February 25, the New Orleans Opera Club hosted a dinner for members honoring the stars of the New Orleans Opera production of Salome.
A proclamation issued by his majesty, King Herod, in the guise of President Bill Coe, proclaimed that all guests attending the Opera Club Dinner in his Honor, his Queen, Herodias and their lovely daughter, Salome come adorn themselves in their native dress – Tux or Toga.
Herod was happily surprised that many were appropriately dressed and that he did not have to send his steward (Charles Dupin) out into the highways and byways to fill the hall.
The guests dined on various Mediterranean appetizers and salads with a choice of Gulf fish with tomatoes and olives; braise lamb with apricots and dumplings, chicken and lentils with saffron rice. Desserts of Tiramisu and fresh fruit salad completed the meal. Table flowers provided by Federico’s Family Florist, consisted of bowls of white roses
Robert Lyall, Royal Conductor and chief arrangers of operatic delights, introduced the opera stars in attendance. These were Mlada Khudoley who performed as Salome, John Mac Master as Herod, Gwendolyn Jones as Herodias, Sean Panikkar as Narraboth, Katrin Hilbe who brought everything together as the Stage Director and local favorite Casey Candebat who performed as the First Jew.
Another highlight of the evening was the unveiling of art work by the Blue Easel Club of which founder and member Carol Peebles was in attendance. 11 works were displayed before they made they way over to Mahalia Jackson Theater for opening night of the opera. The work was such a wonderful success that New Orleans Opera has asked the group for another exhibition at the 2012-2013 Season production of Madame Butterfly in April 2013.
Later, Mlada Khudoley (Salome) saw a re-cretion of her famous dance of the seven veils by local ballet dancer and teacher (with NORBA), Aline de Souza. Jane Guild and associates filled out the entertainment quotient.