Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera Announce Exciting Co-Production!

by Celeste Hart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 20, 2014

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 817-995-1687
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org
Or Edward Wilensky 619-384-7636
Edward.Wilensky@sdopera.com             

THE DALLAS OPERA AND SAN DIEGO OPERA
ARE VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT
SAN DIEGO OPERA WILL
CO-PRODUCE GREAT SCOTT

~~~~

THE FIRST OPERA BY COMPOSER JAKE HEGGIE AND LIBRETTIST TERRENCE MCNALLY SINCE THEIR ACCLAIMED DEAD MAN WALKING (2000)

            SAN FRANCISCO, JUNE 20, 2014 – The Dallas Opera proudly welcomes a co-producer, San Diego Opera, to the first major project in fourteen years by critically acclaimed American composer Jake Heggie (Moby-Dick) and Tony Award-winning playwright and librettist Terrence McNally (Master Class). 

GREAT SCOTT will star world-renowned mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato in her eagerly anticipated Dallas Opera debut.  The world premiere performances in Dallas, with support from The Eugene McDermott Foundation, The Hoblitzelle Foundation and The Carol Franc Buck Foundation, will be staged by Broadway legend Jack O’Brien (former Artistic Director of San Diego’s Old Globe Theater) and conducted by one of the fastest-rising young artists at the podium today: Maestro Evan Rogister.

GREAT SCOTT opens the Dallas Opera’s 2015-2016 Season with five performances scheduled from October 30, 2015 through November 15, 2015 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  Additional performances in San Diego will follow in the 2016-17 Season.

Composer Jake Heggie shared the big news today in San Francisco at the Opening Session of OPERA America’s Opera Conference 2014.

“I’m very honored and touched,” said Mr. Heggie, “to be a part of this magical, remarkable occasion.”  Word of SDO’s commitment to the piece was followed by the first public performance of an aria from GREAT SCOTT by acclaimed American lyric soprano Heidi Stober, a principal artist at Deutsche Oper Berlin and a sought-after guest artist in opera houses around the world.

Previous co-commissions and co-productions by the two companies include the tremendously successful adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, brought to the opera stage in 2010 by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer and seen in Canada, San Francisco, Australia and, most recently, in Washington, D.C.; as well as an earlier world premiere production of Thérèse Raquin by composer Tobias Picker and Mr. Scheer.

“For months now, the San Diego Opera saga has been the most closely watched story in the western opera world,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “It is incredibly gratifying to be able to welcome the company as a partner in this exhilarating project.  SDO’s involvement sends a powerful message to our industry—and the message is this: San Diego Opera is here to stay and planning for an exciting future!

“We have tremendous confidence in the leadership exhibited by Carol Lazier and the San Diego Opera Board, as well as William Mason, SDO’s new artistic advisor, and we are certain that San Diego Opera will play a vital and productive role in bringing Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s original concept to life for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere.”

“Jake Heggie is no stranger to San Diego Opera,” shares San Diego Opera Board President Carol Lazier. “After his wildly successful Moby-Dick in 2012, when we heard that Jake was working on a new opera we knew we had to be part of it. At its heart, Great Scott asks ‘What is worth fighting for?’ a question that resonates with us here in the San Diego community.

“This opera also gives us the opportunity to work again with The Dallas Opera, who have been champions for our continued survival since day one, offering advice and logistical support during these transitional times. They are a great partner to work with, having been co-producers on Moby-Dick, co-commissioners on Thérèse Raquin, and partners on productions of Madama Butterfly and Aida over the years. Our participation in Great Scott is a show of support for Jake and The Dallas Opera, a commitment to the future of great American opera, and a statement to let the world know that San Diego Opera is still here and we are not going anywhere.”

“It is extremely gratifying to learn about this co-production of Jake and Terrence’s next opera,” wrote Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America.  “The collaboration of these artists promises to add another important work to the American opera repertoire.  It is equally exciting that The Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera will work together as co-producers of the piece, demonstrating that bold artistic plans that include new American operas can and should be part of a an opera company’s strategy for long-term success.”

“What a triumph on every level,” said Jake Heggie.  “I couldn’t be more grateful to all parties involved.”

“At the heart of GREAT SCOTT are big questions about artistic and personal sacrifice, picking our battles and the kind of cultural legacy we want to leave for the future, as well as our personal responsibility in that legacy.  How appropriate that the Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera—two companies that have recently triumphed over adversity—have now become two of the standard bearers in this challenging dialogue!  Loyal audiences, staffs and highly motivated leadership are embracing artistic collaborations to keep these companies vital—eyes on the horizon—as  they construct a future based on fresh ideas, new works and different perspectives.”

