprise raised eyebrows, as well as smiles of delight.

Don and Ellen Winspear

Don and Ellen Winspear

Mary Anne Cree

Mary Anne Cree

It started out so typically. Tables set up; guests taking their seats for a Wolfgang Puck lunch (Piedmont gazpacho with torn bread, olive oil and marinated cucumbers; grilled lemon-marinated airline chicken with white bean ragu, sofrito coulis and friend Tuscan kale; and warm apple empanadas with dulce de leche ice cream); servers presenting. . .  no, wait, the servers started singing, appropriately, “Libiamo ne’leiti calici” (“Let’s Drink From the Joyful Cup”) from La Traviata; a couple of folks walking by sang; people above along the second-level terrace started singing, and even a gal with a broom started singing. It was an operatic flash mob presented by the SMU Meadows Chorale to the delight of the guests like Kelli Ford, Ellen and Don Winspear, Holly Mayer, Steve Stodghill and Mary Ann Cree.

Just more proof that the Dallas Opera is no longer your great granny’s long-hair music.

By the way, those fabulous designer gowns and original sketches are part of an online auction being conducted by Heritage Auctions. It concludes Monday, November 11, at 10 p.m.

 

 

Round Robin October 17: Dallas Opera Patron, Junior League Presidents & Ball Chairs And Cancer Support Community Receptions

This Thursday was a real test for fundraisers. It seemed like a collision of comets hitting the city with Les Femmes du Monde honoring Mary Lee Cox at the Dallas Country Club, Attitudes & Attire’s Kick-Off reception at Maggiano’s NorthPark, Treasure Street at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the following …

Dallas Opera Patron Party

Two gals chatting

Two gals chatting

A problem with the Dallas Arts District is that it’s way too popular at times, especially at night. Both the foot- and mobile-traffic trying to get around is worse than rush hour any day of the week. And this evening was a primo example. Here the Dallas Opera was honoring its patrons at a party in the Thompson Knight offices high atop One Arts Plaza. Getting there was a challenge. Other activities in the Arts District had closed down the retail-office circular drive, so the ever dependable parkers were nowhere in sight. After circling the building, two young women sans purses or briefcases were spotted chatting at the entrance of the building’s parking lot. If asked they responded, “Yes, this is the place to park for the Dallas Opera party.” Then they went back chatting. Perhaps they were guests just waiting for spouses/dates. One usually cool, calm and gracious gentleman seemed huffy as he approached the elevator bank by the perceived obstacle course he had to overcome just to get to the reception.

Presley and Lynn Mock

Presley and Lynn Mock

Once in the reception it was an opera lover’s paradise. First Sight/First Night fundraiser Chair Lynn Mock revealed that the new fashion-oriented format has been expanded to include a luncheon and fashion show on Thursday, October 24, at the Winspear, having been created to evoke “the elegance and glamour of opera.”  She explained that the combination of fashion and opera is a “gateway” for people to learn more about the opera — “Both fashion and opera thrive on high drama and visual spectacle.”

For the fashion extravaganza, Fashion Show Producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers was arranging for five gowns by five area designers (Elizabeth Anyaa, Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen and Nicolas Villalba) plus Escada’s 2014 resort collection to be on the runway. Lynn added that the Escada boutique in Highland Park Village would be donating 10% of the proceeds that day to the Dallas Opera. And what would happen to the five designer gowns? Heritage Auctions will be auctioning them off as well as some of the sketches and other items.

Another change in this year’s First Sight/First Night program was that the following night’s black tie gala would have a seated dinner prior to the opening performance of “Carmen,” with the simulcast of the opera being shown free in Klyde Warren Park. Following the performance, an after-party would be held in a tent constructed over the Winspear reflection pond. In addition to the Dallas String Quartet entertaining at the post-opera party, there would be an omelet station, desserts, champagne, wine and coffee until early the following morning.

