Posted September 30, 2013 | © Photo by The Flash List
Marked by a triplet of drum rolls, the social season opened on Saturday night with the 2013 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala featuring internationally-acclaimed soprano Rene Fleming, considered by many including Chairman of the DSO Board of Governors Blaine Nelson to be the “most beautiful voice on the planet.” After a welcome to special guests and city leaders by DSO President and CEO Jonathan Martin, followed by a few gracious words from event chairs Steve and Anne Stodghill, Maestro Jaap van Zweden led the orchestra in a wonderfully regal performance of Giocchino Rossini’s Overture to La gazza ladra.
Mrs. Fleming then joined the orchestra and sang folk melodies such as Canteloube’s “Malurous qu’o uno femme” (about frustrations in marital relationships) as well as the beloved aria “Io son l'umile ancella” (an allusion to the operatic staple of death by poisoning) before inviting the audience to sing along to familiar tunes such as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific and “The Sound of Music” as well as Bernstein’s “Somewhere” and “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story. Adorned in a shimmering Vivienne Westwood gown, Fleming provided encore presentations which included an elegant rendition of “Danny Boy,” Gershwin’s “Summertime,” and more. The DSO’s beautifully full and rich performance of the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana was balanced with their animated, fast-paced, action-movie-like depiction of the Overture to Candide. Following the grand finale of Ravel’s exotic, ever-crescendoing Bolero, the immensely-satisfied crowd dispersed to the Meyerson lobby for the evening’s much-anticipated after-party experience.
The sexier sister to the more formal pre-concert reception and seated dinner, the After-Party, once again chaired by Anna-Sophia van Zweden, is really two parties in one.On the east concourse of the Meyerson, patrons clad in sharp-looking tuxes and dazzling evening gowns relaxed to the sounds of the Booker T. Washington Jazz Duo while enjoying hot coffee and a variety of chocolate covered treats.Conversely, the west side of the building offered specialty cocktails, an open bar which stayed busy until last call, a red velvet draped photo booth, and music provided by Dallas’ own DJ Lucy Wrubel who always delivers an eclectic mix of high-energy dance selections.In this case, current musical hits spun included “Blurred Lines,” “Royals,” and “We Can’t Stop” along with classics like Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” (which served nicely to relieve the crowded dance floor of all but the 40 and up crowd like it was 'adult swim' at the public pool).Wrubel also encouraged attendees to participate in a group sing-a-long to Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" (which prompted one patron’s air-guitar performance and another couple’s ... um ... Irish ‘jig’?).
As always, the glamorous night was highly entertaining and, without a doubt, as themed -- Belissima!
Be sure to mark your calendar now for next year’s gala on Saturday, September 13, 2014. A premier rund-raising event designed to support the orchestra's cultural involvements both locally and internationally, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala is one of the top social events of the year and a party that is absolutely not to be missed!