~~~~

Terrence McNally and Jake Heggie have set GREAT SCOTT in “an important American city” that boasts a respected but struggling opera company and a thriving football team.  Arden Scott, the hometown girl who has become an international opera star, has returned to her roots to help save the company.  She has chosen not a standard classic or a new work, but a long-lost bel canto opera she recently discovered: Vittorio Bazzetti’s Rosa Dolorosa, Figlia di Pompeii, which has been gathering dust ever since its composition in 1835.

By chance, the opera company is set to give the world premiere the same night the local football team, the Grizzlies, will play in their first Super Bowl across town—an event that will be telecast to 100 million viewers.  The owner of the team is married to the opera company’s founder, Winnie Flato.  Success on the field is no less important than Arden’s and Maestro Bazzetti’s in the opera house.  No wonder Arden finds herself is in a state of personal crisis over the career and life she has chosen as every conceivable disaster seems to await the company.

With a large cast and chorus, two mad scenes, an erupting volcano and a difficult unknown score, will mere human resources be equal to the opera’s inhuman demands?  And a defeat at the Super Bowl could be end of Winnie’s opera company as well.

Heggie also remarked, “What an incredibly fun challenge for a composer!  To create the sounds of an American opera company as they rehearse a never-heard Italian bel canto opera—and to throw in a fight song for the local football team, as well.  I think this is a story we can all relate to!”

~~~~

            Joyce DiDonato, “probably the most in-demand lyric coloratura mezzo in the world” (Opera News), will sing the title role of opera singer Arden Scott for the world premiere performances in Dallas.  Miss DiDonato triumphed in recent seasons in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Maria Stuarda, as well as in the Met’s 2011 world premiere of The Enchanted Island, prompting Anthony Tomassini of The New York Times to write, “She commanded the stage from her first showcase scene…singing with cool control, then bursting into fearless flights of passagework.”

Last spring, she dazzled audiences in London as Elena in La Donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House.  Michael Church of The Independent raved: “…words fail.  No other singer could match what this blonde bombshell from Kansas does, marrying coloratura with the serene liquidity of birdsong to an expressiveness of heart-stopping beauty.  Go, listen, and marvel.”

Just weeks ago, Ms. Di Donato received an Honorary Doctorate from Juilliard where she also delivered the commencement address at the 109th Commencement Ceremony.  Additionally, Ms. DiDonato was instrumental in the early stages of the “Save San Diego Opera” campaign, encouraging her fans through social media to support the Company’s fight for survival.

For additional information or to arrange interviews, please contact San Diego Opera Director of Public Relations Edward Wilensky at 619-384-7636 or Dallas Opera Director of Media and Public Relations Suzanne Calvin at 817-995-1687 on site in San Francisco.

~~~~

 

About San Diego Opera:

 

San Diego Opera announced its 2015 season and 50th Anniversary on May 19, 2014, after nearly two months of careful deliberations and analysis since the Company announced it was going to close at the end of the 2014 season.  During this time, the Company launched a crowd funding campaign that resulted in an unprecedented $2.2 million in public donations, of which 48% were first time donors from 6 countries and 36 States. The outpouring of public support, the unified vision expressed by the company’s management, staff, partners and contractors, and the expert advice of Opera America and the many General Directors of U.S. opera companies who weighed in with encouragement, logistical assistance and statements of solidarity, led the Board of Directors, headed by Carol Lazier, to confidently rescind the original vote to close.  The Company appointed former Lyric Opera of Chicago General Director, William Mason, as Artistic Advisor last month and has begun a search for permanent leadership to lead the Company as it reinvents itself to better serve the diverse San Diego community.

 

About the Dallas Opera:

 

More than half-a-century of artistic excellence, technical innovation and community engagement have enabled The Dallas Opera to make a major contribution to the international cultural reputation of Dallas and add significantly to the economic impact of the performing arts across North Texas.  The Dallas Opera has presented a host of international stars in their American debuts, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Jon Vickers, and Plácido Domingo, as well as designer-director Franco Zeffirelli.  A champion of new work, The Dallas Opera has presented the American premieres of five operas and additional world premieres.  Most recently, the company commissioned composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer to create a tremendously successful new opera based on Herman Melville’s 19th century novel “Moby-Dick,” as well as forthcoming new operas by British composer Joby Talbot (“Everest”), Heggie and Terrence McNally (“Great Scott”), and American composer Mark Adamo (“Young Santa Claus”), all slated to take centerstage in 2015.  The Dallas Opera has pioneered classical music simulcasts in North Texas at locations ranging from Klyde Warren Park to AT&T (formerly Cowboys) Stadium and continues to seek new ways to engage the entire community and bring the thrill of opera to people of all ages, educational levels and backgrounds.

