GALA OF THE YEAR

 Opera carolina's bella notte Gala chairs Todd AND ALEX Holleman with Maestro James Meena.  photos by Daniel Coston.

Opera carolina's bella notte Gala chairs Todd AND ALEX Holleman with Maestro James Meena. photos by Daniel Coston.

Looking back at Charlotte's impressive social scene in 2016, one gala stood out among the rest: Opera Carolina's Bella Notte fundraiser Oct. 29. During the cocktail hour, the glamorous guests sparkled outside Belk Theater in a lush man-made garden (or should we say John Lupton-made garden since he's the floral genius behind the event's opulent decor). 

Women in gorgeous gowns and debonair men in tuxedos then graced the theater's stage to dine and dance the night away amid the stunning Spanish-themed set for Verdi's The Barber of Seville.

The masterminds behind all the evening's beauty were charming gala chairs Alex Holleman and her husband, Todd. Alex is known for her exquisite taste and style, so her memorable details - from the gorgeous Bella Notte monogram created especially for the party to the orange tree topiaries that decorated the tables - added up to a spectacular evening.

As the evening's hostess, Alex looked stunning in a flamenco inspired black Rosie Assouline gown with a tiered ruffle accent and a cutout back that showcased the deep red blossoms woven into her chignon at the nape of her neck. Brava Alex!

 Laura and Trip Park.

Laura and Trip Park.

Another one of The O Report's favorite looks of the evening was from talented artist and textile designer Laura Park. She hand painted a design which was printed on silk and then used by fashion designer Luis Machicao to create a one-of-a-kind gown. 

Here are more photos of the stylish guests:

 Ann Tarwater, Samantha McCall and Judy Raghavan. 

Ann Tarwater, Samantha McCall and Judy Raghavan. 

 Lisa Dargan and Laura Vinroot Poole.

Lisa Dargan and Laura Vinroot Poole.

 Pam Stowe and Perrin Dargan. 

Pam Stowe and Perrin Dargan. 

 Aubrey and Liz Hilliard.

Aubrey and Liz Hilliard.

 Angela and Jesse Cureton.

Angela and Jesse Cureton.

 George and Peg Povinelli.

George and Peg Povinelli.

 Kitty Hall and John Bossard.

Kitty Hall and John Bossard.

 Scott and Ashley Mattei. 

Scott and Ashley Mattei. 

 Bill and Leigh Goodwyn.

Bill and Leigh Goodwyn.

 Arlene Ferebee.

Arlene Ferebee.

 Jennie and Holt Wrenn.

Jennie and Holt Wrenn.

 Charlotte Wickham, Carolyn Hudson and Posey Mealy. 

Charlotte Wickham, Carolyn Hudson and Posey Mealy. 

 John and Leslie Culbertson.

John and Leslie Culbertson.

 Jenn Lamarre and Al Waugh.

Jenn Lamarre and Al Waugh.

 Dean and Ann Carter Smith.

Dean and Ann Carter Smith.

 John and Margaret Switzer.

John and Margaret Switzer.