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Fanfare: Pittsburgh Opera Hosts 63rd annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball

| Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Members of the Pittsburgh Opera perform during the Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Members of the Pittsburgh Opera perform during the Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Gala hosts Peter Taglianetti and Dr. Vonda Wright with Isabella Wright, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Gala hosts Peter Taglianetti and Dr. Vonda Wright with Isabella Wright, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Gabrielle Yarshen, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Gabrielle Yarshen, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
James Eidel, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
James Eidel, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Pittsburgh Opera artistic director Christopher Hahn and Ron Booth, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Pittsburgh Opera artistic director Christopher Hahn and Ron Booth, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
James and Melanie Crockard, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
James and Melanie Crockard, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Peter Taglianetti and Opera board chair Michele Fabrizi, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Peter Taglianetti and Opera board chair Michele Fabrizi, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Gurman, Anne Stone and Martin Potoczny, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
John Gurman, Anne Stone and Martin Potoczny, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Philip Ferland and Doug Nolder, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Philip Ferland and Doug Nolder, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Roseanne Ruggiero-Wholey and Paul Gitnik,  Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Roseanne Ruggiero-Wholey and Paul Gitnik, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Vivian Benter, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Vivian Benter, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Gene Walsh and Marty Healy, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Gene Walsh and Marty Healy, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Sam Badger with Lydi and Dr. Bill Poller, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Sam Badger with Lydi and Dr. Bill Poller, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
Dr. James Worry, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Dr. James Worry, Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Pittsburgh Opera, Omni William Penn, Downtown PIttsburgh. Sept. 22, 2017.

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.

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