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Not Content to Merely Coast

September 23, 1997|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: Newport Riviera, a benefit boat tour that shuttled guests to three Newport Beach bay-side estates for a progressive gourmet dinner. Sunday's gala celebrated the opening of the William Hall Master Chorale's new season.

All aboard: More than 100 guests embarked from the Bayshores Marina and traveled by yacht and water taxi to the Balboa Peninsula home of John Ortega, former CEO of Clothestime. "I've got my sea legs--now I need my land legs," said chorale member Diane Guyette as she stepped onto Ortega's dock.

The party-goers, clad in elegant nautical attire, enjoyed grilled giant prawns and other hors d'oeuvres prepared by Madeo's Ristorante of San Pedro. They toured Ortega's home and admired artworks collected by Ortega overseas. "It's mainly stuff I picked up in Hong Kong--anywhere we went to get our [Clothestime] clothes sewed," Ortega said.

Steering a course: After the reception, guests piled into boats and headed to the Mediterranean-style estate of Len and Mary Ann Miller. "The home's never been [professionally] decorated; it's just filled with things we collected," Mary Ann Miller said. Among artifacts she's picked up: a Chinese wedding bed and 18th century Buddhist shrine. Chefs from the Hyatt Regency Caterers served a main course that complemented the Asian ambience, including Szechuan eggplant and hoisin glaze roast pork loin.

Guests sailed on to the contemporary Linda Isle home of luxury automobile dealer Fletcher Jones, where they enjoyed a stunning view of the bay and pastries and tarts prepared by Gustaf Anders restaurant in Santa Ana.

Quotes: "We were talking about having a gala, and we said, 'I'll bet they've never done a progressive dinner with boats,' " said William Hall, who until recently lived on a 73-foot yacht.

Bottom line: Proceeds from the $150-per-person event will go toward the chorale's operating funds and educational outreach programs.

Faces: Beverly Ann and Heather Jones; John and Kay Brown; Jan Flanagan; Hugh and Lynn Galt; Bill and Judy Klenk; David Masone; Bruce and Shirley Odou; Jerrell Richards; Ralph and Penny Rodheim; and Maxine Trotter.

What's ahead: The William Hall Master Chorale's 1997-98 concert season begins with "A Brahms Celebration" at 8 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15-$48. Call (714) 556-6262.

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