Dallas Opera's Successful Endowment Campaign

by tdoadmin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Contact: Suzanne Calvin
214-443-1014/suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

THE DALLAS OPERA ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF TWO-YEAR, $20 MILLION ENDOWMENT CAMPAIGN
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TDO’S “CULTURAL RENAISSANCE ENDOWMENT FUND” LAUNCHED TWO YEARS AGO WITH $10 MILLION CHALLENGE GRANT FROM ANONYMOUS DONOR
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KEY SEVEN-FIGURE GIFTS FROM THE HAMON CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, MRS. EUGENE MCDERMOTT, AND MARGOT AND ROSS PEROT/THE PEROT FOUNDATION PROPEL TDO “ACROSS THE FINISH LINE” BY OCT. 31ST DEADLINE TO SECURE MATCHING FUNDS

DALLAS, NOVEMBER 1, 2011 – The Dallas Opera has achieved yet another major milestone in its quest for long-term financial stability by raising $20 million for the company’s “Cultural Renaissance Endowment Fund.” A total of $10 million in new cash donations for the endowment over a two-year-period ending October 31, 2011, triggered a $10 million matching gift from an anonymous donor.
Exceptional donations from the Hamon Charitable Foundation, Linda and Mitch Hart, Joy and Ronald Mankoff, Mrs. Eugene McDermott, Phyllis and Tom McCasland, and Margot and Ross Perot/The Perot Foundation helped lift the company above the all-important $10 million mark to qualify for the match.
Other major contributors included Charron and Peter Denker, The Rosemary and Roger Enrico Foundation, Amy and Vernon Faulconer, Enika and Richard Schulze, James R. Seitz, Jr., and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal.
The “Cultural Renaissance Endowment Fund” was begun in late 2009 to support the Dallas Opera’s efforts to achieve fiscal balance and long-term stabilization of the company’s finances, while enhancing artistic quality.

“This is a profound achievement for the Dallas Opera,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the extraordinary leadership of the company’s Chairman, Dr. Kern Wildenthal, our hard-working Executive Committee, our dedicated Board and Trustees, and every opera supporter involved in this Herculean effort to secure the entire $20 million, especially our exceptionally generous anonymous donor.
“It’s an incredible show of support for the great artistic stature of this company,” Cerny adds, “and also for its commitment to fiscal discipline, and its exciting plans for the future.”

In the last four months alone, the Dallas Opera secured a record $14 million in new gifts and pledges for endowment and operational expenses, including a five-day campaign in late July that raised $1.25 million in special production funds, led by a $500,000 contribution from Crow Holdings. At the same time, the company has also trimmed administrative and operating costs, “right-sized” the number of performances planned for future seasons, and secured vital pledges of future support.
During the past six months, the Dallas Opera has received a total of nearly $8 million in multi-year commitments from donors who have committed to support the company for the next three years or longer. These loyal individuals are being recognized as members of the “General Director’s Circle,” a new giving category at TDO.
Additionally, the company has now paid off its seasonal line of credit and has enough cash to meet basic operating expenses for the foreseeable future. This is dependent, of course, on the Dallas Opera continuing to meet its goals for ticket sales, as well as maintaining historic levels for Annual Fund donations, corporate support, and other grants and gifts.
Considered together, these positive signs indicate that the Dallas Opera, guided by General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, is implementing an effective strategic plan in the midst of tough economic times—and has earned the confidence of our community along with the support necessary to ensure artistically successful future seasons in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

“In the midst of these challenging economic times, it is enormously gratifying to see the depth and breadth of support in Dallas for our company” says Dallas Opera Chairman, Dr. Kern Wildenthal. “Building on the extraordinary $10 million challenge we were fortunate to receive two years ago, the Opera is raising the bar for both our artistic aspirations and our fiscal discipline. We are especially pleased that at the same time we have cut general operating costs significantly, our education programs are reaching twice as many children as in previous years.
“While we will continue to rely on generous donors for our baseline operating support, the Dallas Opera is in a dramatically stronger financial position than was the case two years ago, or even four months ago. I know that our talented general director, Keith Cerny, joins me in expressing the Opera’s deep gratitude to the community for its vital support. ”

MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO
THE CULTURAL RENAISSANCE ENDOWMENT FUND:

Anonymous

The Hamon Charitable Foundation
Mrs. Eugene McDermott
Phyllis A. McCasland and Thomas H. McCasland, Jr.
Margot and Ross Perot/The Perot Foundation

Linda and Mitch Hart
Joy and Ronald Mankoff

Charron and Peter Denker
The Rosemary and Roger Enrico Foundation
Amy and Vernon Faulconer
Richard and Enika Schulze
James R. Seitz, Jr.
Marnie and Kern Wildenthal

Robert Brackbill
Winnie and Davis Hamlin
Holly and Tom Mayer
Jeanette and George Wharton

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Barrett
Patti and John Cody
Robert L. Hull and Myra Barker Hull
Mildred Oppenheimer
Steve and Betty Suellentrop

Plus, 141 additional donors at levels of $25 to $49,999.

In addition to effective fund-raising, lean staffing levels, and tight controls over expenditures, the company’s strategy incorporates a strong community outreach and education component designed to encourage and develop new and more diverse opera audiences. This includes free, public simulcasts one or more times each year, as well as additional low-cost or no-cost public performances aimed at children, families, students and opera newcomers.
The Dallas Opera is also pursuing more artistic, marketing and creative collaborations than at any time in its history. The current season includes a new children’s production and English-language translation of Georges Bizet’s one-act operetta, Doctor Miracle, in collaboration with Dallas Children’s Theater, SMU and UNT; a brand-new production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse to be directed by Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty in his opera debut; and a new production of Richard Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde, to be staged by German director Christian Räth with cutting-edge video projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, the designer who created the landmark projections for the Dallas Opera’s acclaimed 2010 world premiere production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick.

Total expenditures for the company are expected to decrease from $16.9 million in the 2010-2011 Season to $15.5 million in 2011-2012, and will continue to decline through 2014-2015. By 2015, the Dallas Opera’s previous $4 million annual structural deficit will be eliminated.

After the company has achieved consistent financial stability at its new level of presentations, it can then proceed with plans to expand later seasons by adding more productions and performances to fulfill audience demand.
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THE DALLAS OPERA GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGES
THE TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION,
PRESENTER OF THE 2011-2012 SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “NOVEMBER AT THE DALLAS OPERA”
IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print
To arrange an interview
Or for additional information
Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR
214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

THE DALLAS OPERA WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITUDE TO OUR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERS:

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
CARTIER – OFFICIAL JEWELER & WATCHMAKER OF THE DALLAS OPERA
ROSEWOOD CRESCENT HOTEL – OFFICIAL HOTEL OF THE DALLAS OPERA

Ticket Information for the 2011-2012 Dallas Opera Season

All performances (except for The Lighthouse) are in the acoustically acclaimed Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Season subscriptions start at just $76, FLEX subscriptions (three performances) begin at $75—and are on sale now. Single tickets can be purchased for as little as $25. For more information, contact the friendly staff at The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org. Principal cast members and events may be subject to change. All ticket sales are final.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2011-2012 SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Fifth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. With the exception of Tristan & Isolde, evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m. Tristan’s evening performances will start at 7:00 p.m. and matinees at 2:00 p.m. Performances of The Lighthouse (new chamber opera series) will take place in the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre located directly across the street from the Winspear in the AT&T Performing Arts Center. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance. Assistance is available for the hearing impaired.

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR by Gaetano Donizetti
Dead Men DO Wear Plaid!
October 21, 23(m), 26 & 29, and November 6(m), 2011
An opera in three acts first performed at Teatro San Carlo, Naples on September 26, 1835.
Text by Salvatore Cammarano, based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor.
Time: Around 1700
Place: Scotland
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: Garnett Bruce
Costume Design: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Design: Marie Barrett
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Fight Choreographer: Bill Lengfelder
Starring: Elena Mosuc* (Lucia Ashton), Bryan Hymel* (Sir Edgardo di Ravenwood), Luca Grassi** (Lord Enrico Ashton), Jordan Bisch* (Raimondo Bidebent), Scott Quinn (Normanno), Aaron Blake (Lord Arturo Bucklaw), and Cynthia Hanna* (Alisa).

