MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Dianne B. and Mark H. LaRoe,

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Two of the most captivating fundraisers of the fall are First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon and First Night Pre-Performance Dinner and After Party, The Dallas Opera’s season kick-off events. Important revenue is raised and awareness is gained for the company’s splendid 2017-2018 programming. The festivities surround the opening night of the opera “Samson and Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Many North Texas patrons are aware of The Dallas Opera’s world class opera productions, but may not be familiar with all of its activities. More than 87,000 people were reached last year with the non-profit arts organization’s traditional and non-traditional formats. Family Programs, free simulcasts, student dress rehearsals and matinees, school presentations, opera camp, and performances at community partners all help to attract and serve patrons of every background, educational level, and ethnicity.

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

We have long recognized The Dallas Opera as a top notch arts organization presenting magnificent opera productions, and as a company that does tremendous work serving our community with its comprehensive education and outreach programs. We are so pleased to chair the wonderful Season Opening celebrations and invite everyone to join us, take part in the fun, meet new people, and enjoy some quality entertainment! Our hope is that our participation will encourage new supporters of this great company. We are also thrilled that Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are serving as honorary co-chairs of the events.

We believe our guests will be excited to experience the fashions by Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo that will grace the runway at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon with NorthPark Center serving as presenting sponsor. The fete will take place on Thursday, October 19, at 11:00 a.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and culinary master Wolfgang Puck will cater the gourmet luncheon. We know Rhonda Sargent Chambers, of RSC Productions, will produce a magnificent show for us! Lisa Cooley, her daughter Ciara Cooley and daughter-in-law Bela Cooley are co-chairs, so we’re expecting something exquisite! Sponsorships, tables which start at $7,500, and individual tickets at $500, are available.

Then on Friday, October 20, First Night presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be chaired by wonderful patrons Betty and Steve Suellentrop, in Sammons Park in front of the Winspear. We begin at 5:30 p.m. with a red carpet entrance and guests then flow into an elegant black-tie pre-performance dinner, which starts at 6:00 p.m. We hope everyone will enjoy the scrumptious epicurean specialties, also by Wolfgang Puck, in a beautifully adorned tent enhanced by the creative team of Jeffrey Horn and Larry Leathers.

After dinner we will head into the opening night performance of “Samson and Dalila” which begins at 8:00 p.m. The festivities continue following the opera at the After Party. The cast will join us to mix and mingle with guests, more delicious Puck noshes will be on hand, and everyone will dance the night away, reveling in anticipation of more of the incredible season to come! Sponsorships, tables which start at $10,000, and individual tickets at $1,000, are available. Please join us!”

For more information, please visit

JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night Plans Revealed With Dianne And Mark LaRoe At The Helm

While the queen bees may have flown to cooler places, the worker bees are hard at work churning out news.

The latest comes from The Dallas Opera about its annual fall two-day fundraiser — First Sight/First Night.

First, let’s get the basics down. The luncheon and fashion show will take place on Thursday, October 19, followed the next night [aka Friday, October 20] by First Night’s seated dinner, performance and after party. All of these activities will be taking place at the Winspear Opera House, but you already knew that.

Now about the who’s who involved in putting the festivities on, here goes:

Overseeing the whole two events will art-loving Dianne and Mark LaRoe, who chaired the 2016 TACA Custom Auction Gala, and, boy, have they been busy putting together their team.

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger (File photo)

Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, who have practically made the Performing Arts District their second home.

Lisa Cooley and Ciara Cooley (File photo)

Bela Cooley (File photo)

Steve and Betty Suellentrop (File photo)

Co-chairing the First Sight luncheon will be Lisa Cooley and her girls — daughter Ciara Cooley and new daughter-in-law Bela Cooley. Presented by NorthPark Center, the luncheon will be highlighted by fashions from NorthPark Center’s Salvatore Ferragamo.

As for the black-tie First Night, it will be presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management and will kick off for The Dallas Opera season with Betty and Steve Suellentrop serving as co-chairs. The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with guests arriving via a red carpet for a cocktail party, having a gourmet dinner in a tent in Sammons Park and attending the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Camille Saint-Saëns‘ “Samson and Dalila.” For those with no curfew, there will be an after party.

Tickets are available here.

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

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Ellen and Don Winspear,

Don and Ellen Winspear*

Don and Ellen Winspear*

“We are thrilled to be the chairs for The Dallas Opera’s season opening festivities. Opening night at the opera has traditionally been a very dramatic event, usually fashioned around all the pageantry of grand opera. This year, we have the chance to kick things back a little and create the opening around one of Texas’ great loves — football. It’s a unique, challenging and yet really wonderful opportunity. We know we’re going to have a lot of fun with this. Honorary Co-Chairs Mrs. Micki Rawlings and The Honorable Michael S. Rawlings are on board for the events which adds even more to the excitement! We hope you’ll join us!”

“Fall in Dallas is typically flush with high class events and posh occasions that accommodate virtually every artistic desire and inclination. However, none this year will compare to the season opening of The Dallas Opera: First Sight/First Night.

