The Dallas Opera is Proud to Announce Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu as the “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year”

by Megan Meister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Contact: Suzanne Calvin (214.443.1014/suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org)

Or Megan Meister (214.443.1071/megan.meister@dallasopera.org)

                                                               

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu

SELECTED BY SEASON SUBSCRIBERS AS THE “MARIA CALLAS DEBUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR”

~~~~

VIOLETTA IN THE SPRING SEASON TRIUMPH: LA TRAVIATA

            DALLAS, MAY 17, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is tremendously proud to announce the result of this year’s balloting for the 2012 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award: Greek lyric soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu, who made a celebrated American opera stage debut in the Winspear just five weeks ago.

            The prestigious award is given to a single performer each season for a particularly outstanding and unforgettable company debut.  The selection of Miss Papatanasiu, who astonished audiences with her remarkable vocal qualities and intensely moving portrayal of the doomed Violetta in La traviata, was announced early this evening at the annual Appreciation Dinner for The Dallas Opera Board and Trustees held in the Crescent Ballroom of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Uptown Dallas.

Papatanasiu’s performance was praised by Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News:   “The Greek soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu, in her American debut, certainly captures Violetta’s every flicker of emotion: by turns carefree and desperate, amazed at falling in love, excruciatingly conflicted at the sacrifice demanded by her lover’s father, alternately hopeful and despairing as she struggles against the dying of the light.”  Cantrell went onto say “She has amazing vocal technique: top notes pinpointed, high flourishes effortlessly tossed off, sure commands of crescendo and decrescendo in any register.”

Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell reacted to the announcement: “I can’t say that I am the least bit surprised that Myrtò has won this year’s award for debut artist of the year.  She is an amazing performer, possessing a stunning combination of physical and vocal beauty, profound musicality, remarkable theatrical instincts and the uncanny ability to be both incredibly strong and heartbreakingly fragile simultaneously.   All of her performances during the run in Dallas were extraordinarily consistent, and yet each of them seemed utterly spontaneous.

“When she first auditioned for me in June 2009, she was completely unknown in this country, but I immediately recognized that she had a really special gift and was someone who Dallas audiences would immediately take to their hearts. This was her American stage debut as well as her Dallas Opera debut, and so I am particularly pleased that our subscribers have selected her for this year’s award.”

~~~~

            “The Dallas Opera is rightly known for its great skill in casting,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “In some cases, this means bringing highly respected and well-established artists to our stage.  However, we are also committed to shining a spotlight on less familiar—but no less extraordinary—talent, wherever we discover it.

“Myrtò Papatanasiu, who made her American opera stage debut here at TDO, is the perfect example of a phenomenally gifted singer just being introduced to American audiences, after forging a successful career overseas.  From the very first rehearsal, we were struck by her exquisite vocal artistry and incredible stage presence, as well as by her compelling and utterly realistic portrayal in this very difficult role.

“The Callas Award provides the Dallas Opera with a wonderful platform on which to recognize the best and brightest artists the world has to offer,” Cerny adds.  “And our subscribers clearly agreed that Miss Papatanasiu brought Violetta to life in a career-defining performance.”

~~~~

As has been the case for the past several years, balloting for the Callas Award was conducted entirely online.  However, the results were verified by the independent accounting firm of Travis, Wolff & Company, L.L.P.

Each winner receives an etched-crystal plaque, created for The Dallas Opera by award-winning designers from Tiffany & Co., which bears the likeness of legendary soprano Maria Callas, who launched The Dallas Opera with a 1957 recital at the Music Hall in Fair Park.

The 2012 recipient responded to the news, by email from Greece, with a statement read this evening by Mr. Jonathan Pell:

To the Board and Trustees of The Dallas Opera, Jonathan Pell, and the patrons of The Dallas Opera:

 

What a personal honour it is for me, as a Greek artist, to be awarded a prize named after the unforgettable Greek soprano Maria Callas, who left her mark all over the musical world and especially here in the Dallas Opera.

I am deeply moved, and immensely grateful. I gave my heart and soul to my performances in Dallas, and I allowed myself to live the part of Verdi’s amazing musical role. I tried to convey what I felt through my voice, and to bring to life the genuine, earthly, transparent, fragile, passionate, dynamic and generous Violetta. The communication I felt with the audience and the warmth of their appreciation is something that will remain with me forever.

I would like to thank you for this honour, to thank also the directorship of the theatre and in particular Jonathan Pell who was such a great personal support to me. A big thank you is also due to the conductor Marco Guidarini and to the fantastic orchestra for their precision and their sensitive musical interpretation, the chorus and the much loved Alexander Rom, my director Bliss Herbert and Allen Klein. Lastly I would like to mention my colleagues and friends from the cast, with whom I shared this wonderful musical experience, and my partner Dimitri.

I would like to dedicate this prize to Greece my homeland, currently going through such difficult times.

Efharisto -- thank you.

Yours,

 Myrtò Papatanasiu