After DO General Director/CEO Keith Cerny welcomed the 100 guests, he introduce soprano Danielle Pastin, who will debut in the role of Frasquita in “Carmen.” With a baby grand in the Thompson Knight lobby and Christopher Devlin at the keyboard, Danielle sand “several French and Italian opera arias” including “a lovely rendition of Nedda’s ‘Bird Song’ from ‘Pagliacci’.”

Gae Whitener and Emmanuel Villaume

Gae Whitener and Emmanuel Villaume

But it wasn’t all opera and black-tie gala that was on the tips of tongues. DO Music Director Emmanuel Villaume had taken a rare break from rehearsals and visited the State Fair. When the elegant Frenchman sampled one of the fair’s delicacies — a fried Cuban roll — he reviewed it as, “This is disturbing, but I can’t stop eating it!”

As guests like Patti and Blaine Nelson departed for their cars in the valet parking area, the two gals were still chatting.

Junior League of Dallas Past Presidents And Ball Chairs

Junior League of Dallas past and current presidents and ball chairs

Junior League of Dallas past and current presidents and ball chairs

Crow family matriarch Margaret Crow opened her Park Cities estate for the Junior League of Dallas’ annual party to honor JLD past presidents and ball chairs. Despite Margaret’s sending her regrets that she was unable to attend, the JLD President Laura Johnson and her gals carried on in her stead beautifully. Included in the collection of past presidents were Dee Collins Torbert (1958-1959) and Kay Gilbert (1964-1965).

When asked her goal, Laura, who has been with JLD for 16 years, said, “We want to continue to carry on our mission in the Dallas community and our commitment to the nonprofit agencies.”

Expecting 55 to 65 guests, it was a coming-and-going event with other must-attend activities.

Katherine LaLonde and Wendy Messman

Katherine LaLonde and Wendy Messman

During brief remarks in the living room, JLD Ball Chair Wendy Messman revealed the February 22 gala would be entitled “The Marvelous City” with a Rio theme. The 11-year veteran reported they’re expecting around 1,000 to attend to celebrate “the people, the innovation, the spirit of Dallas.” The plan calls for them to “raise as much as we can. $1.5M would be great!” After all, JLD’s goal is to provide $1M to 42 different agencies.

Honorary Co-Chairs of the ball will be Margaret Crow and Katherine LaLonde.

Susan Wells Jenevein and Bob Jenevein

Susan Wells Jenevein and Bob Jenevein

But the evening’s subjects were not limited to JLD only. Marriage was a chief topic — Susan Wells Jenevein and her new husband Bob Jenevin talking about their recent nuptials and D’Andra Simmons and fiancé Jeremy Locke smiling about their soon-to-be wedding.

Cancer Support Community Announcement Party

Since it was such a busy night, MSC relied on this field report about the Cancer Support Community event:

Beth and Jean-Claude Saad and Maria MacMullin*

Beth and Jean-Claude Saad and Maria MacMullin*

“On Thursday evening, Beth and Jean-Claude Saada (Chairman and CEO of healthcare real estate developer Cambridge Holdings, Inc.) opened their Bluffview home to a select group of individuals brought together to learn about the collaboration between Texas Health Resources and Cancer Support Community, North Texas.

“Cancer Support Community and Texas Health Resources have joined together to offer cancer patients and their loved ones not only highly comprehensive cancer care but also the support critical to positive outcomes and quality of life. The Cambridge Mindful Living Foundation is leading fund-raising efforts for the collaboration. The psycho-social support provided by Cancer Support Community will augment Texas Health Resources philosophy of patient-centered medicine.

“We all remember the original Gilda’s Club, now Cancer Support Community. This year, Cancer Support Community sold their original location on Oak Lawn as part of a strategic plan to spread locations throughout North Texas. Thanks to the generous gift from The Cambridge Mindful Living Foundation, the newest Cancer Support Community location is now open at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance and the organization will also be located in Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital’s new Cancer Center opening in 2014. CSC is now located on Texas Health Resource campuses in Dallas, Collin and Tarrant Counties.

