’Tis the season for turkeys and tradition — and no tradition is tastier than that of House of Pies. The perennial pie purveyor, which sells around 10,000 at each of its three Houston locations around Thanksgiving, dishes on which flavors are the season’s best sellers. Prefer a classic pecan, or dare to try the chocolate-y Bayou Goo version, with a filling of chopped nuts and sweet cream cheese? Here’s how the pie crust crumbles.
SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.
Drawing inspiration from across continents, cultures and generations, and from the chic style of Palm Beach and the Amalfi Coast, Concetto Limone is the quintessential footwear choice for the discerning individual's resort attire. Concetto Limone is a Miami-based luxury house that specializes in the micro-production of artisan footwear and designer goods. With world-class craftsmanship, advanced production methods, and an array of rich materials, Limone creates proffers impeccable design that elegantly infuses historical motifs with a modern sensibility.
In February of 2020, Concetto Limone, led by Houstonian Marcus Spagnoletti and Matthew Chevallard, launched its first line of unisex products, the Limone Loafer, in the Miami Design District.
The hand-woven natural raffia loafer loafers and mules are meticulously sewn together by hand by master craftsmen and craftswomen with a distinct design language. Raffia is made from the segments of the leaves on the Palmyra palm, a tree native to Madagascar that offers breathable textile. Each pair is adorned with calf leather lining, a cushioned insole, and natural rubber outsole — inspected and touched by over 12 sets of hands through a production process that ensures that attention to detail and technical innovation is paramount for these statement pieces.
Valobra Master Jewelers has been creating jewelry for 115 years, beginning in 1905 in Torino, Italy as the official master jeweler to the Italian Royal family. Being the fourth-generation master jeweler, Franco Valobra continues this legacy by creating the most exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry made in the Houston showroom and offering luxury timepieces to clients and the community. Valobra Master Jewelers, situated in the heart of River Oaks in Houston, also has locations in New Orleans and Lugano, Switzerland.
LONGTIME HOUSTON PHOTOGRAPHER Emily Jaschke has shot over the years for nearly every publication in Houston, and for local non-profits like The Diana Foundation, Urban Harvest and Second Servings. But in her first solo exhibition of her photographic work, she's going full metal — Full Metal Jaschke, that is.
That's the name of her show opening Saturday, May 8 at Mid Main Gallery (3550 Main St.), showcasing her rapid-fire shots from the Houston Art Car Parade, for which she has served as a chief photographer since 2016.
"Shattered Vanity" Artist: : Nicole Strine, Trinidad, CO
"Mad Max Mobile" Artist: Scott & Max Ballard, Houston, TX
"It's Only Rock and Roll But I Like It!" Heights High School with artist Rebecca Bass, Houston, TX
"The Peep Jeep" Artist: John Gregory, Houston, TX
The exhibit is a precursor to this year's Houston Art Car Experience, which takes place May 14-16 at The Orange Show World Headquarters (2334 Gulf Terminal Dr.) in lieu of the traditional parade. It will feature 80 incredible art cars on display during the day and lit up at night, plus interactive walking tours, children's craft activities, and performances by The Suffers, Los Skarnales, Tomar & The Figs and Bayou City Funk. Full Metal Jaschke will encapsulate a colorful photographic montage of some of the best art cars from the Houston Art Car Parade days of yore.
Over the years, Jaschke has snapped more than 2,000 photographs for the Orange Show Center For Visionary Art, which puts on the annual parade, so it was no small feat for her to sift through them all to find a selection of photographs that perfectly encapsulate the frenetic annual experience, which she describes as being akin to a synthesis of Burning Man and Mardi Gras, with just a touch of Mad Max.
"It's wild. It's not anything goes, but everything is accepted," says Jaschke of the parade and associated events, which usually have her shooting for around 10 hours over the course of the weekend. "You're in a crowd of people who just love art and who love being free."
The works Jaschke selected for the show — a combination of closeups, full-body shots of the cars and shots of the parade's boisterous crowds — capture the full essence of the high-energy annual event. Homaging the metallic exuberance of the cars in the parade, the photographs in the exhibition are printed on metal, which Jaschke says really do the artistic intent justice. But there is nothing metallic or staid about the ebullient-hued and frenzied photographs in her show, which seem to move and dance as if they are, in fact, on parade.
Jaschke has carefully framed each shot so that they are perfect photographic representations of the imaginative energy that the event channels each year — an energy that inspires Jaschke greatly.
"I really respect people with wild imaginations, especially when they are my age or older. We all have an imagination growing up, but somehow over the years it kind of gets lost in the daily grind. There's a sort of creative thievery that happens when we age, so it's fun to meet people who still have it, and especially people who still have it in magnified ways," she says. "They're free in what they want to wear and how they choose to present themselves and their crafts, and that really just resonates with me."
The opening reception for Full Metal Jaschke, which will be on display at Mid Main through September, kicks off this Saturday at 6pm and will include a special visual presentation, music by DJ Chaney and a handful of other surprises. While the party will be socially distanced outdoors, masks will be required while inside the gallery.
"HGO has once again demonstrated its resiliency and its commitment to this treasured artform over the past year. To say I am proud of every member of the HGO team would be an understatement — they all continue to blow me away with their creativity and tenacity," said HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers in a statement.
"Seeking out creative alternative means of artistic expression since the pandemic's onset has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding," added Summers. "We are excited to carry our new expertise forward into the future. But we are thrilled beyond measure to join our beloved audience for a new season of opera. Nothing stirs the soul like being in the theater for a live opera performance — nothing."
HGO's 67th season kicks off on Oct. 22 with audience favorite Carmen, with Canadian mezzo-soprano and HGO Studio alumna Carolyn Sproule in the title role of the Bizet classic, which will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, with tenor Richard Trey Smagur joining her onstage as Don José, alongside soprano Heidi Stober as Micaela and baritone Christian Pursell as Escamillo.
HGO's new season will also feature a continuation of the company's holiday opera series when the company's 71st world premiere, composer Joel Thompson and librettist Andrea Davis Pinkney's The Snowy Day, hits the Wortham stage in December. The family-friendly opera will be conducted by Summers and will star HGO Studio artist and soprano Raven McMillon in the lead role. The opera was previously the subject of a documentary, The Making of The Snowy Day: An Opera for All, that was part of HGO Digital's 2020-21 season.
Also featured in HGO's new season is gripping drama Dialogues of the Carmelites, which features HGO Studio alumnae Natalya Romaniw and Lauren Snouffer as Blanche and Constance, with famed dramatic soprano Christine Goerke as Madame Lidonine. A production of director Barrie Kosky's highly creative and visual reimagining of The Magic Flute, which was originally slated for HGO's 2019-20 season, will also finally be hitting the Wortham's mainstage in the winter.
Closing out the season will be productions of opera classics Turandot and Romeo and Juliet. HGO Studio alumna Tamara Wilson, who last hit the HGO mainstage for her riveting performance in the title role of Aida in 2020, will be performing the title role in the company's mesmerizing new production of Turandot. Critically acclaimed tenor Michael Spyres, who performed the role of Fernand in HGO's La favorite in 2020, will be playing Romeo opposite soprano Adriana Gonzalez in the company's new production of the Gounod classic, which will mark the HGO debut of Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci.
Subscriptions for HGO's 2021-22 season are available at HGO.org, and single tickets to productions will be available later this summer.
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