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Episode 505: A Night at the Opera
Opera Table
Like Royalty
When your love for the Opera turns into a post-performance dessert party, you'll want to create an intimate setting. Like the Opera, the look you should be aiming for is opulent and regal. The idea is to continue the beautiful feeling that you and your guests have experienced all evening.

Whether it's your own or whether it's rented a 48" round table is a perfect foundation for accommodating your guests. Cover the table with a rich fabric such as mustard-coloured velvet. Try to go with an oversized cover, so that when you drape it over your table it puddles on the floor. An overlay of black lace allows the undercloth to show through. Reminiscent of "Carmen", the black lace is wonderfully dramatic. Trim down the lace by cutting into the pattern all the way along the edge. It will give the sides of the table a nice detail.

When you invite your guests to "have a seat", of course you want them to find the idea appealing. For the inviting Opera look, ballroom chairs are perfect, especially if you add a swag to them. Thread wreaths of green leaves through them with red ribbon and red roses and then hang the swags on the backs of the chairs.

Typically, the focal point on a table is the flowers, and when you're doing a small setting like this, you should set the tone with a nice centrepiece. A wide, shallow vase is great, as it allows you to crisscross the stems of your flowers, such as our golden yellow roses. As well, a second floral element such as small silver vases filled with Glorioso flowers go really nicely in front of each place setting.

Keeping with the Opera theme, try to choose a china service which has a Roman/Greek-inspired look such as Rosenthal's "Medusa", designed by the late Gianni Versace. We actually chose our table colours based on this beautiful china. Place the tiny plates on top of larger show plates and just imagine how appealing the chocolate mousse will look. Use matching cups and saucers for cappuccinos and flatware along the lines of our bronzeware. Black linen oversized napkins tied up with complementary ribbons work well placed across the plates.

Simple votive candles scattered around the table and candelabras standing off to the side are a necessity. Why so much candlelight? To show off your crystal, of course! Greet your guests with crystal champagne flutes filled with bubbly and fresh raspberries. Set down crystal dessert wine glasses to complete the look.

Decorative enhancements that can also work as giveaways are dramatic black and red lace fans. Place them to the side of each plate and your guests can leave with a souvenir of the evening.

Have you started to get a sense of how deluxe your Opera table will be? You can rest assured that it will be at least as beautiful as the evening's starring diva.