More than 600 glamorous guests gathered at the Wortham Theater Center for La Belle Epoque—an evening of French finery benefiting the Houston Grand Opera and chaired by Anne and John Mendelsohn.
Upon arrival, white-tied gentlemen and ladies in designer gowns from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Chanel and Dior strode down the red carpet, which was rolled out in front of the Wortham, posing for pics along the way. Among the stylish steppers: Tony and Cynthia Petrello, Diane Lokey Farb, and auction chairs Jerry and Laura Lasco and Isabel and Danny David.
Once inside, attendees entered the Grand Foyer, styled after a Parisian dinner club, and were greeted with Perrier-Jouet Champage and festive jazz music provided by David Caceres, while the silent and wine auctions were underway.
Channeling the grandeur of France at the close of the 19th century, the Event Co. blended thousands of white flowers with colorful peacock feathers for centerpieces, and brought in vintage Lalique chandeliers. A giant mural of a woman covered in flower petals, inspired by French artist Erté, stretched from floor to ceiling, and HGO performers mingled among the crowd dressed as memorable characters from famous operas such as Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La Bohème.
Everyone enjoyed Jackson and Company’s French-themed menu—think duck a l’orange, Brie and pear en brioche, and filet mignon with a cognac and morel sauce—and a lively acrobatic rendition of “Quadrille” from Cole Porter’s Can-Can kept the audience entranced during a dessert of lemon souffle.
The elegant affair was followed by a rowdy afterparty, also in the Grand Foyer, featuring a midnight breakfast buffet and dancing to the tunes of DJ Little Martin. The evening raised $1.75 million in support of the Opera and its community programs.
Photograohy by Priscilla Dickson, Daniel Ortiz, Wilson Parish, and Anthony Rathbun