“La Rondine”—an operatic celebration of the Parisian fashion and architecture of the 1920s with romantic scenes set in Parisian salons and lavish Mediterranean villas—opened the 2018-19 Minnesota Opera season, providing inspiration for the highly fashionable and ultra-chic Minnesota Opera Gala.
The team—comprised of the MNOP Gala Planning Committee led by event chair Mary Lazarus, myself (event designer Anthony Diaz) and the MN Opera Production team—mixed classic French elegance with whimsical touches. The event transported 250 guests from The Saint Paul Hotel’s Promenade Ballroom to the French Riviera, allowing them to experience the region’s profound beauty. Synthetic grass covered the entire ballroom floor while guests took notice of the traditional gold Napoleon chair, a staple in French formal dining.
Guests were seated at glamorous tables placed with Monique Lhuillier Waterford Etoile Dinnerware collection in Platinum, supplied locally through Ultimate Events in Plymouth. All tables were lined with La Tavola’s Chelsea Linens that featured woven polka dots and were topped with pink velvet napkins.
Dani Erickson of Studio Fleurette created rich Parisian-style floral arrangements of lush powder pink and fuchsia garden roses, complemented by lavender orchids for the longer tables. All roses were arranged in Crate & Barrel’s silver rimmed Pryce Collection vases. The Charlotte Silver stemware and Capri Flatware collections from Après Event Dècor & Tent Rental completed the look. The flatware’s sleek design and finish brought a bit of modernity for a look that almost always has traditional detail.
Kelli Hall of Atlanta designed place cards with bold botanicals while local calligrapher Rosann Konieczny finished them with a slate gray ink. Lauren Chism of Dallas designed table numbers and menu cards.
The culinary team at The Saint Paul Hotel did a phenomenal job curating a decadent menu to fit the overall aesthetic. Executive chef Lance Kapps constructed an opulent wild mushroom terrine with arugula and pink rad - ishes, while pastry chef Sara Smart Cromett crafted mini croquembouche towers, pink macarons, blush truffles and pâte de fruit.
As WCCO’s Frank Vascellaro kicked off the evening, Mary Schrock, former PACER executive, observed, “Wow, for a second I almost forgot we were in St. Paul!”
Calligraphy: ROSANN KONIECZNY CALLIGRAPHER
Design: ANTHONY & STORK
Dinnerware: MONIQUE LHUILLIER COLLECTION, Ultimate Events
Drapery: QUEST EVENTS
Floral: STUDIO FLEURETTE
Menu, Table Numbers & Place Cards: MINTED
Photography: KAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Stemware & Flatware: APRÈS EVENT DÈCOR & TENT RENTAL
Table Linen & Napkins: LA TAVOLA FINE LINEN
Venue & Catering: THE SAINT PAUL HOTEL
Anthony Diaz is the owner and creative director of the Minneapolisbased event planning and design firm, Anthony & Stork, and the associate events director of Minnesota Opera. Bridging the worlds of art, fashion and industrial design, Anthony’s work is known for its modern glamour, imagination and curatorial vision.