Laura Claycomb on Her Home Turf

by Suzanne Calvin

Thursday, September 6, 2012
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071

Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Horchow Auditorium, Dallas Museum of Art

DALLAS, SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is happy to announce the homecoming of one of our own: Internationally renowned soprano Laura Claycomb, the Dallas Opera’s 2012 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year”, will perform in recital on Sunday, October 7th at 2:00 p.m. at the DMA’s Horchow Auditorium, accompanied by Grammy™ nominated collaborator and accompanist Keith Weber.
Tickets go on sale Monday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m. for just $25 (with no additional charge for admission to the Dallas Museum of Art), and may be purchased at your convenience, day or night, online at or by contacting the friendly staff at the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000.
Highlights from the afternoon program—personal favorites selected for the occasion by Miss Claycomb—will include Francis Poulenc’s 1939 song cycle “Fiançailles pour rire” with poetry by Louise de Vilmorin. Poulenc praised Vilmorin for her “sensitive impertinence, libertinage, and appetite”.
Also on the program will be Richard Strauss’s “Brentano Lieder, Op. 68”, a vocal showcase with texts by poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1842). Strauss composed this song cycle in 1918 for soprano Elisabeth Schumann’s 1921 American tour.
Olivier Messiaen’s “Chant de terre et de ciel” (“Songs of Earth and Sky”) of 1938 will also be included in this intimate afternoon recital. Messiaen wrote this joyful—at times, ecstatic— song cycle as an expression of his profound love for his wife and infant son.

“It’s nearly impossible to over-estimate the impact that Laura Claycomb had on our audiences when she made her 2011 Dallas Opera debut as Gilda,” says Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell. “In the midst of this extraordinary and powerful Rigoletto cast, Laura’s breathtaking artistry and her ability to cast an almost magical spell over the public was something truly extraordinary.
“Exceptional vocal beauty is difficult to define in words,” Pell adds, “yet audiences know it when they hear it, and they will never forget it. There are few singing artists of the caliber of Laura Claycomb, and the Dallas Opera is honored to be able to present her in this recital.”

Miss Claycomb has been applauded around the world for her “limpid tone, dazzling technique and eloquence; even stratospheric pitches were negotiated with delicacy and pliancy” (Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News).
Seating for this one-time-only event is limited and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 10th. Contact the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Staff for additional details.


Native Texan Laura Claycomb, known for her delicacy, refinement and theatricality in high-flying repertoire, is one of the world’s foremost lyric coloraturas. Ms. Claycomb studied voice and foreign languages concurrently at Southern Methodist University, afterward taking an apprenticeship at San Francisco Opera. She performs leading roles at such venues as La Scala, Paris Garnier, Chatelet, Bastille, Houston Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Salzburg Festival, English National Opera, Geneva Opera, Munich Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Opera de Montpellier, New York City Opera, Rome Opera, Opera de Lausanne, Vlaamse Opera, London Proms, Drottningholm Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Festival and Glimmerglass Festival. Her roles include: title roles in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Linda di Chamounix, and La Fille du Regiment, as well as Countess Adèle/Le Comte Ory (Rossini), Amanda/Le Grand Macabre (Ligeti), Giulietta/I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Bellini), Cleopatra/Giulio Cesare (Haendel), Gilda/Rigoletto (Verdi), Zerbinetta/Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss), Ginevra/Ariodante (Haendel), Morgana/Alcina (Handel), Konstanze/Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), Olympia/Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach), Anne Trulove/The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky), Queen Wealtheow/Grendel (Goldenthal) and Gretel/Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck). In concert, she performs with groups such as San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Symphony, Le Concert D’Astrée, Ensemble Modern, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ensemble Sospeso, London Sinfonietta, Munich Radio Orchestra and Swedish Radio Orchestra, in repertoire ranging from baroque period pieces to contemporary creations.

Her discography includes the operas Le Grand Macabre (Ligeti) on Sony with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting, Sir John in Love (Vaughan-Williams) on Chandos with Richard Hickox conducting, two recordings of Benvenuto Cellini (Berlioz) with Sir Roger Norrington and Sir Colin Davis, as well as L’Esule di Granata (Meyerbeer), Allessandro nell’Indie (Pacini) and La Cour de Celimene (Thomas) on Opera Rara label. She has also recorded Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson-Thomas (nominated for a Grammy), Carmina Burana with the London Symphony Orchestra and Richard Hickox, and chamber music on Arcadian Duets (Handel) with Emmanuelle Haim. On the Opera Rara label, she has recorded four chamber music albums of Bel canto repertoire. She will release a solo album with guitarist Marc Teicholz next Spring on the Delos label.

