Featuring Composer Mark Adamo
The inclement weather couldn’t keep festive party-goers away from the “Becoming Santa Claus Soiree” on Friday, April 24, featuring composer Mark Adamo. The elegant event was hosted by Tal and Jennifer Franklin in their lovely 1940’s home on Tokalon Drive in Lakewood. The proceeds of the event benefit The Dallas Opera’s world premiere of Becoming Santa Claus opening December 4, 2015 at the Winspear Opera House. Approximately 100 guests attended the fundraiser presented by the 12 Months of Kindness Committee.
The gracious, large living room adorned by luscious wood paneling, ornate carved-wood bar and luxurious furnishings was the setting for the evening’s entertainment. Soprano, Sarah Jane McMahon’s performance included a poignant piece from Becoming Santa Claus where she portrayed Queen Sophine (Prince Claus’ Mother). Another fun piece had Ms. McMahon mingling with the men in the audience, tousling their hair and fussing with ties. She was quick to point out that of all the pieces in her repertoire, it was her husband’s favorite song because she makes it so humorous. Mark Adamo also took the floor to chat about Becoming Santa Claus for which he wrote the libretto and the music.
Mark Adamo, composer and librettist, and Maile Shea
Attendees were treated to fine catering by Cassandra who prepared a magnificent assortment of canapes including Spinach Asiago Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Main Lobster and Avocado Salad, Ginger Roasted Duck Breast on Jalapeno Crackers, 44 Farms Beef Carpaccio with Calamata Olive Tapanade and Smoked Salmon Pizza. The specialty drink was a Peppermint Julep garnished with peppermint sticks and served in charming pewter cups.
The commission of the opera, which features a coming-of-age story of Santa and the importance of doing acts of kindness towards others, was underwritten by Holly and Tom Mayer and Maile Shea. The production is in memory of Chloe Shea, Maile’s daughter and Holly and Tom’s granddaughter. Chloe passed away from childhood cancer in December 2011 and her indomitable spirit is remembered with this opera commission.
Maile Shea, Jennifer and Tal Franklin, Holly Mayer
The 12 Months of Kindness Committee was created to raise support and awareness for Becoming Santa Claus, in memory of Chloe Shea. Each month, it hosts a different event, many of which are geared for kids and families. At these events, there is an opportunity to give back to the community. Past events include: Photos with Santa (coat drive), Skating for Kindness (sock drive), an Easter Egg Hunt (gifts for Children’s Medical Center patients) and the “Becoming Santa Claus Soiree”. Future events include: two Fourth of July parades, a holiday card launch at Nest Dallas, Running of the Elves, a Becoming Santa Claus Coloring Book, and Photos with Santa.
By Celeste Hart, Communications Manager, The Dallas Opera