 

~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JUNE AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Season

  

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  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 2014-2015 SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-EighthInternational 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 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.  The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

 

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

October 24, 26(m), 29, November 1, 7 and 9(m), 2014

In a single crazy, romantic day, doors will be locked and unlocked, disguised donned, kisses exchanged and innermost hearts revealed—to some of the most memorable music Mozart ever composed.

An opera in four acts first performed in Vienna on May 1, 1786

Text by Lorenzo Da Ponte after the 1784 play La folle journée, ou Le mariage de Figaro by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

Time: The late 18th century

Place: Aguasfrescas near Seville, Spain, the Almaviva’s country house

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Kevin Moriarty

Production Design: John Bury*

Lighting Design: Mark McCullough

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Choreography: Joel Ferrell*

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Mirco Palazzi (Figaro), Beate Ritter** (Susanna), Joshua Hopkins (Count Almaviva), Nicole Car** (Countess Almaviva), Emily Fons (Cherubino), Diana Montague* (Marcellina), Kevin Langan (Doctor Bartolo), Doug Jones (Don Basilio), Angela Mannino (Barbarina), Adam Lau* (Antonio) and Jon Kolbet (Don Curzio).

Production Owned by Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

SALOME by Richard Strauss

October 30, November 2(m), 5, 8, 2014

Once in a great while, the term “over the top” doesn’t seem nearly high enough.

An opera in one act first performed in Dresden, Germany on December 9, 1905

Hedwig Lachmann’s German translation of Oscar Wilde’s French language play

Time: During the time of Jesus Christ

Place: King Herod’s palace on the Sea of Galilee

Conductor: Evan Rogister*

Stage Director: Francesca Zambello

Original Production: Francesca Zambello

Scenic Design: Peter J. Davison*

Costume Design: Anita Yavich

Lighting Design: Mark McCullough

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Choreography: Yael Levitin*

Starring: Deborah Voigt* (Salome), Robert Brubaker (Herod), Greer Grimsley* (Jokanaan), Susan Bickley* (Herodias), Scott Quinn (Narraboth), Heather Johnson* (Herodias’Page), Bradley Garvin (First Nazarene), Grigory Soloviov* (First Soldier), Jason Grant (Second Soldier), Joseph Hu (First Jew), Jay Gardner (Second Jew), John Robert Lindsey (Third Jew), Steven Haal (Fourth Jew), Patrick Guetti* (Fifth Jew), Tyler Simpson* (Second Nazarene), NaGuanda Nobles (A Slave) and Matthew Stump* (A Cappadocian).

Production Owned by Washington National Opera

 

A RARE DALLAS OPERA DOUBLE BILL:

 

LA WALLY by Alfredo Catalani

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

The Climactic Final Act!

First performed in Milan, Italy on January 20, 1892

Text by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern’s story, Die Geyer-Wally

Time: Around the year 1800

Place: The Austrian Alps

Conductor: Anthony Barrese

Stage Director: Candace Evans

Scenic Design: TBD

Costume Design: TBD

Lighting Design: TBD

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Latonia Moore (Wally), Carl Tanner* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (Walter)

A Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

 

With EVEREST by Joby Talbot

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

A Dallas Opera World Premiere!

Text by Gene Scheer

Time: Modern Day

Place: In the Death Zone on Mount Everest

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: TBD

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: TBD

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Sasha Cooke (Jan Arnold), Kevin Burdette* (Beck Weathers) and Craig Verm* (Doug Hanson).

 

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2015

A passionate and timeless masterpiece in a beloved period production

An opera in four acts first performed in Turin, Italy on February 1, 1896

Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème

Time: mid-19th century

Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza*

Stage Director: Peter Kazaras

Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotton

Starring: Ana Maria Martinez (Mimi), Bryan Hymel (Rodolfo), Davinia Rodriguez* (Musetta), Jonathan Beyer (Marcello), Alexander Vinogradov* (Colline), Stephen LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit).

One of the Dallas Opera’s Most Popular!

 

IOLANTA by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

April 10, 12(m), 15 and 18, 2015

A rarely performed Tchaikovsky gem, set in Medieval Provence!

First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892

Text by Modest Tchaikovsky based on the Danish play King Rene’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz

Time: The 15th century

Place: Provence, a mountainous region in Southern France

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Christian Räth

Scenic Design: TBD

Costume Design: TBD

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Ekaterina Scherbachenko* (Iolanta), Sergei Skorokhodov* (Count Vaudémont), Joanna Mongiardo* (Brigitta), Lauren McNeese (Laura), Tamara Mumford* (Marta), Andrei Bondarenko** (Robert, Duke of Burgandy), Mikhail Kolelishvili (Renè, King of Provence), Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), Vladislav Sulimsky** (Ibn-Hakia) and Jordan Bisch (Bertrand).

Another New Dallas Opera Production

 

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

###

 

Comments are closed.