Iain Bell in “Conversation” at Booker T. Washington High

by Suzanne Calvin

Not for the public, because this time, we’re bringing one of the world’s most important living composers to the students at Booker T. Washington High School. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 17, 2014
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Celeste Hart 214-443-1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org celeste_hart@hotmail.com

THE DALLAS OPERA PRESENTS A NEW

“COMPOSING CONVERSATION
WITH IAIN BELL”
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Acclaimed Composer of A Harlot’s Progress;
Song Cycles: “The Undying Splendour” and
“The Hidden Place”
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In Conversation with Senior Classical Music & Opera Critic
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones.com
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Thursday, March 27, 1:30 p.m.
Booker T. Washington High School
For the Performing and Visual Arts
Black Box Theater ~ Dallas Arts District
Conducted Before a Live Student Audience

DALLAS, MARCH 17, 2014 – The Dallas Opera is proud to present the latest in our series of “Composing Conversations” on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Black Box Theater, 2501 Flora Street, Dallas.
The conversation, beginning at 1:30 p.m., will focus on the dynamic career of one of England’s most successful and accomplished composer-librettists, IAIN BELL. This insightful presentation will be conducted in front of a student audience, no general seating allowed.

Mr. Bell is a prolific composer of vocal works whose music has been performed by some of the greatest singers of our generation at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Munich Opera Festival.
Mr. Bell’s first opera, A Harlot’s Progress, received its world premiere in 2013 at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien. It received tremendous critical acclaim with The New York Times praising the strength of Bell’s orchestral and vocal writing. His second opera, an adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will receive its world premiere in December 2014, in Houston.
The other half of this conversation, hosted by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, will be presented by the Senior Classical Music and Opera Critic for the performing arts website Theater Jones.com, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs.
Mr. Isaacs is a composer in his own right (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for composition), as well as an award-winning singer, conductor, musician and arts journalist who has written and reviewed for a variety of Texas publications. The conversation will explore all aspects of Mr. Bell’s working career, as well as his ideas about music, drama and theater.

The event will also include a performance element with a surprise guest; however this event is not open to the general public.

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KEY BIOS

COMPOSER IAIN BELL:

Mr. Bell’s opera A Harlot’s Progress, (libretto by British author Peter Ackroyd), was performed by a stellar cast headed by soprano Diana Damrau and baritone Nathan Gunn, and conducted by Mikko Franck, in a production by Jens-Daniel Herzog. It was described in Der Standard as “A soul devouring juggernaut” and labeled as “Cinematic, dramatic, and thrilling” in Kurier.

In the concert hall, he has worked with pianists including Helmut Deutsch, Roger Vignoles, Iain Burnside, and Julius Drake. Highlights include the world premiere of his song cycle “The Undying Splendour” at Carnegie Hall by tenor Alek Shrader and the UK premiere of his Queen Victoria themed “Day Turned into Night” at Wigmore Hall by Christine Rice. A recent performance of his orchestral song cycle “The Hidden Place” by Damrau and the RSO Wien conducted by Walter Kobera was recorded for broadcast.

In 2014, Bell’s plans include a Shakespearean song-cycle commission from and premiering at Wigmore Hall, a performance of “Day Turned into Night” at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, and the Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adaptation.

GREGORY SULLIVAN ISAACS:
SENIOR CLASSICAL MUSIC AND OPERA CRITIC FOR THEATER JONES.COM:

Gregory is a professional musician and music journalist who has held numerous musical directorships of opera, choral and symphonic organizations. In 2009, he was honored by being chosen as a fellow for the sixth annual NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera. Other honors include a Pulitzer Prize nomination in composition, a Peabody award for performance, and an ASCAP award for his commitment to American Music. He holds a Master’s degree in music from the prestigious music program at Indiana University in Bloomington. He also writes for other publications including Arts+Culture Magazine, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Voice. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America and ASCAP. Email: gregoryisaacs@theaterjones.com

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT DALLAS OPERA EVENTS
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, Director Media & PR
214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera’s 2013-2014 “By Love Transformed” Season
Is Sponsored by Texas Instruments Foundation

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. Single Tickets starting at $19 and Flex Subscriptions are also on sale. Family performances are $5 and are on sale now. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2013-2014 SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Seventh International 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 (special time, 8:00 p.m.), October 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: Chris Alexander
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), William Ferguson* (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 on 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: Mardi Byers*(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: Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; 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 the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

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