“The season kicks off with First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon presented by NorthPark Center on Thursday, October 29, 11:00 a.m. in the beautiful C. Vincent Prothro Lobby of the Winspear Opera House. First Sight is one of Dallas’ finest fashion shows, this year showcasing the remarkable designs of Mulberry. Additionally, the luncheon will introduce The Dallas Opera 2015-2016 Season Collection with five exquisite creations, one for each opera, from internationally renowned designers based in Dallas. Individual tickets for First Sight are available for $250 and tables start at $10,000.

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

“First Night presented by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management features a ‘celebrity’ red carpet entrance, a gourmet pre-performance dinner, a world premiere opera and rockin’ After Party. The excitement begins on Friday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. First Night showcases the Linda and Mitch Hart Opening Night performance of Great Scott. This will be the latest accomplishment from one of America’s most sought after operatic composers, Jake Heggie. The plot line of this witty opera is guaranteed to touch the hearts of Texans given one of its key elements—football. The story revolves around the conflict that occurs when the opening night of title character Arden Scott’s world premiere of a long-lost, never performed opera falls on the same night as the local football team’s championship game. Opera and football—what a novel pairing! Individual tickets for First Night are available for $1,000 and tables start at $25,000. All Dinner tickets include an After-Party ticket. Opening night opera performance tickets are sold separately.

“Together First Sight and First Night create the premiere events of the social season in Dallas!

“For details on all of these fascinating events including sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, please call 214.443.1063 or visit”

* Photo provided by The Dallas Opera

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 Sept. 18: Too Many To List

Every now and then, there are “go-figure moments” in fundraising scheduling. Thursday, September 18, was such a day. Here it was the tsunami of nonprofits emailing, calling and tapping sources to donate to the North Texas Giving Day. Last year most groups went dark to allow the big day to take place uninterrupted. This year the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with receptions, parties and announcements taking place all over the place. The AT&T Chairman’s dinner was being held at the Winspear and Dallas Opera’s First Sight was filling Roberto Cavalli with beautiful people including First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Nick Even and Lynn McBee.

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Here are just a smattering of the multitude of things that were going on from field reports:

Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke*

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke**

“Art and fashion enthusiasts gathered at Forty Five Ten for a special event to kick off the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s upcoming fundraiser, Art for Advocacy. Special guest and fashion designer, Greg Lauren, showcased his newest collection while guests sipped on Austin Cocktails. DJ Lucy Wrubel kept the party going with beats that pulsed throughout the store. In support of the event, Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke offered 10% of the evening’s proceeds to benefit DCAC and will extend 10% of sales from the Greg Lauren collection to the agency through Nov. 1.

“Art for Advocacy celebrates the transformative power of art therapy in helping children process trauma and heal emotional scars as a result of abuse. Proceeds support DCAC’s work in improving the lives of abused children in Dallas County and providing national leadership on child abuse issues. The event draws community and business leaders, young professionals, local arts organizations, artists and gallerists, art collectors, and art patrons.

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts*

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts**

“Guests included DCAC CEO Lynn Davis, Underwriting Co-Chairs Judee and Chad Barrett, Honorary Co-Chairs Kara and Randall Goss, Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and John Roberts, Helena and Doug Wall, Lee McGuire, Allyson Cooke, Leisa Street, Cile McCorlek, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Muffin Lemak, Shelby Wagner, Jamie and Jeremy Saylor, Christine and Mark Danuser, Susan and David Brown, Camille McMakin and Kelly Moser.

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown*

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown**

“This year’s Art for Advocacy event will feature 100 local and regional artists in a silent and live art auction. The 8th annual event makes a departure to a Saturday night featuring tequila, Texas tapas, and desert vacation packages guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. The Art for Advocacy auction party will take place at 7 p.m. on November 1, at F.I.G. to raise funds to aid the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in its mission to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County. An Art Preview will be held at 6 p.m. for $2500+ sponsors offering the first opportunity to buy-it-now. DCAC coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in the community and provides national leadership on child abuse issues. For more information email [email protected].”

Capital for Kids Anniversary Party

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Capital for Kids kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration last night in the Highland Park home of Ann and Lee Hobson. Celebrating 10 years of changing lives in North Texas, the invitation-only sponsor party featured a special presentation by children from the Trinity River Mission of West Dallas – a Capital for Kids grant recipient.

Scott and Amy Houdek***

Scott and Amy Houdek***

“Among the guests were Rob Hayes, Reid Walker, Amy and Capital for Kids 2014 Co-Chair Scott Houdek, Katy and Lawrence Bock (who donated an emerald-cut 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by 66 dimaonds to celebrate CFK’s 10th anniversary), Carroll Watson, Reed Carroll, Rachel and Brad Stephens, Allison Carlisle, Susan Nichol, Dawn Blankenship Hennessey, Michael Watson, Michael Massad, Jason Hill, Lucas Legera, David Smith and Gentry Beach.

