Announcing FIRST NIGHT – Season Opening Events! Presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

by Celeste Hart




Red Carpet Arrival

Gourmet Pre-Performance Dinner

The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of SAMSON & DALILA
by Camille Saint-Saëns

Curtain Time, 8:00 p.m.

Dazzling After Party with Cast


Dianne and Mark H. LaRoe

Honorary Chairs Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger

            DALLAS, July 26, 2017 –The Dallas Opera announces its magnificent kick-off event of the 2017-2018 Season FIRST NIGHT. Dedicated philanthropists Dianne and Mark H. LaRoe chair the festivities and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are Honorary Chairs. The Presenting Sponsor is Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.

            The evening begins with a red carpet entrance outside the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. The Pre-Performance Dinner, which starts at 6:00 p.m., will be inspired by the opera Samson & Dalila, and is chaired by Betty and Steve Suellentrop. The event takes place in Sammons Park in an elegant tent, and will be catered by culinary master Wolfgang Puck. Tables for the dinner range from $25,000 to $10,000 with individual tickets available for $1,000. All dinner tickets include After Party tickets. Please visit to purchase tickets.

            The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Samson & Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. Tenor Clifton Forbis and Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina—in her eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut!—portray the doomed twosome, trapped in a love affair of biblical proportions that threatens to “bring the house down!” This mesmerizing jewel of the French Repertoire, not seen on our stage since 1971, will be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director of The Dallas Opera.

            The dazzling After Party with the cast from 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m is certain to be a highlight of the kick-off events with mingling, dining and dancing with the principal performers of Samson & Dalila. The high energy group Dallas String Quartet will be sure to get party-goers shakin’ on the dance floor with their fusion of classical and contemporary music. The quartet performs with both traditional and electric strings with accompaniment from a guitarist, keyboard player and drummer. They have recorded four albums and performed with top acts including Kenny G and Josh Groban. Wolfgang Puck Sweet & Savory will provide more delicious noshes, desserts, coffee and specialty cocktails.

            The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is located in the heart of the Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

First-Night-165-Dress by Salvatore Ferragamo; Jewelry by BVLGARI; Photo by Brandon Lyon (640x427)

Chairs Mark and Dianne LaRoe; Dress by Salvatore Ferragamo; Jewelry by BVLGARI; Photo by Brandon Lyon

            “The fall is such an exciting time in Dallas and opening night of The Dallas Opera will be a pinnacle in the city for the arts! We have a lot of fun and fascination planned for FIRST NIGHT and we invite everyone to join us! The Dallas Opera’s impact here and internationally continues to exceed expectations and the season opening events are a wonderful time to celebrate its success. There are ways for everyone to take part in the splendor, from a $19 ticket to the opera, to sponsoring a table at the Pre-Performance Dinner. We hope to see you there!” said Chair Dianne LaRoe.

            “We have diverse season planned with a combination of treasured classics and lesser-known works, including a United States premiere, and we hope everyone will find inspiration in our 2017-2018 productions. FIRST NIGHT is the culmination of a tremendous amount of planning and preparation, and opening night always gives us much to celebrate! We are very grateful for the hard work and ingenuity of Dianne and Mark in creating spectacular events for us. We appreciate their support, and that of all of our patrons, in continuing to elevate the company’s reputation, locally, nationally, and internationally,” explains Keith Cerny, The Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO for The Dallas Opera.

            “David and I are delighted to be the honorary chairs for The Dallas Opera’s splendid season opening events, FIRST SIGHT and FIRST NIGHT. The glamorous festivities and productions are always so memorable year after year, and we know this 61st Season will be no exception. Our city’s world-class Opera is rapidly growing in outreach and impact, and we encourage the entire North Texas community to join us in supporting this spectacular treasure,” said Honorary Chair Nancy A. Nasher.

            “Deutsche Bank continues to be a strong supporter of the arts throughout the world” said Mark LaRoe, Head of the Dallas Private Bank office of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management. “We are so proud to again support FIRST NIGHT at The Dallas Opera and focus on our partnership with the Dallas art community. On a personal note, it is a privilege for Dianne and me to collaborate with such a stellar arts organization.”

            “The beginning of a new season for The Dallas Opera is always an exciting time for this great city. It is an honor and a joy to be part of this two day event, and work with this talented team once again,” said designer Larry Leathers.



Founded in 1957, The Dallas Opera is an internationally-recognized innovator dedicated to the overall advancement of the operatic art form and the support of established and emerging artists, as well as the education and development of new opera audiences in North Texas—and beyond. These goals are achieved by commissioning and producing world-class opera; through ground-breaking institutes, national competitions and topical programs; and by presenting opera in both traditional and non-traditional formats and venues in order to attract patrons of every age, background, educational level, and ethnicity—while engaging with more than 87,000 people in our community each year.  TDO is equally committed to the task of responsible stewardship and is managed with efficiency and accountability, to the highest possible standards.



The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

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