Gala Honoree


Dr. Sippi Khurana


To donate in honor of gala chairs Stephanie von Stein & Dr. Mark A. Schusterman click the Donate button.


Underwriting Opportunities are available for After Party/Floral/Décor/Entertainment/Valet/Beverage underwriting.
Please contact Kinga Ferguson at
for details and benefits. 

Ars Lyrica gratefully acknowledges table sponsors:

Princess Sponsors

Dr. Sippi & Ajay Khurana

Beth Madison

Stephanie von Stein &

Dr. Mark A. Schusterman

Methodist Hospital

We invite you to join us for A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream on Saturday, February 23, 2019, an evening honoring Dr. Sippi Khurana. This gala, which we are thrilled to chair, benefits Ars Lyrica Houston and its biennial productions of Baroque opera. Ars Lyrica’s next opera, Henry Purcell’s beloved Dido and Aeneas, is slated for the 2020/21 season and will feature the celebrated New York Baroque Dance Company. A masterpiece known around the world, Purcell’s opera offers beautiful melodies, high drama, and period dances—and it’s even in English!  

Ars Lyrica Houston has become a leader in the performance of early music through its acclaimed performances and recordings of a wide range of mostly Baroque repertoire. Under the artistic direction of Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica now offers a Baroque opera every other season. These theatrical spectacles offer full immersion in the world of 17th and 18th-century culture, with elaborate scenic design, virtuosic singing, stylized dances, colorful orchestras, and profoundly human stories. No other musical genre from this era has the same capacity to move, excite, and inspire audiences. These productions offer Houstonians a sumptuous old-world experience right here at home, and we are honored to support them.

On February 23 the Hotel Alessandra in downtown Houston will be transformed for A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream. The evening begins with cocktails and a short performance featuring acclaimed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte. A wintery wonderland feast follows, plus an after-party. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

With warmest regards, 

Stephanie von Stein & Dr. Mark A. Schusterman
Engaged to be married 2019!

Gala Ticket Package Purchase

Fill out the form below to purchase A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream Gala Tickets

Name *
Type in the space below the TABLE SPONSORSHIP LEVEL you would like to reserve, or the number of single seats to FULL EVENING including COCKTAILS, CONCERT, DINNER & AFTER PARTY OR AFTER PARTY ONLY ($150 per couple or $90 per single ticket). You will receive an invoice to the email provided. If you are unable to attend and still want to make a tax deductible donation, make note in space below.

Gala Chairs


Stephanie von Stein &
Dr. Mark A. Schusterman

Gala After Party Chair

Amanda Kingston-Beetle

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cocktails 6:30pm

Concert 7:30pm

Dinner 8:00pm

After-party 9:00pm

Attire: Black tie

- Alessandra Hotel-
1070 Dallas Street
Houston, Texas 77002

Gala Single Ticket Prices

$90 Single After Party Exclusive

$150 Couple After Party Exclusive

$700 Single Seat

CLICK for sponsorship opportunities


Thank you to our Gala Sponsors:
Stephanie von Stein & Dr. Mark A. Schusterman  I  Dr. Sippi Khurana | Cameron Management  I  Hotel Alessandra | Morton's Steakhouse  I  CKW Luxe Magazine  | Field of Study (FoS) Design & Brand Consultancy and Workhorse Printmakers | The Antiquarium Antique Maps and Prints Fine Custom Framing

Alessandra hotel.png
WH-Logo (Black).jpg

Gala Honoree

Dr. Sippi Khurana is a Rheumatologist, Immunologist and Internist. She was the owner and practicing physician of a private practice called Allergy and Rheumatology Specialists of Houston. She currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor for Texas A&M Health Science Center and Baylor College of Medicine. She has been named an H Texas Magazine Top Doc for three consecutive years and was the 2016 Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation. She is currently on a task force with Houston Methodist to assist in bringing a Center For Excellence in Immunology to the Texas Medical Center.  She is a married to the love of her life, Ajay Khurana and mother to Shaan and Seva. Wife and mother are the titles she cherishes the most. Being a native Houstonian, she is incredibly proud of this great city. She is a founding member and contributor to the Swadesh Khurana Endowed Fellowship benefitting Stroke Care at The Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.  This fellowship was established in loving memory of her Mother-in-law.  She sits on the Board of Trustees for St. Francis Episcopal School and is currently Chair of the Advancement Committee. She serves on the Leadership Board of Directors for The Houston Symphony, UNICEF Southwest Region, Pratham USA, MA Foundation, KNOWAutism, Arthritis Foundation and Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston as Chair of the Development Committee and the Advisory Board of The Women’s Home.  She has chaired or been honorary chair for KNOWAutism, The World Chamber of Commerce-Texas, Ek Disha Foundation, Pratham Annual Luncheon and Gala, Developments in Literacy, Nora's Home Gala, Touchdown for Texas Treasures, a charity started by the Honorable Joanne King Herring, UNICEF, Houston Chronicle's Best Dressed Raffle, University of Houston's Table Talk, Daya Luncheon, Festari's Una Notte in Italia benefitting HAWC and Interfaith Ministries Best Friend’s Brunch, Houston Chronicle's Best Dressed Luncheon benefitting March of Dimes and The UNICEF Ball. She is currently working on chairing Crimestoppers Gala, The Health Museum Houston Gala, Partners in Nursing Luncheon, Pratham USA Holiday Luncheon and ABC-13 CCFA Winter Ball for Women of Distinction in 2019. She has received the John Conner Humanitarian Award from Operation Smile, WholeLife Community Honoree Award from The Women’s Home, Excellence in the South Asian Community Award from the SACC, Fashion Icon for The Women’s Home 2016, Honoree for Mother's Day Soirée held by Lights Camera Action magazine. She is honored to be named Houston Chronicle’s Best Dressed in 2016, an ABC-13 Woman of Distinction in 2017, 25 Most Beautiful Houstonians of 2017 for H Texas Magazine, BethieLife Woman Crush, Outstanding Community Honoree by Recipe for Success in 2017, Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Inductee in 2017 and the Inaugural Humanitarian Award from KNOWAutism and Hats Off to Mothers Honoree for Easter Seals in 2018.