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

“Capital for Kids is a network of individuals in the asset management community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Through the partnership of our sponsors and grant recipients over the last 10 years, Capital for Kids has supported organizations that educate, protect and encourage at-risk children. They provide financial support to organizations that help break the cycle of child abuse, poverty and neglect through education, advocacy and emergency resources.

“Since inception, Capital for Kids has donated $8.7 million to more than 50 different charitable organizations in North Texas. They have a goal to give $10 million in 10 years to North Texas children’s charities. 100% of sponsorship and donation dollars go directly to the charities they support. Capital for Kids will be hosting its main event on Thursday, November 20, at the FIG. Tickets can be purchased at

KidneyTexas Patron Party

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

KidneyTexas, Inc. patrons of The Runway Report Luncheon and Style Show gathered at the Highland Park home of Ola and Randall Fojtasek and had much to celebrate!

“As the evening began, the verandah was bathed in soft lighting opening into the expansive courtyard. Guests enjoyed wines donated by Barbara and David Farmer as M3Trio serenaded them into the evening, under the stars. Sumptuous hors d’oeuvres donated and catered by Angela Gordon of Angela’s Catering filled the formal dining table and were passed inside and out. Valet parking was generously donated by Gold Crown Parking.

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

“Guests included patron party chair Anna Bland Aston, her husband Scott and daughter, Annalee; Jolie Humphrey, president of KidneyTexas, Inc. and her husband, Bart, and Lezlie and Bill Noble, who donated a strand of South Sea pearls valued at $32,000 to the live auction.

“The buzz was about the upcoming The Runway Report luncheon and fashion show at the Brook Hollow Golf Club, which presents Faye C. Briggs as honorary chair and honors Janelle Friedman with the Goodnight Service Award. The Goodnight award is named in honor of Sue Goodnight, a founding KidneyTexas, Inc. member and longtime volunteer and supporter of the organization, who attended with her sister, Faye Wheeler.

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

“Tooties fashions will rule the runway in a fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and also feature fashions from KidBiz and Pockets.

“The live auction also features a Santa Fe, New Mexico vacation package valued at $10,000 which includes a 5-bedroom house and other delights! It is all topped off with a delicious luncheon.

“The luncheon, chaired by Karen Settle, benefits KidneyTexas, Inc. beneficiaries: Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney Foundation – Camp Reynal, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

VNA Kick-Off Party

“The VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon Committee held a kick-off celebration Thursday that brought together sponsors, board members and VNA executives. Some 30 guests joined the event at Molto Formaggio in Highland Park Village to sample fine wines and cheeses. Michael Perlmeter and Christy Martinez, the owners of Molto Formaggio, hosted the event and are donating a portion of all proceeds to VNA.

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

“The 5th Annual VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon will be held on October 15 at VNA’s Haggerty Center in Dallas, benefiting VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. This year’s Celebrity Chef is Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole.

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

“Among those attending the kick-off celebration were: 2014 Celebrity Chef Luncheon Co-Chairs Katie Johnson and Francie Mancillas, VNA Board Development Chair Lori Whitlow, VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause, VNA Board Chair Sara Fraser Crismon, VNA Board Vice-Chair Janet Ryan Stegall, VNA Board Members Jay Oppenheimer, Catherine Sweet, John Sears and Cathy Vanden Eykel. Many of those attending are sponsors for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon, including Sara Fraser Crismon, Ike Vanden Eykel, Lynn Sears, Mike Sweet and Janet Ryan Stegall.

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

For more information about VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon and how it will benefit VNA Meals on Wheels, please contact VNA’s Annual Giving and Special Events Manager Laura Muñiz at [email protected] or 214.689.3484.

Slipper Club Announcement

Over at Trinity Groves, the Slipper Club gals gathered for the announcement of the 2015 gala plans. According to Slipper Club President Susan Deasy and Gala Chair Erika Burton, the annual party will benefit Camp John Marc. It will take place at Belo Mansion on Friday, February 27.

Junior League Announcement

The Junior Leaguers and their fans assembled at the Galleria’s Belk to hear deets about the 53rd annual fundraising ball. Ball Chair Beverly Cahill revealed the theme will be “The Magnolia Ball.” Why, oh, why does one suspect that magnolias will be abundant that night?

Beverly explained the thinking behind the theme, “This year’s theme will embrace the elegant heritage of our great city of Dallas with a classic, yet stylish twist,” said Cahill. “The Magnolia Ball will be the Southern Chic dinner and dancing event of the season!”

Then she added another twist to the annual gala. Instead of an entertainer, she’s arranged to have two — jazz singer/songwriter Gabbie McGee to set the mood for the evening and Emerald City for post-dinner dancing and gyrating. Okay, so maybe one doesn’t necessarily gyrate in formal wear, but a whole lot shaking and dancing usually takes place when Emerald City is on stage.

The black-tie fundraiser will take place in the Chantilly Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, February 21.

Lynn McBee will serve as honorary chair. At the rate Lynn is going, she’ll probably end up chairing the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.

* Photo provided by First Sight/First Night 
** Photos provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
*** Photos provided by Capital for Kids
**** Photo credit: Daniel Driensky
***** Photos provided by VNA

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

“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 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