Frivolity at the Fire and Ice Ball

Those crazy kids! Actually, this is Knoxville Opera’s new director of marketing and public relations, Beth Evans, with her husband, Jim. Yep, it was that kind of evening!

The Knoxville Opera called its annual fundraising ball “Fire & Ice.” Held last month at the Knoxville Museum of Art, it was a blast. But attendance was down, causing the Opera to do what the Knoxville Symphony did last year — move the big money-maker out of December. This year, the Opera Ball will be in October. The Symphony Ball will be in March.

Trust me. This is better for all concerned. After Thanksgiving, there are just too many holiday events going on. And if you aren’t attending a holiday event on any given evening in December, you are probably watching — or trying to keep track of — a football game.

The Fire & Ice Ball featured a performance by the Knoxville Opera Chorus. In particular, Don Townsend, chorus master and production manager for the Opera, received a shout-out.

He’s dressed like fire; she’s dressed like ice! This is Eric Barton and Annie Pentecost pictured during the cocktail hour.

I liked the setup for the silent auction in a room off the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall.

This is Jerry Becker. Obviously happy about winning his auction item!

From left, Brooks Clark and Rebecca and Cal MacLean. Cal is artistic director of Clarence Brown Theatre.

City Councilman Marshall Stair and his wife, Natalie.

Here’s a silent auction winner! Claire Sudarshan is a University of Tennessee sophomore majoring in music.

Ely and Phyllis Driver.

Knoxville Opera Development Director Scott Guinn, center, with Andrew Wentzel and his wife, Karen Nickell.

Master of ceremonies, Lori Tucker from WATE-TV, right, with her daughter, Kelsey Caran.

Jean Davis-James and John Sibley.

Jerry and Susan Becker with yet another silent auction win.

Gay Lyons and Caesar Stair.

Dan McGehee and Kim Henry.

Jared and Natalie Davis Dowling.

Alan Carmichael, left, and Peter Acly pre-dinner.

This guy gets around! Here’s Jerry Becker with Donna Kedrow.

Everyone sat down when the first courses were served. Cultured butter poached halibut cheek with cauliflower-ginger vichyssoise, Osetra caviar and wasabi creme fraiche was served chilled. Chef for the evening was Matt Gallaher of Emilia and Knox Mason.

Two of our tablemates: Cathy and Mark Hill.

Robin Smith, left, and Debbie Emery.

This is Felicia Hoehne, left, and Jean Davis-James.

From left, Mike Mullane, Jan Simpson, and Robin Gold.

Lena Golburt, left, and Theresa Stone.

Dorothy and Caesar Stair.

Entree was melt-in-your-mouth smoked bison ribeye with Sriracha-sweet potato butter puree, embered root vegetables and sesame jus. A perfect winter meal.

Brittany and Whitfield Bailey.

Lynne Wright, left, Angela Masini and Terry Grove.

Patty and Robert Baird.

Dessert was coconut semifreddo, frozen passionfruit mousse, passionfruit curd, coconut dacquoise and coconut sugar. When’s the last time you had that??

Opera Guild president Madeline Griffey welcomed everyone.

Maestro Brian Salesky struck up the music, and the Knoxville Opera Chorus took the floor.

Chorus master and production manager Don Townsend was a standout!

After that, The Streamliners provided dance music.

And a full night came to a romantic close.



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4 Responses to Frivolity at the Fire and Ice Ball

  1. Melinda Meador, on January 15th, 2019 at 2:20 pm said:

    Wow! That first course must have been fantastic. Looks and sounds wonderful.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on January 15th, 2019 at 2:23 pm said:

    Melinda: I’d have to say it was!

  3. Peter Acly, on January 25th, 2019 at 12:54 pm said:

    Yes, it WAS a great event! Thanks.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on January 25th, 2019 at 1:14 pm said:

    Peter: Always fun to share a table with you!

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