I felt like the luckiest girl in Dallas last night frolicking in the epic gardens of Roxanne and Gene Phillips, who opened up their stunning home for The Dallas Opera Patron Party featuring Bulgari. The soirée is hosted as a thank you to donors prior to The Dallas Opera‘s First Sight / First Night (presented by sponsor Hall Arts Residences) festivities next week that kick off the 2018-2019 season.
I adore opera. I’ve mentioned it on The Rose Table numerous times. This was my first official event with The Dallas Opera and I’m excited to enjoy the season, which includes Carmen by George Bizet, Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini, La Boheme (a classic!) by Giacomo Puccini, and Falstaff by Guiseppe Verde.
I had high hopes for the Patron Party when I pulled up and the valet told me to “drive until you hit the main house and enjoy the grounds.” Enjoy the grounds we did! My beautiful date Wendy Darling and I could not believe our eyes when we pulled up to the house, which looked like a Hollywood movie set.
The dining room was filled with Bulgari jewelry sparkling like tiny chandeliers. The mint green mural – hand painted, no doubt – was the perfect complement to the picturesque backyard showcased by a wall of windows.
I had to see the yard. I couldn’t wait one more second. I dragged Wendy straight out the back to marvel at the 18 acre Narnia. I’ve never seen such a well manicured property in person. Right off the house was a large covered patio with inviting couches and a fireplace. A short walk from the house was a bridge arching over a stream that lead to a pavilion, swimming hole, giant horse statue, and acres and acres of gardens and water features. It was a gardeners delight to see it and I could not wait to show you all!
We enjoyed a gorgeous glass of Resplendent Pinot Noir in the garden as the sun set before making our way back to the house for an opera salon performance by the talented Andrew Stenson, who makes his Dallas Opera debut on Oct. 12th singing the Steersman in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. You forget what outstanding music you can hear with just a piano and a rockstar voice.
Patrons stood gathered in the loveliest living room and let Andrew’s smooth tenor wash over them. The living room, by the way, was the most beautiful shade of soft coral that felt so warm and cozy in the lamp light.
The food was fantastic. Eating Royally, owned and led by Chef Darren McGrady, a former chef to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Diana, catered the event exquisitely. A variety of hors d’oeuvres were served on trays by the most delightful waitstaff. (Notably delightful!) The appetizers were chic and impressive without being fussy. My favorites were the rosemary shortbread cookie with creme fraiche, fried chicken bites on a southern biscuit, and the croques monsieur. Why have I never thought to serve that? If The Dallas Opera can serve a fancy grilled cheese cut up into adorable bites, so can all of us!
It was a positively delightful evening. Thank you to The Dallas Opera for inviting me. I can’t wait for First Sight, a fashion show and luncheon on the set of Carmen, next week!