Gala Chairs

Stephanie von Stein & Dr. Mark Schusterman are integral philanthropic and arts advocates. Stephanie maintains a lifelong career in luxury retail, fashion, and jewelry spanning from CHANEL, Bottega Veneta, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jil Sander, Ultimo, and now is the Director of Bulgari in Houston, Texas.  Stephanie lived in San Francisco, California for several years and served as President of the Maiden Lane Committee, Executive Board Member of the Union Square Association, and was an active member of the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary. She has served on Texas boards including Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth and Dallas.  Through her positions in luxury retail Stephanie has touched many arts, charity, and philanthropic organizations. Stephanie is an avid advocate for domestic violence and has worked with Crimestoppers, AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), and DAYA. Plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark A. Schusterman has held many distinguished academic and professional appointments. His major tenure was at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he held the prestigious Charles M. McBride Professorship in Surgical Oncology, and has served as visiting professor at many distinguished universities throughout the United States and Europe.

After-Party Chair

Amanda Kingston-Beetle is originally from Madison, Wisconsin and holds degrees from The University of Michigan and The University of Houston.  She is a professional classically trained singer who has sung at opera houses around the country and is passionate about supporting the performing arts. Amanda has lent her time, talents, and efforts to many organizations including Family Legacy, a Dallas-based organization supporting education in Lusaka, Zambia and traveled to Zambia to work with children there.

About the Artists:

Cecilia Duarte Mezzo-soprano

Cecilia Duarte

Cecilia Duarte created the role of Renata in the Mariachi Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Houston Grand Opera, and has toured with it through Europe, the United States, and South America. Cecilia has created other roles for world premieres, such as Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt, (HGO and the Wallis Annenberg Center in L.A.); Gracie in A Way Home (HGO and Opera Southwest); Harriet/First Responder in After the Storm (HGO); Alicia in Some Light Emerges (HGO); and most recently, Alma, in HGO’s Web Series,  Starcross’d. 

Cecilia has often performed with Ars Lyrica Houston, Mercury Houston, The Bach Society, The Oregon Bach Festival, the Fesitvalensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Festival de Música Barroca de San Miguel de Allende, México.

Jesús Pacheco obtained his Bachelors Degree in Percussion from the Superior Conservatory in Seville, Spain.  He was part of the Andalusia’s Youth Orchestra, as well as the Divan, under the baton of Michael Thomas and Baremboim, respectively, for several years.  A versatile percussionist, Jesús performed at the Festival Ensemble in Stuttgart, Germany and the Bach Collegium (Stuttgart Bachakademie) under the direction of Helmut Rilling.   He was a regular in the professional orchestras of the Andalusian region long before he moved to Houston.  He arrived in Houston four years ago, where he is now a very prolific performer and music educator,  having already performed with many ensembles and companies in town such as Bach Society, Mercury, Ars Lyrica, Octave Illusion, the Latin American Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Brass Band, amongst others.  Jesús is currently the Assistant Band Director at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston-TX, and keeps an active life as a performer in the area.  

Noted as “the compelling guitarist” by The New York TimesArash Noori performs throughout North America and Europe on lutes and guitars as both a recitalist and accompanist. Arash has appeared in performances with Les Arts Florissants, Early Music New York, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Piffaro: The Renaissance Band, Repast Baroque, the Sebastians, ARTEK, and NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street amongst others. He is a core and founding member of Cantata Profana, acclaimed for its “intrepid and unexpected concerts” by The New Yorker and the recipient of Chamber Music America’s Award for Adventurous Programming in 2016. A graduate of the Yale and the Juilliard School, Arash currently serves on the faculty College of Music, University of North Texas. 

Matthew Dirst   artistic director

Matthew Dirst
artistic director

Ars Lyrica Founder & Artistic Director Matthew Dirst is the first American musician to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including the American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition (1990) and the Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993). Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting, the Dallas Morning News recently praised his “clear and evocative conducting” of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, which “yielded a performance as irresistibly lively as it was stylish.”

Dirst’s recordings with Ars Lyrica have earned a Grammy nomination and widespread critical acclaim. His degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar and as an organist, Dirst is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, and Organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. His book Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. He is also the editor of Bach and the Organ, which appears in the Bach Perspectives series from the University of Illinois Press in early 2016.