George and Charlotte Shultz
Gordon and Ann Getty
Karen Kubin, Cynthia Schreuder, David Gockley, Teresa Medearis
Willie Brown and Sonya Molodetskaya
Trevor Traina and Dede Wilsey
Nancy and Paul Pelosi
Mark Rhoades, Lisa Grotts, Karen Caldwell, Patrick Devina
Olivia Hsu Decker
Yuan Yuan Tan, Joy Venturini Bianchi, J. Riccardo Benavides
Jack Calhoun, Karen Kubin
Komal Shah, Tanya Powell, Carolyn Chang
Photos Courtesy Drew Altizer Photography
Befitting of its name, this year’s Opera Ball oozed elegance and grandeur as the San Francisco Opera opened its 92nd season on Sept. 5th. Celebrated couples, including George and Charlotte Shultz, Nancy and Paul Pelosi, Gordon and Ann Getty and Willie Brown and Sonya Molodetskaya, were among the glamorous glitterati on hand for Opera Ball 2014: Passione, the hautest event of San Francisco’s social season.
Many of the women opted for colorful gowns while some men donned top hats and tails. The evening began with a cocktail reception and patrons’ dinner inside City Hall, which was transformed into a dazzling Roman imperial palace by celebrated event designer J. Riccardo Benavides. McCalls Catering & Events handled the meal. Guests feasted on heirloom tomato salad with burrata, melon and frisée before moving on to an entree of grilled truffled filet of beef with porcini cannoli, truffled asparagus and petite carrots. For dessert, Chianti poached pears & roast figs verrine shared the stage with zabaglione-mascarpone crema with mocha gelato. Chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon from William Hill Estate Winery were poured, along with Roederer Estate Brut.
The Italian-themed evening and opulent décor set the stage for a dramatic performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece “Norma,” starring American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, at the War Memorial Opera House. Afterward, the elegant crowd returned to City Hall for a post-performance celebration filled with dessert, dancing and late-night snacks.
The evening was not only entertaining but went to a good cause. Annually, more than 60,000 students in 200 schools throughout Northern California receive the benefits of arts education as only opera can deliver them. Opera goers’ participation in Opera Ball 2014 contributes greatly to the success of these award-winning programs.
Kudos to Opera Ball 2014 co-chairs Teresa Medearis and Cynthia L. Schreuder for a wonderful job as well as Karen J. Kubin, President of San Francisco Opera Guild, David Gockley, General Director of San Francisco Opera, Keith Geeslin,is President of the San Francisco Opera Association, and John Gunn, San Francisco Opera Chairman of the Board.