Opera Santa Barbara will honor Emeritus Director Frederick R. Sidon at its annual Opera Ball gala on Friday, February 17, in the Four Seasons Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom. France’s “Belle Époque” will be the theme of the fundraising event, which will include cocktails, dinner, a live auction, as well as performances by the brilliant young soprano Jeanine De Bique and cast members from upcoming productions and children in the newly formed Santa Barbara Youth Opera.

Mr. Sidon, who served on the Opera Santa Barbara Board from 2001 to 2008, including four years as president (2004 to 2008), has spearheaded numerous initiatives throughout his association with the company, among them community outreach events and sponsored tours of Italy. He and his wife, Diane, were involved in Opera Santa Barbara’s very first production in 1994.

According to Opera Santa Barbara General Director Steven Sharpe, Mr. Sidon has contributed invaluably to the company’s development.

“We are so thrilled to honor Fred Sidon at our annual gala. Opera Santa Barbara clearly would not be the company it is today without his insight and leadership,” said gala co-chair Pat Andersons.

A resident of Santa Barbara since 1993, Mr. Sidon retired the year prior as president and CEO of Princeton Overseas Consulting Group, which specializes in corporate strategy. He previously served as a vice president and board director for the management development firm Kepner-Tregoe, where he oversaw office openings worldwide. He has lectured at Harvard Business School, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and many institutions abroad. Currently president of the French Network of Santa Barbara, Mr. Sidon has been awarded two knighthoods by the French government: the Order of Arts and Letters and the National Order of Merit, the highest honor France bestows on non-citizens. He served as a faculty member at the first three Davos Symposiums (now known as the World Economic Forum).

The Opera Ball will begin at 6 pm on February 17 and includes performances by State Street Ballet, as well as an appearance by popular local deejay Gavin Roy. Andrew Firestone will serve as auctioneer. Ticket prices are $300 per person; VIP tables for eight are available for $3,500. To purchase tickets, call 805.898.3890 or visit www.operasb.org/season/the-opera-ball. The Four Seasons Biltmore is located at 1260 Channel Drive in Santa Barbara.