Houston Opera Ball Returns With A White Tie Gala

By Jennifer Roosth       Photography by Michelle Watson and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: The Houston Grand Opera Ball is back. In a big way. Le Voyage à Marrakech was the theme for this year’s signature white-tie event as it returned to the Wortham Theater Center after being displaced for five years—first due to Hurricane Harvey and then COVID-19. Now, back and better than ever, the dreamy and colorful Moroccan adventure set the tone for the evening. Over 470 guests were welcomed with a red-carpet arrival on Fish Plaza.


THE STYLE:  The evening proved an exotic festival of the senses with North African music by Moodafaruka, Morocco-inspired cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, fortune tellers, henna artists, Abraham’s Rugs, a traditional Moroccan tea service, and a live camel photo op. Once seated for dinner, the charm continued when Houston Grand Opera co-chair, Jennifer Fink, was carried in on a sparkling Amariya—a tradition typically reserved for lavish Moroccan weddings. A belly dancer performance and a surprise rendition of La Vie en Rose by soprano Ana María Martínez mesmermized the crowd. For dinner, City Kitchen tantalized the guests’ palates with a Mediterranean feast highlighting the flavors of Morocco and culminating with a Gilded Chocolate Genie Lantern filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse and garnished with Figs and Anise Whipped Cream. Following Le Voyage à Marrakech, the ENCORE After Party, chaired by Lauren Randle, joined the Ball crowd to carry on with a festive, late-night celebration featuring the music of DJ Little Martin.


THE PURPOSE: Chaired by Jennifer and Benjamin Fink, it was also the first Opera Ball with the new CEO and General Director Khori Dastoor. The Music and Artistic Director is Patrick Summers. Teresa and José Ivo chaired the luxe silent auction. The Opera Ball raised over $1.25 million to support the internationally renowned performances and community programs that distinguish HGO as one of America’s most outstanding opera companies. 

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