Doug and Laura Wheat and Mirchelle Louis*

Doug and Laura Wheat and Mirchelle Louis*

“Guests included Southlake Mayor Laura Wheat and her husband Doug Wheat. Laura was a founding member of Gilda’s Club and continues as a stalwart supporter of its growth into Cancer Support Community North Texas. Aileen and Jack Pratt, Ann Louden, Colleen and Charles Weaver, Jay McAuley, Dave Ashworth and Janet Moll, Mary Lynn Vaughan and Nancy Dennis were all part of the gathering.”

Jay McAuley, Janet Moll and Dave Ashworth*

Jay McAuley, Janet Moll and Dave Ashworth*

* Photo credit: 
Kristina Bowman

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight And First Night

Dr. Presley and Lynn Mock*

Dr. Presley and Lynn Mock*

According to Dallas Opera‘s First Sight and First Night Chair Lynn Mock,

“’Two Great Events—Both Come FIRST!’

“We hope you’re intrigued.

“I can assure you, it’s an incredible thrill to find myself the 2013 Chair of the Dallas Opera’s FIRST NIGHT celebrations that mark the official opening of each new season, especially on the heels of two very successful events that sparked widespread buzz among both media and passionate music lovers.  Building on that firm foundation, we decided that now’s the time to add another exciting element to the mix: FIRST SIGHT, a reception, fashion show and luncheon presented by J.P. Morgan, which will be introduced on Thursday, October 24th at 10:00 a.m. in the Winspear Opera House.

“What’s it all about?  In a word: fashion.  Five extraordinary international designers have volunteered their time and talent to create one-of-a-kind designs inspired by each of the operas being produced this season—in addition to an “umbrella-themed” gown that will exemplify the Dallas Opera 2013-2014 Season Theme, “By Love Transformed.”

“The operas in question are Bizet’s Carmen, one of the sexiest and most popular operas ever written, in performances featuring the American debut of French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine in the title role; Death and the Powers, a playful yet profound 2010 opera by MIT Media Lab’s resident genius: Tod Machover; Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s dark romance, Die tote Stadt (“The Dead City”), with an all-star cast led by Jay Hunter Morris fresh from his triumph as Seigfried on the Metropolitan Opera Stage and as Ahab in San Francisco Opera’s revival of a Dallas Opera world premiere, Moby-Dick; and Rossini’s delightful masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, featuring a fabulous cast that includes Nathan Gunn as Figaro and this year’s Richard Tucker Award winner Isabel Leonard as the spunky Rosina.

“We’ve paired each of these works with a superb, sought-after designer: Elizabeth Anyaa, Michael Faircloth, Abi Ferrin, Khanh Nguyen and Nicolas Villalba; who will give each opera their most imaginative and dramatic interpretation. Fashionistas will be happy to hear that the fashion show will include sumptuous new designs, Resort 2014, presented by ESCADA, a name synonymous with the highest quality and luxury.  The Shannon and Ted Skokos stage of the Winspear will be transformed into a couture fashion runway to capture all the excitement, through the experienced leadership of Event Architect Jeffrey Horn FPLtd., Event Designer Larry Leathers and Fashion Show Producer and Chair Rhonda Sargent Chambers.

“Afterwards? Expect a beautifully prepared luncheon catered by Wolfgang Puck in the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby hosted by Chair Elizabeth Z. Naftalis.

“Only you can decide whether it will be Love at FIRST SIGHT; I’m confident it will be an event to remember.

“The following evening, Friday, October 25th, marks the much-anticipated return of FIRST NIGHT, celebrating the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Carmen in a glamorously transformed Sammons Park, on the approach to the Winspear. The evening begins with a sumptuous pre-performance dinner in a lavishly decorated tent at 6:00 p.m., chaired by Mary Beth and Jay Marshall, followed by the live opera performance at 8:00 p.m. and the sensational after-party hosted by Chairs Rhonda and Fraser Marcus.

