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TIPS, TRENDS & TIDBITS: A Night at the Opera

The Israeli Opera House in Tel Aviv became the legendary Paris Opera House for one night last winter.

Special event designer and produ-cer Koby Bar Yehuda of Ramat Gan, Israel, picked the musical The Phantom Of The Opera for the theme of a corporate event. "We wanted to recreate the backstage of an opera house," he explains.

The reception took place in the opera house's foyer. To recreate the musical's setting, Bar Yehuda and his team drew inspiration from the entrance hall of the Paris Opera House of the late 1800s. Old lamp posts, wood benches, baskets of red roses, horse carriages and statues trans-formed the environment. Violinists dressed in period costumes welcomed the guests with classical music.

After the reception, the 350 guests sat in the opera house for a speech. But the mood didn't stay corporate for long-suddenly, the "Phantom of the Opera" appeared from behind the stage's black velvet curtains, wearing his distinctive mask. As the Tel Aviv orchestra struck up the musical's score, the curtains opened to reveal a dining area brimming with period props.

Much of the decor came from an abandoned storage room of Golan Globus Film Pro-ductions in Jerusalem; Bar Yehuda also investigated local flea markets. His finds include statues; treasure chests; racks of costumes; wigs; and old chandeliers draped in faux spider webs.

The tabletops also reflected the Phantom theme. Crushed burgundy velvet covered the tables and chairs; spider webs "stretched and lifted up in various places on the tabletop to give dimension to the table," Bar Yehuda says. The centerpieces, designed by Koby Bar Yehuda florist Frida Pablo, featured red roses, white candles of different sizes and two phantom masks, all on a bed of green moss.

Upon departing, guests received a Phantom Of The Opera CD.-T.M.

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