The Dallas Opera is Proud to Announce Mezzo-Soprano Susan Graham as the “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year”

by Megan Meister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                         Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org                                    megan.meister@dallasopera.org

                                                               

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE
Mezzo-Soprano
Susan Graham
SELECTED BY SEASON SUBSCRIBERS AS THE “MARIA CALLAS DEBUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR”

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PORTRAYED “TINA” IN THE SPRING SEASON’S CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NEW PRODUCTION OF DOMINICK ARGENTO’S
THE ASPERN PAPERS

            DALLAS, MAY 23, 2013 – The Dallas Opera is tremendously proud to announce the result of this year’s balloting for the 2013 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award: American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who made an unforgettable Dallas Opera stage debut in the Winspear just a few short weeks ago.

            This prestigious award is given to a single performer each season to honor a particularly memorable and outstanding company debut.  The selection of Miss Graham, who amazed audiences with her exceptional vocal qualities and powerfully moving portrayal of the inexperienced “Tina” in Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers, was announced earlier this evening at the annual Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner, sponsored by Sentient Jet and held in the Crescent Ballroom of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel.

Miss Graham’s star-turn was singled out from a host of stellar performances by Classical Music Critic Anne Midgette of The Washington Post:   “Susan Graham sang ravishingly, with a kind of matter-of-fact excellence, from gentle high pianissimos to an extended a capella duet with (Nathan) Gunn that was at once conversational and lyrical — and, remarkably, on pitch.”

Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell remarked in his review that Miss Graham sang the role “stirringly and poignantly…vividly portraying an increasingly conflicted figure.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones commented, “Susan Graham is amazing as Tina, that spinster niece. Of course, vocally she is at the top of her form and the reigning Queen of Mezzoland. She paints a pathetic picture of Tina: conflicted and anguished, torn between loyalty to Juliana, the responsibility of possessing what might be a masterpiece, and her desire for even a chance at love and a life beyond the crumbling villa. The usually glamorous Graham is transformed into a dowdy and drab cipher of a woman with mousey hair severely pulled back from her face. Such a tempestuous situation, suddenly blowing into her monotonously empty life, leaves her completely drained of what little gumption she ever had.”

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            “The Dallas Opera was thrilled to seize the opportunity to bring the phenomenal Susan Graham to Dallas to make her long-awaited debut,” explained Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “And what better way to make a splash on the stage of the Winspear than with an all-star cast in a new, twenty-fifth anniversary production of The Aspern Papers, the company’s first commissioned opera.”

“The Callas Award gives the Dallas Opera a marvelous opportunity to recognize the extraordinary caliber of singing artists who grace this stage, year after year,” Cerny added.  “Miss Graham must have made an indelible impression on our subscribers, who awarded her this sought-after accolade after considering a host of worthy contenders for this season’s prize.”

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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 2013 recipient responded to the news, by email, with a statement read this evening by Keith Cerny:

To the Board and Trustees of The Dallas Opera, Keith Cerny, and the patrons of The Dallas Opera:

“I am thrilled to receive the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award!  In our profession, there aren’t many avenues for singling out a specific artist for a specific project, and             “The Aspern Papers” is an opera that is very dear to me.  When the role of Tina was offered to me a couple of years ago, I was very excited to do another role in this opera (I performed the ingénue role of Sonia 20 years ago in Washington DC!), and Dallas was the perfect place to do it.

Our stellar cast and conductor Graeme Jenkins, spearheaded by the wonderfully imaginative stage director Timothy Albery, made this show unforgettable, not to mention the amazing experience of singing in your world-class Winspear Opera House.  To be recognized in my debut with the company is a very great honor indeed, and to receive it in my home state of Texas is the icing on the cake.  Plus, Maria Callas is a longtime idol for me, and virtually everyone in my profession who appreciates organic passionate artistry.  I try to imbue my performances with the kind of honesty of emotion and storytelling, so I’m doubly thrilled to receive an award bearing her great name. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great award. 

Sincerely and with love,

Susan Graham

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 There were six additional 2012-2013 Season nominees for the Callas Award (artists making outstanding company debuts in a principal role)—all the contenders are listed below in alphabetical order):

  NOMINEES FOR 2013 MARIA CALLAS AWARD

Orlin Anastassov, bass – “Ramfis” in Aïda
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano – “Sonia” in The Aspern Papers
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano – “Tina” in The Aspern Papers
Joseph Kaiser, tenor – “Aspern” in The Aspern Papers
Nadia Krasteva, mezzo-soprano – “Amneris” in Aïda
Lise Lindstrom, soprano – “Princess Turandot” in Turandot
Christian Van Horn, bass – “Timur” in Turandot

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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, Greek-born Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu (Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata).