“I hope by now you are impatient to find out how to join us at the Dallas Opera’s most fun-filled fund-raiser of the year, benefiting a genuinely community minded arts organization that touched the lives of over 90,000 people during the 2012-13 Season—from a host of public and private schools and after-school programs, to libraries, community centers, parks, theaters, farmer’s markets and museums, the Winspear Opera House and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys!

“We would love to bring you to the table—our table—to learn more about the immeasurable joys and incomparable thrills of opera and how you can play a part in making this art form available for generations of Texans to come. Visit dallasopera.org/first-night for more information or to make your reservation now. Or call Special Events Manager Tracy Mott at 214.443.1063 ([email protected]).

“I can’t wait to see you there!”

* Photo credit: Rob Wythe

Dallas Opera Women’s Board’s Juanita And Henry S. Miller Founders Luncheon Held Despite Loss Of Miller Family Member

Carmen and Brown Glenn

Carmen and Brown Glenn

Despite all the news generated by the Dallas Opera, the main subject at the Women’s Board’s Juanita and Henry S. Miller Founders Award Luncheon on Thursday, February 28, at Brook Hollow was the loss of Vance Miller. The son of the late Juanita and Henry Miller Jr. had died unexpectedly just days before. His memorial service was to be held that afternoon. Luncheon Co-chairs Carmen Glenn

Jolie Humphreys

Jolie Humphreys

and Jolie Humphreys revealed that they had asked Vance’s wife, Tincy, about rescheduling the fundraising luncheon. But Tincy, who certainly knows all that is required in organizing a fundraising event, probably recognized the behind-the-scenes challenges such a postponement would require and insisted that the luncheon go on.

The only change in this year’s program would be the tradition of a Miller family member presenting the award. Needless to say, the family was represented in spirit as the award was presented to longtime opera supporters Joy and Ronald Mankoff, who underwrote the Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Performance Lecture.

Joy Mankoff

Joy Mankoff

Before the luncheon with its “sneak peak at Dallas Opera’s education offerings,” a champagne reception took place on the patio with the likes of Simona Beal and her mom Luda, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Nancy Bierman, Anne Stodghill, Kelli Ford, Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Joyce Mitchell.

Dallas Opera’s Women’s Board Continues With The Best Of Past As It Moves Into The Future

Peggy Sewell and Roger Nanney

Peggy Sewell and Roger Nanney

Just back from the TACA Silver Cup luncheon honoring Peggy Sewell and Roger Nanney at the Hilton Anatole. Of course, emcee Lee Cullum did her annual state of the arts report with a couple of zingers and several pats on the back.

One of those pats went to the Dallas Opera for its not being the same old opera thanks to Keith Cerny and the out-of-the-box projects that have been undertaken. In fact, TACA just presented DO with the largest of its 2012 grants this past January.

However, the DO has not thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Thank heaven, there are certain timeless traditions that are still in place!

For instance? Well, how about Thursday’s 21st Annual Founders Luncheon presented by the Dallas Opera Women’s Board at Brook Hollow? This year they are presenting the Juanita and Henry S. Miller Founders Award to Joy and Ronald Mankoff for their “deep commitment to arts education, which is reflected by their underwriting of the Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Performance Lecture.”

Last year’s luncheon was a kick. Hunky tenor James Valenti performed to the delight of all. Shoot! He could have sung tunes from the Mitch Miller era and they would have loved it.

Just goes to show that you just never know what you’re going to get when you attend anything associated with the Dallas Opera.

Tickets are available for purchase by oldtimer and newbie opera lovers.

Cowboys Will Have Dallas Symphony Orchestra Serving Up Star Spangled Banner For Thanksgiving

Gene Jones and Charlotte Anderson (File photo)

First, the Jones gals displayed works of art at Cowboys Stadium. Then the Dallas Opera simulcasted at Jones World.

Now word comes “unofficially” that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is going to be playing up a storm on Thursday, November 22, when the Cowboys face the Washington Redskins.

