10) Be thankful that I’m working with such talented Opera Ball Co-chairs, Anne Marie Massocca and Susan Tamagni. Together with the Opera Ball Committee and SF Opera Guild professional staff, we will surely plan an incredible evening for all!
9) From a practical perspective, select a gown by June so that I don’t need to shop during the summer. Ana Castillo of Neiman Marcus makes it easy! Frances Diniz of Wellendorff’s Boutique at Shreve & Co. is a great help with accessorizing.
[Above: Ann Girard with husband Daniel Girard]
8) Attend tasting with Co-chairs and master caterer, Dan McCall of McCall’s Catering. Determine which menu options will survive being served simultaneously to 800 guests. Make sure we include a man’s opinion on the meal! Bill Poland and Stephen Massocca have provided invaluable advice over the past two years.
7) Tap into the creativity of Robert Fountain and his team, combined with the creative flair of our Opera Ball Co-chairs, and watch the concept of the Forbidden City unfold.
6) Listen to David Gockley’s intriguing San Francisco Opera 2011-2012 Season Preview CD while in my car. It makes traffic enjoyable, and “sets the stage” for an incredible experience on opening night.
5) Practice pronunciations! Since I will be helping with welcoming and thanking the Opera Ball guests this year, I review the guest list beforehand and Susan Malott, the Opera Guild’s amazing Managing Director, helps me with any tricky ones. [Above: Donna Huggins, Paula Hagen Bennet, Ann Girard, Gaby Jackson, Katie Jarman and Anna Becky Redlich]
4) Keep in close contact with the Opera Guild’s talented event professionals, Dianna Cavagnaro and Megan McDonald, as the seating and timeline for the evening is developed. Work with the Guild’s Accountant, Martha Chesley, to monitor ticket sales and keep an eye on the budget!
3) Work out early every morning, to ensure that I have energy throughout the day and sleep at night!
2) Confirm that my daughter, Virginia, is home Friday night to zip up my dress with her very dexterous fingers! Get a last minute hug from my daughter, Renee. Make sure my opera-savvy and supportive husband, Daniel has our tickets and valet parking pass!
1) Smile and enjoy the splendor of Opening Night at the San Francisco Opera!