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San Francisco Ballet Opens Season

A rare cold snap and a sudden downpour did not dampen the spirits of ballet fans who turned out in ostrich-feather-trimmed ball gowns at the city's Opera House.

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A rare cold snap and a sudden downpour did not dampen the spirits of ballet fans who turned out in ostrich-feather-trimmed ball gowns and chiffon wraps at the San Francisco Opera House Thursday night for the San Francisco Ballet season opening gala.


“Smiling through the rain,” said Jean Larette, arriving at the early dinner in the City Hall rotunda.


Yuri Pascarella, in a beaded Andrew Gn gown, admired the way Riccardo Benavides had transformed the Beaux Arts interior into an Italian Renaissance fantasy, complete with projected frescos and dramatic 10-feet tall plaster sculptures of mythical Italian heroes.


“Very Michelangelo,” said Pascarella.


Marissa Mayer, Google executive and ballet patron, dashed in looking surprisingly composed.

“I had a late meeting in Mountain View, and then hit the road, putting on my makeup as I headed up Highway 101 into the city,” she said. Her makeup was perfect.


OJ Shansby admired Charlotte Shultz’s dazzling Tiffany citrine and turquoise necklace.


“George gave it to me for Christmas,” said Charlotte, giving her husband, former Secretary of State George Shultz, a peck on the cheek.


At intermission, Third Eye Blind singer Stephan Jenkins was high on the performances.


“This ballet company makes me so city proud,” he said. “San Francisco leads the nation in the arts, tech, music and science. I love this stuff.”


Also pirouetting through the showers were Denise Hale, Dede Wilsey, Juliet de Baubigny, Randi Fisher, Carolyn Chang, Karen Caldwell, Deepa Pakianathan and Sloan Barnett.

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