Fanfare: Pittsburgh Opera Hosts 63rd annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball
It was all about the red lights.
Blood red, actually. Igniting the Urban Room on the 17th floor of the Omni William Penn. Spotlights on the doors to the ballroom. Jaws on floor. The crescendo moment when everyone was finally allowed in.
“We're just trying to get some drama in,” said LUXE Creative's Martin Potoczny.
And so it goes that the Pittsburgh Opera raised the curtain on the 63rd annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball on the evening of September 22, begging one glaringly obvious question.
“How many diamonds should a girl wear to this party?” answered Melanie Crockard, with her husband, Jim. “As many as make her feel beautiful in. I'm only wearing one, the one my husband gave me. Not like I'd turn another one down!”
Once seated, co-chairs Dr. Vonda Wright and Peter Taglianetti tended to their duties by raising a glass and welcoming the guest list of 250.
“Up until eight years ago when I met Vonda, I couldn't spell the word ‘arts,'” joked Peter. “And now I'm chairing the Diamond Horseshoe Ball….”
It was resident artists Andy Berry, Ashley Fabian, Eric Ferring, Leah de Gruyl, Shannon Jennings, and Benjamin Taylor, though, that officially ushered in the Opera's 79th season, which will open with Puccini's Tosca at the Benedum October 7.
“Opera doesn't exist in places like Pittsburgh unless it's a community effort,” said John Murphy. “It's a miracle that Pittsburgh does this and you have to celebrate it.”
On the list: general director Christopher Hahn and Ron Booth, board chair Michele Fabrizi, board president Gene Welsh and Marty Healey, Nadine Bognar, Roseanne and Dr. Mark Wholey, Antony Walker, Marianne Cornetti, Dr. Lisa Cibik and Bernie Kobosky, Dr. Ronald and Tracey DeAngelo, Paul Gitnik and Gene Svrcek, Mary Anne and Victor Papale, Nancy and John Traina.