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “MAY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”
IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS
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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’s 2013-2014 “By Love Transformed” Season
Is Coming Soon to an Opera House Near You!

 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

 

Ticket Information for the 2013-2014 Dallas Opera Season

  

            All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  Subscriptions are now on sale to the general public, starting at just $76.  Single Tickets starting at $19 and Flex Subscriptions will be going on sale Monday, July 8.  Family performances are $5 (subs $12 for three family performances) and will also go on sale June 1.  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 2013-2014 SEASON INFORMATION

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

CARMEN by Georges Bizet
October 25, 27(m), 30, November 2, 8 & 10(m), 2013
The most irresistible bad girl in opera—How can you possibly say “non”?
An opera in four acts first performed in Paris on March 3, 1875
Text by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée
Time: 19th century
Place: Seville, Spain
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Stage Director: Bliss Hebert
Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Costume Design: Werner Iverke
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotten
Starring: Clémentine Margaine**(Carmen), Brandon Jovanovich (Don José Oct. 25, 27, 30), Bruno Ribeiro* (Don José Nov. 2, 8, 10), Mary Dunleavy (Micaëla), Dwayne Croft (Escamillo), Danielle Pastin*(Frasquita), Audrey Babcock*(Mercédès), Kyle Albertson*(Zuniga), Steven LaBrie (Le Dancaïre), Victor Ryan Robertson (Remendado), John David Boehr*(Moralès).

DEATH AND THE POWERS by Tod Machover
February 12, 14, 15 & 16(m), 2014
Science fiction and poignant family drama combine in a major regional premiere!
An opera in one act first performed in Monte Carlo, Monaco at the Salle Garnier in September 24, 2010.
Text by Robert Pinsky, based on a story by Pinsky and Randy Weiner
Time: Unknown time in the future
Place: Earth, the home of billionaire Simon Powers
Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Stage Director: Diane Paulus*
Associate Director: Andrew Eggert*
Scenic Design: Alex McDowell*
Costume Design: David Woolard*
Lighting Design: Don Holder
Choreography: Karole Armitage*
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Starring: Robert Orth (Simon Powers/Robot One), Joélle Harvey (Miranda/Robot Four), Patricia Risley(Evvy/Robot Three), Hal Cazalet*(Nicholas/Robot Two), Frank Kelley*(The United Way), David Kravitz*(The United Nations), Tom McNichols*(The Administration).

DIE TOTE STADT (“THE DEAD CITY”) by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
March 21, 23(m), 26, 29 and April 6(m), 2014
The Hitchcock-like tale of one man’s dark obsession with the woman he loved and lost.
An opera in three acts first performed in Hamburg & Cologne, Germany on December 4, 1920
Text by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Paul Schott based on a novel by Georges Rodenbach, Bruges la morte
Time: End of the 19th century
Place: The city of Bruges in northwestern Belgium
Conductor: Sebastian Lang-Lessing*
Stage Director: Mikael Melbye
Scenic Design: Mikael Melbye*
Costume Design: Dierdre Clancy*
Video Design: Wendall Harrington*
Lighting Design: Mark McCullough
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Choreography: Matthew Ferraro*
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Anne Petersen**(Marietta) , Jay Hunter Morris (Paul), Morgan Smith (Fritz), Weston Hurt (Frank), Katherine Tier*(Brigitta), Andrew Bidlack (Albert), Jan Lund**(Victorin), Jennifer Chung (Juliette), Angela Turner Wilson (Lucienne).

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE by Gioachino Rossini
March 28, 30(m), April 2, 5, 11 & 13(m), 2014
Figaro, a scheming barber and jack-of-all-trades plots to release a headstrong girl from her gilded cage!
An opera in two acts first performed in Rome on February 20, 1816
Text by Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais, from his comedy Le Barbier de Séville
Time: 18th century
Place: Seville, Spain
Conductor: Giuliano Carella*
Stage Director: Herb Kellner
Original Production: John Copley
Scenic Design: John Conklin
Costume Design: Michael Stennet
Lighting Design: TBD
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Nathan Gunn (Figaro), Isabel Leonard*(Rosina), Alek Shrader*(Count Almaviva), Donato DiStefano (Dr. Bartolo), Burak Bilgili*(Don Basilio), Nathan De’Shon Myers (Fiorello), Christian Teague*(Ambrogio).

DALLAS OPERA FAMILY PERFORMANCES
Jack and the Beanstalk: October 26, 2013 and April 5, 2014
Family Concerts: November 3, 2013 and February 1, 2014
The Elixir of Love: November 9, 2013 and April 12, 2014

* 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.  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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