Glittering & Majestic Opera Ball Transports Guests To Argentina

Previous PostStars Shine In Chopard On The Red Carpet And At Parties During 75th Venice Film Festival
Next PostKatie Holmes, Nicky Hilton, Caitlyn Jenner, And More Attend Alice + Olivia Spring 2019 Presentation During NYFW
Atmosphere at San Francisco Opera Ball
Atmosphere at San Francisco Opera Ball

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Friday night the creme de la creme of San Francisco society was taken on a whirlwind romantic journey to Argentina at Opera Ball 2018: ¡Viva La Noche! The experience was courtesy of the San Francisco Operathe Opera Guild (led by the president Jane Mudge), event stylist J. Riccardo Benavides, and ball chairs Shannon Cronan and Kathy Huber. While guests didn’t board a plane to Buenos Aires, the lavish opening night ball metaphorically transported 700 elegantly-dressed attendees to the sultry streets of South America.

Shannon Cronan, Jane Mudge and Kathy Huber
Shannon Cronan, Jane Mudge and Kathy Huber

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The festive evening began at 5 p.m. with a parade of ball gowns and tuxedos entering the War Memorial Opera House—construction on Van Ness forced revelers to enter on Grove Street. Although the side lobby isn’t as grand as the entry foyer, it made for excellent people watching as guests passed through the narrow doorways into the beautiful building.

A meeting of mayors! London Breed and Willie Brown
A meeting of mayors! London Breed and Willie Brown

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

After an hour-long cocktail reception, the lively group made their way from the opera hall to a massive tent set up next door. Classic accordion tango played over a loudspeaker as guests walked the long red carpet into the tent. Inside was a stunning spectacle—a feast for the senses. As socialite Lisa Zabelle said, “Wow, Riccardo, you’ve really outdone yourself!”

Decor inside the tent
Decor inside the tent

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Statues dotted the entryway, and a 12-foot tall fountain with gilded lion heads bubbled invitingly. Oversized urns were filled with a dizzying array of flowers and branches. Pretty pink and peach dahlias and roses were arranged with beautiful greens and berry-colored fillers. Images of a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees and Andalusian architecture were projected life-size on to the walls of the tent.

Debby Sagues and Yuka Uehara enjoy dinner
Debby Sagues and Yuka Uehara enjoy dinner

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

The tables were perfectly set with pink tablecloths, decorative clear glass plates and chargers, and printed menus. The three-course feast, which was catered by McCalls, consisted of a light crab and prawn salad, a delicious gaucho-style beef fillet with corn pudding and chimichurri, and a decadent chocolate and berry parfait. Roederer Anderson Valley Brut sparkling wine flowed as did the Chalk Hill Estate Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

A scene from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" with Ekaterina Semenchuk as Santuzza
A scene from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” with Ekaterina Semenchuk as Santuzza

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Next, the 700 party goers paraded back to the War Memorial Opera House for the performance, Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (or Cav/Pag). Although both operas are traditionally set in Italy, the SF Opera’s version was set in La Boca, Argentina. Daniele Callegari conducted the captivating show. The Cavalleria Rusticana cast featured Ekaterina Semenchuk as Santuzza, Roberto Aronica as Turiddu and Dimitri Platanis in his United States debut as Alfio. Pagliacci stared Lianna Haroutounian as Nedda, Marco Berti as Canio, Platanias as Tonio and David Pershall as Silvio.

Lisa Zabelle
Lisa Zabelle

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

After the performance, the entire opera house went back to the tent for more festivities—an after-party with live band Pop Rocks and a tango lounge. Notables in attendance included Nancy and Paul Pelosi, Mayor London Breed, opera singer Carmen Giannattasio, Haute Living’s publishers, Olivia Hsu Decker and Seth Semilof. Who was the best dressed? Chrisa Pappas wore a seductive Alexander McQueen number, Farah Makras looked gorgeous in Carolina Herrera, Lisa Zabelle was playful and pretty in custom Monique Lhuillier, and Sonya Molodetskaya in a Zac Posen cape. The Met Gala inspired lady in red Mary Beth Shimmon‘s outfit. Michael Purdy was the most adventurous gentleman with a David Bowie-esque makeup look.

Farah Makras
Farah Makras

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Chrisa Pappas and Dean Sioukas
Chrisa Pappas and Dean Sioukas

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Carmen Giannattasio
Carmen Giannattasio

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Catherine Geeslin, Keith Geeslin and Priscilla Geeslin
Catherine Geeslin, Keith Geeslin and Priscilla Geeslin

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Mark Hanson, Christina Hanson, Linda Kemper and David Gockley
Mark Hanson, Christina Hanson, Linda Kemper and David Gockley

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Stephan Rabimov and Andrew Nelder
Stephan Rabimov and Andrew Nelder

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Michael Purdy and Jennifer Raiser
Michael Purdy and Jennifer Raiser

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Yuan Yuan Tan
Yuan Yuan Tan

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Camille Bently
Camille Bently

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer

Thurlow Washam and Karen Caldwell
Thurlow Washam and Karen Caldwell

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Carolyn Chandler and Jorge Maumer
Carolyn Chandler and Jorge Maumer

Photo Credit: Jana Asenbrennerova for Drew Altizer Photography

Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Atmosphere at the after party
Atmosphere at the after party

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Robert Mison and Elena Hughes
Robert Mison and Elena Hughes

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

The Opera House
The Opera House

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Matthew Shilvock and Kate Shilvock
Matthew Shilvock and Kate Shilvock

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Jack Calhoun, Dede Wilsey and Bob Hill
Jack Calhoun, Dede Wilsey and Bob Hill

Photo Credit: Jana Asenbrennerova for Drew Altizer Photography

Charlotte Shultz
Charlotte Shultz

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Suzy Kellems Dominik
Suzy Kellems Dominik

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Sonya Molodetskaya
Sonya Molodetskaya

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

John Grotts, Lisa Grotts, Karen Kubin and Gary Garabedian
John Grotts, Lisa Grotts, Karen Kubin and Gary Garabedian

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Veronica Rivas-Tramontozzi
Veronica Rivas-Tramontozzi

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

connect with haute living National
Loader