TRISTAN & ISOLDE by Richard Wagner
February 16, 19(m), 22 & 25, 2012
A Special Opera-in-Concert, with projections by Moby-Dick’s Elaine McCarthy!
Ancient Myths, Modern Cine-Magic! And a special curtain time: 7:00 p.m.!
An opera in two acts first performed in Munich, June 10, 1865.
Text by Richard Wagner, based on an ancient Celtic and Icelandic legend.
Time: Legendary
Place: A ship at sea; outside King Marke’s palace, Cornwall; Tristan’s castle at Kareol
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: Christian Räth
Video Design: Elaine McCarthy
Lighting Design: Alan Burrett
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet (Isolde), Clifton Forbis (Tristan), Mary Phillips (Brangäne), Jukka Rasilainen** (Kurvenal), Kristinn Sigmundsson* (King Marke), Stephen Gadd** (Melot), and Aaron Blake (A Young Sailor/A Shepherd).

THE LIGHTHOUSE by Peter Maxwell Davies
Inaugural production of the Dallas Opera Chamber Series
Presented in collaboration with the Dallas Theater Center
In the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center
March 16, 17 & 18(m), 2012
A chilling supernatural and psychological thriller!
Time: December 1900
Place: Edinburgh Court of Enquiry, Fladda Isle Lighthouse off the Scottish coast
Conductor: Nicole Paiement*
Stage Director: Kevin Moriarty* (opera directorial debut)
Scenic Design: Beowulf Boritt*
Costume Design: Claudia Stephens*
Starring: (in order of vocal appearance:) Andrew Bidlack* (Officer 1/Sandy), Robert Orth (Officer 2/Blazes), and Daniel Sumegi (Officer 3/Arthur/Voice of the Cards).

LA TRAVIATA by Giuseppe Verdi
April 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 & 29(m), 2012
Let’s Party Like It’s 1849!
An opera in three acts first performed in Venice at Teatro La Fenice, March 6, 1853
Text by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Alexandre Dumas’ play, La dame aux camélias
Time: 19th century
Place: Paris
Conductor: Marco Guidarini
Stage Director: Bliss Hebert
Production Design: Allen Charles Klein
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Choreographer: Rosa Mercedes*
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Myrtò Papatanasiu** (Violetta Valéry), James Valenti (Alfredo Germont), Laurent Naouri* (Giorgio Germont), Amanda Crider* (Flora Bervoix), Timothy Mix* (Baron Douphol), Mark McCrory (Marchese D’Obigny), Ethan Herschenfeld* (Doctor Grenvil), and Susan Nicely (Annina).

THE MAGIC FLUTE by W.A. Mozart
April 20, 22(m), 25, 28, May 4 & 6(m), 2012
Hearts Tested, Tried and True!
An opera in two acts first performed in Vienna, September 30, 1791.
Text by Emanuel Schikaneder.
Time: Legendary
Place: Mythological Egypt
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Production: August Everding
Stage Director: Matthew Lata
Scenic Design: Jörg Zimmermann*
Costume Design: Renate Kalanke*
Lighting Design: Duane Schuler
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotten
Starring: Ava Pine (Pamina), Shawn Mathey* (Tamina), Patrick Carfizzi (Papageno), L’ubica Vargicová* (The Queen of the Night), Raymond Aceto (Sarastro), Kevin Langan (The Speaker), David Cangelosi (Monostatos), Angela Mannino* (Papagena), Caitlin Lynch* (First Lady), Lauren McNeese* (Second Lady), Maya Lahyani* (Third Lady), Aaron Blake (First Man in Armour) and Darren K. Stokes* (Second Man in Armour).

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut

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The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera. Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera. Cartier is the official jeweler and watchmaker of The Dallas Opera. Rosewood Crescent Hotel is the official hotel of The Dallas Opera. Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News. A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

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