With Shimmering ‘Mirror’ Theme and Sexy Spanish Fare, HGO Raises $1.3 Mil for Community Outreach

With Shimmering ‘Mirror’ Theme and Sexy Spanish Fare, HGO Raises $1.3 Mil for Community Outreach

Denise Reyes and Matthew Healey (photo by Katy Anderson)

THE OPERA BALL, one of Houston’s perennially elegant, must-hit galas among the society set’s top tier, tilted marvelously mod and disco-deluxe this year, with sophisticated Spanish hints, thanks no doubt to ball chairs Isabel and Ignacio “Nacho” Torras. They are, of course, the arts patrons behind two of Houston’s most popular and trendy restaurants — MAD and BCN Taste & Tradition.


The “Mirror Ball” theme came alive for guests, arriving via a red carpet appointed with mirrored arches, to a Wortham Grand Foyer draped from floor to soaring ceiling in shimmery silk. “Jaw-dropping decor by The Events Company transformed the space with sky-high silver drapes, tinseled chandeliers and mirrored, holographic tablescapes accented with fuchsia blooms,” gushed a rep for HGO. “The theme was on display at every turn, from table centerpieces to cocktails.”

Given the chairs’ culinary connections, dinner was a dining experience, per expectations. MAD and BCN exec chef Luis Roger presented chilled tomato and cherry gazpacho as an amuse-bouche, followed by a vividly colorful passion fruit salad, and sous vide grass-fed filet. “Dessert was a MAD favorite: the peanut nougat, Spanish wine, and salted-caramel Chocolate Bar, accented by a scoop of gelato from Rocambolesc, another Houston spot owned by the Ball chairs,” noted the company rep. In a lovely extra touch, the gelato was served tableside by members of the Program, a program that provides professional opportunities to young adults with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Entertainment for the evening — which raised a whopping $1.3 million to support the opera company’s community outreach initiatives — included a rendition of “So Long, Farewell” by the young singers set to appear as the von Trapp children in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, which opens next week at HGO. Also, Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, playing Maria in the show, offered a rousing performance of “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen, backed by members of the HGO Chorus.

After dinner, Nashville-based Universal Crush drew a crowded dancefloor with gotta-dance ditties like “We Are Family” and “Celebration.” After-party libations were served in disco-ball tumblers.

Boldface guests included, welcomed by the chairs and HGO honchos Khori Dastoor and Patrick Summers, included Beth Madison, Anne and Albert Chao, Margaret Alkek Williams, Jim and Dancie Ware, Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Elizabeth and Ilyas Colombowala, Isabel and Danny David, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Jim and Molly Crownover, Betty and Jess Tutor, Ana María Martínez and Gaby Attal, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Beth Muecke, Carey Kirkpatrick and Joel Luks.

Alejandro & Alisa Magallon, Ana Maria Martines, Gaby Attal (photo by Michelle Watson)

Margaret Alkek Williams and Patrick Summers (photo by Katy Anderson)

Albert and Anne Chao (photo by Michelle Watson)

Betty Tutor, Ann Ayre, Dr. Rachel Ellsworth (photo by Michelle Watson)

Alejandra and Hector Torres (photo by Michelle Watson)

Jim and Dancie Ware, Tony and Cynthia Petrello (photo by Michelle Watson)

Beth Muecke (photo by Katy Anderson)

Mark and Duyen Nguyen (photo by Katy Anderson)

Constance Rose-Edwards (photo by Katy Anderson)

Drs. Warren and Rachel Ellsworth (photo by Michelle Watson)

Maxwell Ocansey, Allyson Pritchett, and Brian Dunham (photo by Michelle Watson)

Elizabeth Colombowala and Isabel David (photo by Michelle Watson)

Eric Lewis and Jeff Gremillion

Myrtle Jones (photo by Katy Anderson)

Rebecca & Thom Brandt, Sarah & Bryant Lee (photo by Michelle Watson)

Jeff and Rachelle Ball (photo by Katy Anderson)

Khori Dastoor, BenJoaquin Gouverneur (photo by Michelle Watson)

Monique & Ed Gore (photo by Katy Anderson)

Nick Allen, Jo Allen, and Louis Allen (photo by Katy Anderson)

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