Okay, so maybe not a storm, but they will perform the Star Spangled Banner before the game starts.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s doubtful any other NFL game will have such a mega-performance of the national anthem.

Just wondering if the Dallas Morning News’s Scott Cantrell will be hanging with the sports reporters in the media box doing a review of the performance.

Next thang you know, the Texas Ballet will sub in for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Wouldn’t that be “tu-tu” much?

November 1 Round Robin: Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters, Graeme Jenkins Farewell, Flora Awards And Art + Advocacy

Halloween costumes and decoration were old hat last Thursday, and the fundraisers were back in full gear from the Park Cities to Fair Park and from the F.I.G. to the Winspear.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Old timers were eager to see the used-to-be Jimmy and Carl Westcott‘s mansion of red-brick tradition that had been transformed to a cool estate of the very cool. Since Tracy and Richard Cheatham purchased the 12,957-square-foot home-sweet-home, it had gone through a very dramatic transition from classic to ultra contemporary. Let’s think moving from Burberry to Giorgio Armani.

Lucky were the Crystal Charity Ball underwriters. For they got the opportunity to see the mansion at its grandest, with beautiful weather and diamonds galore. No, the diamonds weren’t part of the digs.

Jim and Julie Turner, Aileen Pratt and Stacy and David Blank

As if the diamonds on the guests weren’t dazzling enough, David “The Diamond Doctor” Blank and his wife Stacy arranged to have a dozen freeze-framed, tall-drinks-of-water models decked out in their rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. And these weren’t just big diamonds. These were beautifully designed pieces of gem artwork.

Diamond Dollies

The first hint of the glitter was on the wrist of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt. Yes, the ring was hers thanks to husband Jack, but the scrumptious, 13-karat diamond bracelet was courtesy of Diamond Doctor David for the evening. Alas, Aileen had to return it at the end of the evening because it will be one of the items up for grabs at the CCB auction..

Dallas Opera

Don Winspear, Stacie Whitley and Graeme Jenkins*

There were some real surprises at the Winspear Opera House as 175 people showed up for the Dallas Opera’s “Toast to Graeme Jenkins.” Organized by the opera’s Women’s Board, the reception event marked Jenkins’ 20 years as a conductor and music director of The Dallas Opera—and his decision to retire as director when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season. Jenkins cited an expanding schedule with European opera companies for his decision to step down.

Just before event chair Stacie Whitley welcomed the crowd at the Winspear, a flash mob “spontaneously” broke out in the room. Thirty-five or 40 members of the Dallas Opera Chorus put down their drinks and hors d’oeuvres and broke suddenly into a rendition of the va pensioro chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” opera. Later, DO Concertmeister Jing Wang played the “Meditation” from Jules Massenet’s “Thais” opera, accompanied by Michael Heaston on piano.

Leading the guests in a literal “toast” to Jenkins, Don Winspear, chairman of the DO board of directors, praised the London-born maestro’s brilliance and versatility. And Keith Cerny, the DO’s general director and CEO, said he’s been especially proud of Jenkins’ work on the operas “Boris Gudunov” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

During the reception, Cerny said discussions are continuing to bring Jenkins back to Dallas on occasion as a guest conductor. Winspear, meantime, said that a search for Jenkins’ successor is “ongoing,” and that he is “very excited and encouraged by the candidates interested in the position.” He added that he hopes a replacement can be named by early next year.

Flora Awards (Check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more photos)

Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen

The Texas Discovery Gardens had never looked more elegant.Thanks to Flora Award Co-chairs Waverly Smith and Marilyn Waisanen, it had to be. After all, Barbara Hunt Crow was the recipient of the annual award that recognizes “outstanding Americans, who have demonstrated their commitment to community involvement, education and advancement of the environment and quality of life.”

