Red Carpet Week in San Francisco 2018

SF Opera Ball, Opera Opening, Red Carpet Bay Area
Komal Shah, Barbro and Bernard Osher, and Tanya Powell at San Francisco Opera Ball 2017

Welcome to Red Carpet Week! It happens every September in San Francisco. After a quiet and foggy August the temperature rises, the sun comes out, and the red carpet heats up for two opening night galas in one week. For those who want to experience the excitement of the music without the fancy red carpet scene, this week San Francisco Symphony offers the All Community Concert and San Francisco Opera hosts Opera in the Park.

One Week, Two Red Carpet Galas:

Michael Tilson Thomas with special guest Itzhak Perlman will open San Francisco Symphony‘s 2018-2019 season on Wednesday, September 5th, and on Friday the 6th, San Francisco Opera opens its 96th season with a double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

San Francisco Symphony Opening Night Gala

For the first time, an openly gay couple will co-chair San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Night Gala. James Hormel and Michael Nguyen-Hormel are planning a stylish, glamorous, community building celebration dinner for 700 patrons prior to the concert. The generous couple also underwrote Itzhak Perlman’s guest performance.

Ann Paras is chairing the elegant Wattis Room Dinner on opening night, a party for just 50 guests in the members-only dining room at Davies Symphony Hall. At City Hall, Ellie Pollak and Andrea Palmer are co-chairs of the Symphony Supper for 380, and Symphonix Dinner Chairs Kevin Yeh and Catherine Meng, Ariel Anaya, and Jerica Lee expect 395 guests. Catherine Geeslin chairs the After-Party to which all ticketholders are invited.

Speaking of the San Francisco Symphony Opening Night Gala After-Party, it is one of my favorite events every year. Once the concert is over, guests turn it up outside on Grove Street. Geeslin announced this year’s theme is Hayes Valley. Food and drink will be provided by restaurants from the Hayes Valley area including Barcino, Dobbs Ferry, Doppio Zero (before it is even open to the public!), The Meatball Bar, Smuggler’s Cove, and others. Popular cover band The Cheeseballs will play inside the gala tent and a DJ is scheduled to rock the outdoor party.

San Francisco Opera Ball

Opera Ball 2018: ¡Viva La Noche!, San Francisco Opera Guild’s signature gala and benefit will celebrate San Francisco Opera’s 96th season with cocktails and dinner prior to the opening night performance. Co-chairs Shannon Cronan and Kathy Huber are working with designer J. Riccardo Benavides and Mc Calls Catering on a night filled with unforgettable culinary delights, passionate tango rhythms, glamour, and festive cheer.

Everyone is Invited

Following the red carpet galas, the opening week festivities continue at Davies Symphony Hall with the All San Francisco Concerts. On Thursday, September 6th and Saturday, September 8th, Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the San Francisco Symphony in a celebratory concert for volunteers and staff of local social service and neighborhood organizations. Now in its 30th-year thanks to dedicated funds from Wells Fargo, the concert recognizes the important work these groups do to enrich the lives of and serve the citizens of San Francisco. Thanks to an added second date, this year’s All San Francisco Concerts welcome the general public to take part. Tickets are just $12.

The Ellen Magnin Newman Award

The All San Francisco Community Concert includes the presentation of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award to honor an outstanding local community-service organization. The award is named after Ellen Magnin Newman, SF Symphony board member and founder of the All San Francisco Concert. This year’s recipient of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award is The Imagine Bus Project. Through arts education and community partnerships, The Imagine Bus Project engages and inspires incarcerated youth and youth impacted by the juvenile justice system.

Free Opera in the Park

On Sunday, September 9th, San Francisco Opera presents a free concert in Golden Gate Park. San Francisco Chronicle Presents Opera in the Park, now in its 45th year, will feature vocal artists and conductors from the Company’s fall season performing with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Opera in the Park is held on Robin Williams Meadow, formerly known as Sharon Meadow. Food and beverages are available at the park for sale, but many audience members bring picnics to enjoy on the lawn at the family-friendly event. In the traditional Opera in the Park finale, the audience joins the singers for a rendition of the Brindisi (drinking song) from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. This event is free; no tickets are required.

In Memory of David Wiegand

The 2018 Opera in the Park concert is dedicated to the memory of David Wiegand, former San Francisco Chronicle Assistant Managing Editor, Arts and Entertainment. A devoted champion for the arts in San Francisco, Wiegand passed unexpectedly in late April 2018.

Check back later this week for scenes from Red Carpet Week in San Francisco 2018.

Past Red Carpet Week Coverage on Red Carpet Bay Area: