Patrons of the San Diego Opera celebrate ‘Tosca’ opening

Nearly 200 patrons of the opera met at the US Grant Hotel on Jan. 24 for an elegant dinner before the opening night performance of the San Diego Opera’s 2009 season.

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The black-tie “Palazzo Promenade” gala preceded the 7 p.m. performance.

The Italian-inspired menu featured a grilled vegetable salad with micro greens, boucheron cheese and hazelnut vinaigrette followed by an entree of either braised Osso bucco with vegetables and risotto or salmon with braised eggplant, cipolli onions and risotto.

Immediately following the opera, participants returned to the hotel for drinks and dancing with the cast of this season’s opening opera, “Tosca.”

Chairing the gala event were the Dow Divas, a women’s investment group originally formed 13 years ago that has since expanded to become an important group of community and cultural activists.

A few of last year’s most prominent Dow Divas are 2008 president Iris Lynn Strauss, along with Jennifer Greenfield, Joan Jacobs, Jeanne Jones, Linda Kerr, Sheila Lipinsky and Colette Royston.

“Tosca” is sung by Sylvie Valayre, with Marcus Haddock as Cavaradossi and Green Grimsley as Scarpia.