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.
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.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. First Sight First Night Co-Chair Nick Even was with his sister Sara Wilson… Don 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.
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.
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.