A Bubbly, Beautiful Crowd Celebrates HGO’s Largest Opening Night Affair Ever

Michelle Watson
A Bubbly, Beautiful Crowd Celebrates HGO’s Largest Opening Night Affair Ever

Jim Crownover, Phoebe Tudor, Diana Hawkins

EVEN FOR AN organization known for lavish events — grand is right there in its name, after all — Houston Grand Opera’s Opening Night performance of La Traviata at the Wortham and gala dinner afterward were indeed spectacularly beautiful.


“Chaired by longtime opera supporters Molly and Jim Crownover, the evening marked a post-pandemic return to gathering donors with the cast and creative team for dinner and saw the largest opening night dinner participation in HGO’s 67-year history,” remarked an HGO rep. In all, nearly 500 guests helped raise about $600,000.

The itself marked the HGO debut of Grammy Award-winning soprano Angel Blue as the doomed heroine — is there any other kind in opera? — in the lead role. Celebrated Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach, who had to flee his war-torn homeland in recent months, also appeared; in her pre-curtain remarks, HGO honcho Khori Dastoor dedicated the evening’s special performance to him.

After many rounds of standing ovation, the black-tied crowd left the performing arts center and alighted in a grand tent erected on Fish Plaza outside. “Guests were greeted with glasses of bubbly, and two ten-foot floral Champagne flutes flanking the tent’s entrance with a flurry of real bubbles in the air” — courtesy of a bubble machine —the rep said. At a dinner of fall squash soup with lump crab, a beef tenderloin Marchand du Vinfor the entrée, and a dessert of cherry and dark chocolate clafoutis, honorees Jill and Allyn Risley and La traviata crew and cast members were recognized.

Per usual, the guest list represented a who’s-who of Houston society, including Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Lynn Wyatt, Margaret Alkek Williams, Beth Madison, Ping Sun and David Leebron, Bobbie Nau, Betty and Jess Tutor, Andrew Pappas and Charles Martin, Veronica Juarez and Lauren Randle.

Walter and Linda McReynolds, Lynn Wyatt, Molly Crownover

Ann and Jonathan Ayre

Beth Madison, Tom LeCloux

Schyuler Evans, Veronica Juarez, CJ Martin and Andrew Pappas

Joe Greenberg and Claire Liu

Tracy and Valerie Dieterich, Betty and Jess Tutor

Bobbie Nau, HGO's Greg Robertson

Brian Dunham and Allyson Pritchett

Margaret Alkek Williams

Cindy and Dr. Franklin Rose

Monica Karuturi and Kumaran Sathyamoorthy

Cynthia and Tony Petrello

Danilo and Stephanie Juvane

Diana and Russell Hawkins

Drs. Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah

Drs. Rachel and Warren Ellsworth

Drs. Sugene Kim and Bob Basu

David Krohn, C.C. and Duke Ensell

Jennifer and Ben Fink

Jerry Fischer, Lynne Bentsen, John Turner

Parties
Pelican Builders Welcome Residents To First New Upper Kirby Condo Offering In Years;
Boutique Midrise Adds To Pedestrian Appeal Of Sought-After, Inner Loop Neighborhood

WITH ITS INAUGURAL set of residents newly moved in, Pelican Builders’ mid-rise condominium Westmore at 2323 W Main Street in Upper Kirby is already seeing the blossoming of a tight-knit community. Designed by Houston-based Mirador Group the Westmore is the first new condominium product to be introduced to the in-demand, inner loop neighborhood in more than three years. And with remaining two-bedroom homes starting at $895,000, it’s a remarkable value for this increasingly pricey area, where condos can easily climb to several million dollars and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Home + Real Estate

Georgia James

THE HOUSTON LIVESTOCK Show & Rodeo is back in the saddle, Feb. 27-March 17. Whether you’re seeking pre-show snacks, a righteous dinner, a quick happy hour, or late-night nosh, H-Town eateries have you covered. Rope in these food and drink rodeo specials while their hot!

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Len Cannon, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Peyton Manning

THOSE WISHING TO honor the lives and legacies of George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush gathered for a special, all-star dinner at the Post Oak Hotel. Celebs from politics, sports and music were among them, with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice taking the stage to make remarks.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties