Tenor Pene Pati, starring as Romeo and Soprano Nadine Sierra as Juliet in San Francisco Opera’s opening night.
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S
ROMEO & JULIET THE PASSION AND DRAMA OF THE CAPULETS’ BALL COMES TO LIFE AT THE OPENING NIGHT BY STEPH KEAY • PHOTOS BY DREW ALTIZER
THIS YEAR, THE SAN FRANCISCO OPERA GUILD’S OPENING NIGHT ball magically transported guests from the streets of San Francisco to the ro-
Sonya Molodetskaya, Willie Brown, Victor Makras, and Farah Makras.
mantic scenes captured in the lush gardens of Verona, Italy, where Romeo spoke words of love to Juliet upon a balcony. J. Riccardo Benavides beautifully reproduced the moment with the extravagant table settings and opulent décor created for the patrons’ dinner served before Gounod’s opera. Patrons, too, personified the passion and artistry with their gowns and glittering masks. CoChair Elizabeth Birka-White wore an enchanting Givenchy gown, and Co-Chair Jane Mudge was stunning in Marchesa. Mary Poland, the beloved Opera Guild president, was a showstopper in Rubin Singer. Along with the classic gowns and merriment, the event raised funds to support the many opera education programs that support the students of San Francisco. 70
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