San Francisco Social Diary: San Francisco Opera’s 97th Opening Gala

The San Francisco Opera Opening Night production of Romeo and Juliet inspired the gala theme of “The Capulets’ Masked Ball.”

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S 97TH OPENING GALA

Los Angeles has the Oscar’s Red Carpet, New York has the Met Ball, and San Francisco has its Opera opening galas that are their equal in glamour and excitement. For many, it is a tradition to attend the prestigious Opera Gala that opens the San Francisco fall social season and is one of the West Coast’s most glamorous events.

The Opera Guild produced the highly anticipated opening night gala that launched the San Francisco Opera 2019-20 season.

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La Jolla Social Diary: La Jolla Music Society’s New Home ~ The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center

La Jolla Music Society’s highly anticipated Grand Opening Weekend to inaugurate The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

The La Jolla Music Society (LJMS), one of the West Coast’s foremost performing arts institutions, this spring held three consecutive days of concerts and celebrations to launch its 50th season and celebrate moving to its new home, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, known as “The Conrad.” As I had lived for many years in La Jolla and it’s dear to my heart, I flew out to participate in this highly anticipated and historic evening.

La Jolla Music Society’s new home, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, a $82 million complex, opened just in time to celebrate LJMS’s 50th anniversary season.

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San Francisco Social Diary: California Pacific Medical Center Holds Creative Opening Gala

San Francisco California Pacific Medical Center Hospital celebrated the launch of its new Van Ness Campus, a $2.3 billion state-of the-art facility, with a creative opening night gala.

Following ten years of planning and several years of construction, Sutter Health opened its new $2.3 billion state-of the-art California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) hospital in the heart of San Francisco. The new Van Ness Campus is one of four CMPC campuses in the city.

In celebration, the CPMC Foundation hosted a grand gala featuring bountiful buffets, music performances throughout, and interactive exhibitions that introduced attendees to the Van Ness Campus’s advanced medical technology and personal touches.

The CPMC Van Ness building is the first in North America to incorporate fluid viscous wall dampers, energy dissipation devices that have been widely used for earthquake protection of structures in Japan.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Winter Events

Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s Your Dog guards the Asian Art Museum entrance.

The cold weather hasn’t stopped San Franciscans from coming out for their favorite local causes. The opening of Adam Lindemann’s “Venus Over Manhattan” at St. Joseph’s Arts Society, the launch of “Kimono Refashioned” at the Asian Art Museum, and an award ceremony honoring philanthropist Maria Manetti Shrem were among many artistic and charitable events that drew supporters.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Winter Art Events

San Francisco’s winter social season was in full swing with a glamorous pair of artistic events—a passionate Ballet Opening Night Gala and the FOG Design+Art Fair.

The San Francisco Ballet’s 86th Season debuted with the 2019 Opening Night Gala and Performance with the theme “This is Passion”—and the décor, the ballet attendees, and the performances all surpassed that lofty exclamation.

The most successful opening night gala in the company’s history, a sold-out crowd of 1,000 ballet patrons for the gala dinner (plus 3,000 at the performance and 2,100 at the after-party) broke a new record of raising $3 million.

This year’s chairs outdid themselves: Gala Chair Claire Stewart Kostic, Dinner Chair Lydia Bergman, Décor Chair Donna Bachle, and Honorary Chairs Kelsey and David Lamond.

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San Francisco Social Diary: San Francisco Opera Celebrates its 96th Season

Not only does the Opera Gala open the fall season, but also it is an opportunity to meet up with friends after the summer hiatus—to see and be seen.

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA CELEBRATES ITS 96TH SEASON

The San Francisco Opera opened its 2018–19 season with its annual weekend of celebratory affairs, including two sold-out galas—Opera Ball 2018: ¡Viva La Noche!and the BRAVO! CLUB Opening Night Gala, one of the grandest and most opulent events in the city.

Opera aficionados enjoyed a double bill of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (or Cav/Pag), set in Argentina, which inspired the theme of the evening. Continue reading

San Francisco Social Diary: 13th Annual Festival Napa Valley Opening Weekend, Part II

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth was the featured headliner at the Festival Napa Valley Arts for All Gala, one of the many incredible festivities this summer.

13TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL NAPA VALLEY OPENING WEEKEND 2018
Part II – THE GALAS

Festival Napa Valley recently “uncorked” its 13th season. I made my annual pilgrimage, one of a delighted 10,000 attendees who enjoyed wine, food, and cultural events over ten days at different venues throughout the Valley’s Wine Country.

Continuing my coverage of the Festival’s opening weekend, this week I share two fabulous gala-style events I attended.

The internationally recognized Festival Napa Valley gets better and more popular each year, with waiting lists for many of the 2018 programs. Bravo to all involved!

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San Francisco Social Diary: 13th Annual Festival Napa Valley Opening Weekend, Part I

Festival Napa Valley celebrated its 13th season with a record number of performances, including a spectacular light and music show during the opening Founders Dinner.

13TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL NAPA VALLEY OPENING WEEKEND 2018 Part I – THE OPENING NIGHTS

Festival Napa Valley recently “uncorked” its 13th season. I made my annual summer pilgrimage, one of a delighted 10,000 attendees who enjoyed wine, food, and cultural events over ten days at a multitude of venues throughout the Valley’s Wine Country.

A dazzling roster of musicians and singers participated in an unprecedented 70 spectacular classical music, opera, and jazz performances, and the region’s top vintners and chefs hosted intimate food and wine events.

The internationally recognized Festival Napa Valley gets better and more popular each year, with waiting lists for many of the 2018 programs. Bravo to all involved!

Napa Valley is considered one of the top viticultural areas in both California and the entire United States, with a history dating back to the early nineteenth century.

In Napa Valley, more than 400 wineries grow numerous grape varieties, including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, and zinfandel, among other popular varietals.

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San Francisco Social Diary: SFMOMA Modern Ball 2018

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s second biannual “Modern Ball,” after reopening in 2016, was a hugely successful bash.

SAN FRANCISCO MOMA MODERN BALL 2018 RAISES $4 MILLION

The biannual Modern Ball at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—always high on my must-attend list—was once again a spectacular event, this year raising $4 million for education and exhibition programs, including free admission for all visitors under age 18.

The new SFMOMA Snøhetta-designed building (2016) is visible behind the original red-brick Mario Botta-designed structure (1995).

Some 2,000 reveler-supporters came to have a ball at the ball—a fabulous, international, festively attired mix of all ages and types: VIPs, museum dignitaries, directors, and curators; artists, designers, and gallerists; collectors and art lovers; techies; and the old guard and the new.

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San Francisco Social Diary: The SF Opera Opening Ball

Artist David Hockney designed stunning sets for Turandot, kicking off the San Francisco Opera’s 95th season and its Opening Night Gala.

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S 95TH SEASON LAUNCHES WITH TURANDOT AND AN “IMPERIAL PALACE” THEME

At the 2017 San Francisco Opera Opening Ball, one of the West Coast’s premiere philanthropic evenings, more than 3,000 opera fans enjoyed a champagne promenade, dinner in an “Imperial Palace,” a performance of Puccini’s Chinese-themed Turandot, and a hopping after-party.

The Ball kicked off the 95th season of the SF Opera and the last season for which Maestro Nicola Luisotti will be company music director.

Though he’s leaving the SF Opera, Maestro Luisotti will return for future engagements as a guest conductor.

Opera Guild President Jane Mudge and Event Chairs Courtney Labe and Maryam Muduroglu hosted the Ball, along with Honorary Chairs John and Cynthia Gunn and Diane Wilsey. Alex Petalas and Victoria Weatherford co-chaired the BRAVO! Gala (for the younger set).

Opera Ball Co-Chair Courtney Labe (in Lily Samii), Opera Guild President Jane Mudge (in Marchesa), and Opera Ball Co-Chair Maryam Muduroglu (in Lily Samii).

Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock (wearing a vintage Armani suit from a SF Opera production of Lulu), Kate Shilvock (in Lily Samii), fashion designer Lily Samii, Rita Simonini, former General Director David Gockley, Linda Kemper, and Music Director Nicola Luisotti.

BRAVO! Board members Anjali Menon, Laurie Diab, Kari Coomans, Alex Jakle, Shannon Eliot, Xanadu Bruggers, Victoria Weatherford, Laura Della Guardia, Alexander Petalas, Katie Bryant, Susan Walker, Leah Fine, Rachel Lem, Aris Damji, and Nicole Jiam.

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