~~~~

             There were nine additional 2011-2012 Season nominees (artists making outstanding company debuts in a principal role)—all the contenders are listed below in alphabetical order):

NOMINEES FOR 2012 MARIA CALLAS AWARD

Jordan Bisch, bass – “Raimondo” in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Luca Grassi, baritone – “Enrico” in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Bryan Hymel, tenor – “Edgardo” in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Shawn Mathey, tenor – “Tamino” in THE MAGIC FLUTE

Elena Mosuc, soprano – “Lucia” in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Laurent Naouri, baritone – “Germont” in LA TRAVIATA

Myrtò Papatanasiu, soprano – “Violetta” in LA TRAVIATA

Jukka Rasilainen, baritone -- “Kurwenal” in TRISTAN & ISOLDE

Kristinn Sigmundsson, bass – “King Marke” in TRISTAN & ISOLDE

L’ubica Vargicova, soprano – “Queen of the Night” in THE MAGIC FLUTE

~~~~

The Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award was launched during the 1991-1992 Dallas Opera Season.

Sharon Sweet was the first recipient for her impressive performance in the title role of Aida.  The list of subsequent winners reads like an opera’s “Who’s Who” from Cecilia Bartoli, Mary Dunleavy, Elizabeth Futral, Hei-Kyung Hong, Denyce Graves, Indira Mahajan, Mary Mills, Patricia Racette, Latonia Moore, Christopher Ventris, Catherine Naglestad, James Valenti, and Ben Heppner, to last year’s winner, Texas Born Soprano Laura Claycomb (Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto).

~~~~

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “MAY 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 THEDALLAS OPERA

LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THEDALLAS OPERA

CARTIER – OFFICIAL JEWELER & WATCHMAKER OF THEDALLAS OPERA

ROSEWOOD CRESCENT HOTEL – OFFICIAL HOTEL OF THE DALLAS OPERA

 

Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

  

            All performances are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Subscriptions start at just $75 and are on sale now.  For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-SixthInternational Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m.   English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance.  Assistance is available for the hearing impaired.

AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi

Verdi’s Complex and Intimate Love Story Set in Spectacular Ancient Egypt!

October 26, 28(m), 31, November 3, 9, 11(m), 2012

An opera in four acts first performed at Khedivial Opera House, Cairo on December 24, 1871.

Text by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette.

Time: Old Kingdom

Place: Egypt

Conductor: Graeme Jenkins

Stage Director: John Copley

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Lighting Design: TBD

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Latonia Moore (Aida), Antonello Palombi (Radames), Nadia Krasteva* (Amneris), Lester Lynch (Amonasro), Orlin Anastassov* (Ramfis), Ben Wager (The King of Egypt), Jonathan Yarrington* (Messenger), and NaGuanda Nobles* (Priestess).

TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini

April 5, 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m), 2013

Puccini’s Last Masterpiece—Riddled with Passionate Romance and Unforgettable Music!

An opera in three acts first performed in Milan at La Scala, April 25, 1926

Text by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi’s fable, Turandot.

Time: Legendary times

Place: Peking, China

Conductor: Marco Zambelli

Stage Director: Garnett Bruce

Production Design: Allen Charles Klein

Lighting Design: TBD

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Lise Lindstrom* (Princess Turandot), Antonello Palombi (Calaf), Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu), Christian Van Horn* (Timur), Jonathan Beyer (Ping), Joseph Hu (Pang), Daniel Montenegrio* (Pong), Ryan Kuster* (A Mandarin), Steven Haal (Emperor Altoum).

THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento

April 12, 14(m), 17, 20, 28(m), 2013

The Games People Play—Both Young and Old—To Achieve Their Twisted Desires!

An opera in two acts first performed in Dallas, November 19, 1988.

Text by Dominick Argento based on Henry James’ short novel.

Time: Legendary

Place: Venice, Italy

Conductor: Graeme Jenkins

Stage Director: Tim Albery

Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman*

Costume Design: Constance Hoffman*

Lighting Design: Thomas Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Assistant Director: Michael Mori

Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

*DallasOpera Debut

** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

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.  The T. Boone Pickens YMCA, Smartwater and Stephen Pyles Restaurant--supporting partners.  A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

One Response to The Dallas Opera is Proud to Announce Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu as the “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year”