A Phenomenal opening event for San Francisco Ballet attracted a capacity audience of 3,100 to the War Memorial Opera House on January 22, 2014. Gala chairwoman Tanya Marietta Powell chose the theme and title Phenomenal for the 81st season opening.
The Phenomenal theme carried out in the gala performance, dinner and after-party. Artistic director Helgi Tomasson presented 12 short classical and contemporary excerpts as part of the one-night-only program. With a committee of 25 women from the Ballet’s Auxiliary, Powell organized a pre-performance cocktail reception and formal dinner under the dome at City Hall for some 950 patrons, benefactors and grand benefactors.
Scenes from A Phenomenal Opening Night for San Francisco Ballet:
Nicola Miner at San Francisco Ballet’s Opening Gala 2014
David Shimmon and Mary Beth Shimmon (in Chanel)
Stephanie Southerland in Naeem Khan
Navid Armstrong, Giselle Farris and Carolyn Chandler (in Marchesa) at the San Francisco Ballet opening gala, January 2014
Yurie Pascarella in Andrew Gn
Barbara Brown in Oscar de la Renta at San Francisco Ballet’s opening gala, 2014
Grand Benefactors Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang
San Francisco Ballet gala chair Tanya Powell (in Vera Wang), event designer Riccardo Benavides and decor chair Shelley Gordon (in Roland Mouret) at City Hall
Deepa Pakianathan in Rubin Singer with Sonya Molodetskaya in Vasily Vein (Drew Altizer Photography)
Komal Shah in a gown by Dennis Basso with dinner chair, Patricia Ferrin Loucks (in Stephen Yearick)
Opening night performance sponsor Elizabeth Pang Fullerton in a gown by Autumn Adamme
Grand Benefactor Nancy Kukacka with Ann Marie Peterson, Erin O’Donovan and Alison Bhusri
San Francisco Ballet’s Encore! group of young professionals hosted a cocktail buffet for some 200 guests, also at City Hall on opening night, nearby in the South Light Court. The Encore! party was chaired by Alyson Blume with help from vice chair Greer Goings. Tickets started at $300 and included dinner, performance and after-party. Nearly 1,000 ballet enthusiasts opted to skip dinner and attend the performance and after-party, for $150. All in, on opening night 2014, the San Francisco Ballet raised more than $2.4 million, a record-breaking and phenomenal amount.
— Related: Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of more San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala events:
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography