FIRST SIGHT – Spectacular Season Kick-Off!

by Celeste Hart

A Fashion Show like no other! Gorgeous custom gowns inspired by our “Heights of Passion” season, dozens of incredible Roberto Cavalli evening wear designs, a delectable Wolfgang Puck Luncheon, all presented at the Winspear Opera House. Reservations now being taken!


Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071















 DALLAS, AUGUST 7, 2014 -- It’s the place to see and be seen this fall – FIRST SIGHT FASHION SHOW AND LUNCHEONThe Dallas Opera 2014-15 “Heights of Passion” Season opens with a stunning fashion show featuring styles by world-class Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, as well as, six custom-made gowns created by internationally renowned designers inspired by each of the operas presented this season. The lavish event, co-chaired by Lynn McBee and Nicholas Even, also includes a delectable gourmet luncheon. Elizabeth Kimple is the Chair of the luncheon.

FIRST SIGHT FASHION SHOW AND LUNCHEON, held at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., is being coordinated by RSC Show Productions. The opera-themed gowns will also be presented on the red carpet for the opening night of The Marriage of Figaro. They will later be auctioned individually by international auction house Heritage Auctions as a fundraiser for the Dallas Opera, a non-profit arts organization. The event is being sponsored with the generous support of NorthPark Center, Haynes and Boone, LLP, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and Heritage Auctions. The Winspear Opera house is located at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX, 75201.

Roberto Cavalli is a luxury boutique that offers the Italian designer’s lifestyle brand of women’s ready to wear, accessories, handbags, shoes, and sunglasses. Roberto Cavalli is synonymous with joy and optimism, with glamour and success. The fashions presented at FIRST SIGHT will be from the 2014 Fall Collection and include sensational evening wear selections. Cristiano Mancini, Director of Marketing for Roberto Cavalli International and well known in the fashion world, will be in attendance to introduce its fashion show.

Rhonda Sargent Chambers of RSC Show Productions, the Chair of the Fashion Show, has secured the participation of six tremendous, in-demand designers to create the custom fashions. All of the style-makers are based in Dallas and are known internationally for their innovative haute couture clothing. Their spectacular original gowns will be unique, opera-inspired creations.

“The Dallas Opera provides an experiential event with a seasoned blend of entertainment, arts and fashion for the FIRST SIGHT Fashion Show and Luncheon. How thrilling when an artistic community offers so many genres of amusement and merriment! We are delighted to coordinate this event once again and are honored to work for such an amazing team at the Dallas Opera,” says Ms. Chambers. “The FIRST SIGHT Fashion Show and Luncheon, featuring our internationally home grown designers, along with the impressive talent of our featured designer, Roberto Cavalli, will delight everyone’s fashionable needs.  How wonderful is it that Dallas has so much talent to offer?  To impact our emotional and cognitive senses…this fashion extravaganza will be like no other!” she added.

Textile and Fashion Artist Elizabeth Anyaa creates timeless, ethereal, sensual, contemporary textiles that are exquisitely organic, and spectacular to observe. Anyaa’s textiles are used to create ‘wearable art’ treasures for the individual, wall hangings, household furnishings and sculptures for public areas, the home, and work space. Anyaa’s three-dimensional textiles have an ease and dramatic visual impact. Each piece is unique and involves artistry and skills in formation, draping and coloration. According to Anyaa, these are pieces to admire, treasure and pass on. She will design a gown inspired by the opera La Wally.

Over the past three decades, Michael Faircloth has become a leader in the arts and fashion communities in Dallas. He has donated his time and couture designs to benefit numerous charities in Texas, including Dallas Opera’s “First Sight”. He received national attention in 2001 for his design of Laura Bush’s red Inaugural gown, which is now a permanent installation in The Smithsonian Museum. The same year, he received the Dallas Fashion Award from the Fashion Group International, at the Dallas Market Center. Mr. Faircloth received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of North Texas in 2003 for career achievements, and his numerous contributions to the school and design programs. Starting in 2013, he established an in-house mentoring program, which promotes and encourages young aspiring fashion designers to build and maintain their own businesses. Mr. Faircloth will conceive the idea for his gown from the opera Iolanta.

Abi Ferrin’s unique and versatile designs are not the only element that set her apart. She began sewing at the age of five and won a national McCall’s sewing competition at thirteen, but also had a desire to make a difference even at a young age. After a move to Hollywood when she was in her twenties, she took a job at Paramount Pictures. Ms. Ferrin picked up her childhood hobby and began designing pieces to wear to industry parties. She quickly received attention from celebrities and national media. However she became a victim of abuse and left Hollywood. She would later be named Texas’ Next Top Designer which included a Stanley Korshak product placement, a cash prize, a trip to fashion week in New York, and a rent-free loft to work in for a year. Her boutique storefront is there to this day. The Freedom Project, founded by Ms. Ferrin, is the philanthropic arm and foundation of the company inspired by her experiences and her commitment to helping empower people. Her motto is Fashion with Freedom and Purpose, which comes full circle as a hand-made element is included on each item of her collection. She will design the gown representing Salome.

Khanh Nguyen, Fashion Designer, is the award-winning Creative Director and Designer of her own label, Nha Khanh, consisting of designs that focus on modern glamour, inspired by art, architecture, and most importantly, nature. The designs are ethereal, meticulously constructed, and host an ease about them that allows for an effortless sensibility. The company offers seasonal “advanced contemporary” ready-to-wear, a custom Atelier collection, which hosts one-of-a-kind and custom pieces, as well as a bridal line. The Nha Khanh mission is to empower a woman with inner-strength through her clothing with a focus on “elegance with a modern edge.” Ms. Nguyen motivation will be derived from the opera La bohème.

Edo Popken is a Swiss International Designer known for his limited-edition dress shirts, colorful fashion approach, love for detail and eco-friendly and ethically correct craftsmanship. Edo Popken started his catalog and online store in 2009 in order to cover the increasing demand from the United States and its international clientele spread all over the world. Today he is heavily investing in the research and launch of his first brick & mortar store in the United States in Dallas. His Dallas Flagship store is also the U.S. headquarters of Edo Popken Switzerland, LLC and includes housing the Operations and Fulfillment for his remote shopping channels. Mr. Popken’s fashion for men will be a creation based on the opera Everest.

Nicolas Villalba, Couturier and Fashion Designer is the international award-winning owner and principal designer of Nicolas Villalba -- COUTURE.  Originally an evening wear designer, Mr. Villalba now specializes in all things custom, including bridal, menswear, costumes, and linens.  After graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design, Nicolas was chosen to represent the U.S. in the European design competition, “Etoilles de la Mode” where he became the first American to win the “Prix du Public.”  He was also honored with the Fashion Group International “Rising Star Award,” the “Excellence in Design” award, and the DIFFA “Legend of Style” award. He was a two-time winner in the 2011 Dallas Voice Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Designer – a first for the magazine. Mr. Villalba does private label work for Stanley Korshak, Neiman-Marcus, TODD Events, and other high-end retailers. He can be reached at his design studio for new client consultations. He will derive his ideas for his FIRST SIGHT gown from The Marriage of Figaro.

Event Architect/CEO of Triad Event Solutions, Jeffrey Horn, will design FIRST SIGHT together with Larry Leathers. According to Horn, an event must create a meaningful experience for guests, so his signature style, which combines artistic sensibility with a hint of whimsy, provides the perfect foundation. “FIRST SIGHT is going to be exciting, with a high-tech runway and an Everest Artist’s Pallet of beautiful frosty blues,” he says. Larry Leathers is a designer based in Dallas whose work spans a variety of creative fields from retail display to event and exhibit design to prop fabrication for film and theatre.

The luncheon will be a sumptuous offering by Winspear Opera House caterer Wolfgang Puck. Known for culinary innovations, uncompromising quality, and genuine hospitality, Wolfgang Puck Catering treats guests to restaurant quality cuisine, flawless service and culinary artistry.

Heritage Auctions strives to be the world’s most trusted and efficient marketplace and information resource for owners of fine art, jewels, rare collectibles, and other precious objects. Its world headquarters is based in Dallas with additional offices in Beverly Hills, San Francisco and New York. The gowns will be available for purchase on their website from October 24 to November 8, 2014. For more information, please call 877-HERITAGE (437-4824).




For more information or to purchase tickets to FIRST SIGHT OR FIRST NIGHT, please visit:


FIRST SIGHT Fashion Show and Luncheon

Thursday, October 23, 2014; 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Co-Chairs Lynn McBee and Nick Even

Fashion Show Producer and Chair – Rhonda Sargent Chambers

Luncheon Chair – Elizabeth Kimple

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House Lobby

Cost: Tables start at $10,000 each to individual tickets for $250.00

Featuring: Opera-themed custom gowns by renowned designers, gourmet luncheon, Fashion Show by Roberto Cavalli

All proceeds benefit the Dallas Opera


FIRST NIGHT Pre-Performance Dinner

Friday, October 24, 2014; 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Co-Chairs Lynn McBee and Nicholas Even

Dinner Co-Chairs – Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger

Sammons Park in front of the Winspear – Tent

Cost: Tables starting at $25,000. Individual tickets for $750.00 (All Dinner tickets include After Party ticket)

(Opening night Opera performance tickets sold separately)

Featuring: Three-course gourmet dinner and “red carpet” arrival

Black Tie Optional

All proceeds benefit the Dallas Opera


The Dallas Opera FIRST NIGHT After Party

Friday, October 24, 2014; 11:00 pm to 1:30 am

Co-Chairs Lynn McBee and Nicholas Even

After Party Co-Chairs Jenifer Strauss and Robert Weatherly

Sammons Park in front of the Winspear -- Tent

Individual tickets for $125.00

(Opening night Opera performance tickets sold separately)

Featuring: DJ Lucy Wrubel, Wolfgang Puck Sweet & Savory, Open Bar






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



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 begins 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, disguises 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





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 Hansen).


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), Sergey 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.




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