Brian Zeger to Chair Judges Panel at 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

by Suzanne Calvin

There are major changes afoot at the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition for 2015 -- starting with the Judges Panel.  Read on!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071

Has Been Appointed to Chair Judging of
The 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition
Now, Bigger Than Texas!
Expanded format to Include National Applicant Pool and Finals Round Performed with The Dallas Opera Orchestra
Conducted by Internationally Renowned
TDO Music Director Emmanuel Villaume

DALLAS, TX, AUGUST 26, 2014 -- The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the appointment of Brian Zeger as Chair of the Judges Panel for the 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. This season’s competition will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2015 and Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the elegant setting of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.
On the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1993 and Artistic Director of Vocal Arts at Juilliard since 2004, Dr. Zeger is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
As a performer, Dr. Zeger is a frequent recital partner and artistic collaborator to leading vocal artists including Deborah Voigt, Anna Netrebko, Marilyn Horne, René Pape, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Joyce DiDonato, Bryn Terfel and Susan Graham.
Dr. Zeger has lent a distinguished musical presence to a variety of recordings for EMI Classics, Delos, Naxos, New World and Koch.
A polished broadcast professional and frequent guest on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, Dr. Zeger has also contributed critical essays for publications such as Opera News, Chamber Music Magazine and The Yale Review. He has participated in countless summer festivals: Ravinia, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Aldeburgh and Aspen, as well as the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival where he served as artistic director from 1993-2000. This native New Yorker has also adjudicated the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Concert Artists Guild Auditions and the Walter W. Naumberg Vocal Competition.
Judges for the expanded 27th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition will be drawn from distinguished performers and opera administrators and will also include General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and newly-appointed Artistic Administrator Ian Derrer.
The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, historically, has been focused on singers with Texas roots or academic connections, and its many distinguished alumni include Latonia Moore, Clifton Forbis, Marjorie Owens, Weston Hurt, Steven LaBrie and Jesus Garcia.
As the competition seeks to gain even greater prominence and significance, The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild are making two significant changes:

• First, in order to attract the most talented applicant pool, with the greatest potential, the eligibility criteria for applicants to the 2015 competition has changed. It will be open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Competitors must be individuals aged 18 to 32 on the dates of the actual competition.

• Second, the Finals Round of the competition, which will take place on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Winspear Opera House, will be accompanied for the first time by The Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by TDO’s acclaimed Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume. Up to six finalists will participate, singing two arias each.

Responding to his appointment as Chair of the Judges Panel, Dr. Zeger noted, “I am delighted to be collaborating with General Director and CEO Keith Cerny and Music Director Emmanuel Villaume on this new expanded format. We are already working to engage a distinguished panel of judges, and I know these changes will allow The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition to reach even greater heights.”

Commented General Director & CEO Keith Cerny: “The Dallas Opera is delighted to be working with Dr. Zeger and partnering closely with The Dallas Opera Guild. Dr. Zeger brings an enviable reputation as a pianist, coach, and arts administrator, and we are honored to have him work with us to enhance the competition and to chair the judges’ panels for preliminary, semi-final, and final rounds.”

“Having known Brian Zeger for many years, I am looking forward to collaborating with him on this newly expanded competition,” said Music Director Emmanuel Villaume. “It will be a particular delight to work with TDO’s excellent orchestra to accompany the competition finalists next April.”

Dallas Opera Guild President Susan Fleming explained that “The Guild has long been proud of the annual Vocal Competition, and our members who work countless hours behind the scenes to bring the competition to life. We are pleased to be working together with General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Maestro Emmanuel Villaume, and Brian Zeger to build on our past success and to increase the national prominence of this competition.”

Dallas Opera Guild 2015 Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald added, “Building on the foundation of all those who came before us, we have a unique opportunity to restructure this competition to enable it to do even more to advance the careers of the best young singers in opera. That is our ultimate goal, in taking this event to the next level.”


Potential applicants are encouraged to check TDO’s website for more information about the application process, as well as YAP Tracker. The Dallas Opera will begin accepting applications for the 2015 competition on September 15, 2014. The entry fee is $35. Applications must be submitted exclusively through YAP Tracker — no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2014. Semifinalists will be notified on January 15, 2015. Additional details regarding the changes to the competition may be found at

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is conveniently located in the heart of the Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201.


The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by Texas Instruments
and the Betty and Steve Suellentrop Educational Outreach Fund. TDO Family Performances are a part of the Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs.


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-Eighth 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 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 Talks 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


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: Robert Brill
Costume Design: David C. Woolard
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
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: David C. Woolard
Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
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: Christian Räth
Costume Design: Susan Cox
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.


Comments are closed.