KEITH WEBER (Accompanist)
Recent GRAMMY-nominated Producer Keith Weber is a choral and orchestral conductor, vocal coach, choral clinician, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, and collaborator widely known for his musical versatility and excellence.
He is currently Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston and is Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., the Texas 501 (c) 3 organization ( that presents captivating concerts of vocal chamber music, helps fine young American singers develop their careers and brings about the creation of exciting new music. A native of western Pennsylvania, he holds a B.M., cum laude, in Organ Performance from Southern Methodist University, an M.M. also from SMU and an M.S.M. from Perkins School of Theology. Keith was the founding Associate Musical Director of the Lyric Opera of Dallas, and was Head Coach with the 2002-2005 Summer Festival, Opera In The Ozarks, and serves as a resource and vocal/career/life coach for dozens of fine singers. As a recital collaborator and accompanist, Keith has worked with singers and instrumentalists across the United States, many in programs for Grace Song, Inc. and maintains ongoing relationships with tenor Vern Sutton (with whom he appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” in May of 1999 -- celebrating the release of a CD on the Ten Thousand Lakes [Schubert Club of Minnesota] label), sopranos Laura Claycomb and Melissa Givens, mezzo-soprano Natalie Arduino, and Baritone David Grogan. During the 1997/98 academic year, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Collaborative Musicianship at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, working with internationally-known collaborator Margo Garrett. His disc of Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder, with soprano Julianne Baird, was released by Newport Classics in January of 1999. He played the Texas and Midwest premieres of Ned Rorems’ concert-length song-cycle for four singers and piano, “Evidence of Things Not Seen.” Keith also hosted four week-long residencies with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, presenting and collaborating with their artists. As a Recording Producer, Keith has several discs to his credit; including two for Ars Lyrica Houston and the first professional-grade recording of the Houston Bach Society, An September 2012 release for The Houston Chamber Choir in addition to many release quality demo CD’s for talented young singers under his own label, GSI. His second recording for Ars Lyrica Houston received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Opera Recording of 2010, the only American recording so honored in that category that year.
Keith produced the premiere performances of Conrad Susa’s church opera, The Wise Women, for the AGO National Convention in Dallas is1994. From August of 1988 until the fall of 2002, Keith was Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church, Tyler, TX, where he established a full Music Ministry, including the founding of the Grace Note Music Series, a year-round festival of chamber, vocal, choral and keyboard music. He served as Chair of the Music Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, through which he directed the Leadership Program for Musicians, is Past Dean of the East Texas Chapter, American Guild of Organists, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Tyler Civic Chorale. He held a similar full-time Music Ministry positions at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA, and at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. As an organist, Keith won the Dora Poteet Barclay Award (Outstanding Undergraduate, SMU), the Roy and Sue Johnson Award (Outstanding Senior, SMU), the 1982 B’nai B’rith Music Scholarship, the Ninth Annual Organ Competition of the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, the 1991 Region VII National Young Artists’ Playing Competition of the American Guild of Organists, was named finalist of the 1992 Spivey International Organ Competition and is widely known for his engaging organ recital programming. He served as Interim Organist at The Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX. As a pianist, Keith made his formal orchestral debut in 1997 with The East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Kate Tamarkin, conducting.


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The Dallas Opera’s 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion Season”
Is Presented by Texas Instruments Foundation



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. Single Tickets for AÏDA and family performances go on sale September 10th. For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Sixth International 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.

AÏDA by Giuseppe Verdi
October 26 –The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance
Starring Latonia Moore, The Charron and Peter Denker Rising Star! (2012)
October 28(m), 31, November 3, 9, 11(m), 2012
Verdi’s Complex and Intimate Love Story Set in Spectacular Ancient Egypt!
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
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
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 a Henry James novella.
Time: Legendary
Place: Lake Como, 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
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Alexandra Deshorties (Julianna Bordereau), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

* Dallas Opera 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. 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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