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Celebrating 90 Years of San Francisco Opera

September 13, 2012
Kirsty Gumina

San Francisco’s Fall Season began with a bang on Friday, September 7th as the Opera celebrated its 90th Anniversary in resplendent style. Guests came from near and far dressed in their finest, for a jubilee that was sure to impress.

The festivities commenced outside the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco’s Civic Center as Opera supporters were invited into a tented pavilion fit for a Duke.  Skillfully styled by event designer, Robert Fountain, the space was sumptuously draped in rich violet and adorned with hanging mirrors, bird cages and peacocks.  Guests were greeted with champagne and mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres such as Pancetta Wrapped Polenta Cakes with Chipotle Aioli, Fontina Arancini, and Carciofi Croccanti with Tarragon Parmesan Lemon Aioli.

In the dining pavilion, guests were enthralled by lavish centerpiece arrangements: luxurious white peacocks nestled among a bed of cascading pink orchids, all perched atop an opulent table setting of silver rimmed glassware, ornate platinum chargers, and plush plum rosette linens. Guests supped on an Italian-inspired four-course meal of Lasagna Verde, Roasted Beet Carpaccio and Seared Veal Loin with Morel Mushrooms and Potato Gnocchi, followed by a Deconstructed Tiramisu.

After dinner, guests were ushered to the War Memorial Opera House where they were treated to Giuseppe Verdi’s brilliant and dramatic Rigoletto, starring Polish soprano, Aleksandra Kurzak, and conducted by Music Director, Nicola Luisotti.

The fête continued into the late hours of the night with a post-party where attendees danced the night away and nibbled on sweet treats of Berry Martinis and Gelato Bites.

While McCalls is thrilled to be part of such a fun-filled event, we are also proud to partake in such a great cause: all funds raised for the Opera go towards music programs that reach over 60,000 children in Bay Area schools. And that is always something great to sing about.

To read more about this spectacular evening, please visit SFGate at:

To learn more about the San Francisco Opera and its programs, please visit the Opera website at:

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