The cocktail reception looked like central casting had assembled the overflow crowd of black-tie types including  Libby Allred in tomato

Mary Anne Cree

red low-cut gown with exquisite ruby and diamond necklace, Ebby Halliday Acers holding her “elephant” handbag, Penny Rivenbark with her Judith Leiber butterfly purse and turquoise floral gown, Sue and Phil John, Sue Smith sans husband Bob (he was in Las Vegas), Cindy and Andy Clendenen with daughter Caroline Fung, Fred and Jan Hegi, Mary Ann wearing a butterfly pin (you do know that the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium is named after her late mother, don’t you?) and Richard Cree, Wendy and Michael Jenkins and Betty and John Crawford and loads of Hunt relatives (Herbert and Nancy Hunt, Caroline Rose Hunt, Lyda Hill and Libby Hunt).

Dinner time

Or perhaps it was the exquisite Grand Hall all decked out with glorious table settings from Posh Couture and the Steve Bayless Orchestra playing just the right tunes. And, of course, a simple daisy in a glass vase wouldn’t do on this night. Nope. Floral designer extraordinaire Junior Villanueva literally “rose” to the occasion providing the best for scents and sights.

As for the feast, Jim Lee Events served up

  • First Course — Mediterranean salad “Martini” accented with a grilled shrimp “Martini Pik”
  • The amuse — Rose petal and passion-fruit sorbet “spoon”
  • Second course — Pecan wood smoked beef tenderloin served with 3-peppercorn demi-glace, timbale of champagne risotto with Parmesan crust and brandied lobster cream, French green bean “bundle” with caramelized lemon glaze and artisan breads with custom butter
  • The dessert —Amaretto Godiva molten lava cake with cointreau-infused berries

Art + Advocacy

Lynn Davis, Laura Green and Jordan Roth*

Lynn M. Davis, president and CEO of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, said he was very pleased.

Before the 6th Annual Art + Advocacy Auction Party had even begun, the fundraiser had raked in $400,000 for the advocacy center, without selling a single piece of art.

That figure was already $25,000 more than was netted in total for the group at last year’s affair.

And, the 620 guests who turned out for the 2012 event at the Fashion Industry Gallery were determined to raise even more for the center, which serves about 2,000 local child-abuse victims and their families each year.

Chuck and Lindsay Jacaman*

The guests proceeded to do so by bidding in live and silent auctions on works of art by new and established artists, as well as art created by child-abuse victims in DCAC’s art therapy program.

Among the offered works—all of them donated–were oils, pencil drawings, photographs and mixed-media creations from galleries including Barry Whistler, Holly Johnson and Craighead Green.

Helping set the party mood at the F.I.G.—honorary co-chair John Sughrue donated the trendy space—were DJ Lucy Wrubel; Andrews Distributing; and caterer Wendy Krispin.

Patricia Meadows*

Event chairs Lindsay and Chuck Jacaman served as event chairs, while Patricia B. Meadows was the honorary art chair.

The day of the auction party, Davis disclosed, an anonymous donor came forward with $25,000.

During the evening’s Call for Cash this donor matched an additional $25,000—and then offered an additional $50,000 if the noisy crowd would pipe down so the auction could proceed.

Thanks to his and others’ generosity, the final net for the children’s advocacy center was more than $500,000. Now that was a pretty picture.

* Photo credit: Glenn Hunter

Caroline Rose Hunt, Nicolas Villalba, Toni Munoz-Hunt And Dan Hunt Will Represent “Doctor Miracle”

When Dallas opera Gala Chai Kaki Hopkins announced the VIP teams (honorary chairs, designers and models) who would be on the red carpet for the Dallas Opera season’s opening night on Friday, October 26, one group was missing. It was the one for “Doctor Miracle.”

Toni Munoz-Hunt and Dan Hunt

Word just arrived that “Doctor Miracle’s” representatives will be Caroline Rose Hunt as honorary chair, Nicolas Villalba as the designer and Toni Munoz-Hunt and husband Dan Hunt handling the modeling duties.

Needless to say, it’s going to mean fabulous clothes, generous underwriters and beautiful models.