Apply Now for Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera

by Suzanne Calvin

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Or Celeste Hart 214-443-1071

The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for
Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera
2017 Dallas Residency: Nov. 6-18, 2017
Deadline for Applications: April 30, 2017
TDO Seeks to Create New Opportunities for Talented Young Women Conductors Making Their Mark in the Field of Opera
Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
And the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

DALLAS, MARCH 7, 2017 – Striving to address a long-standing career imbalance in the opera world, The Dallas Opera is delighted to announce that applications are now being accepted for a unique residential program designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors: The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera (IWC). This year’s program represents the third residency of a twenty-year commitment made by the company.
Female conductors, as well as accomplished singers, opera coaches, accompanists, and instrumentalists with established careers seeking a new career at the podium are encouraged to apply for the upcoming institute, assembling in the fall of 2017. Although the emphasis is on women conductors on the cusp of major careers in opera, more seasoned applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors will meet on November 6, 2017 and run through November 18, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. This year’s institute will include two public concerts (on November 11th and November 18th) in addition to intensive one-on-one’s, master classes, career advancement curriculum, and opportunities to conduct the highly regarded Dallas Opera Orchestra.
The institute, conceived by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, was created with initial support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.
Since that time, it has garnered additional generous support from Linda and Mitch Hart and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Stated Mr. Cerny: “The Dallas Opera has demonstrated, in multiple ways, its unshakable commitment to reshaping the opera field through the use of innovative public outreach, and by exploring new technologies, commissioning new works to expand the operatic repertoire, and programming with passion and imagination.
“This much-needed program, generously supported by benefactors here in Dallas and elsewhere,” Mr. Cerny adds, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and insights to our collective understanding of this amazing art form.”
The tremendous success of the first two institute sessions has been recognized by music lovers, opera VIPs and the national media, earning a feature in Opera News magazine, published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, as well as a segment on PBS NewsHour seen across the U.S.
Scott Cantrell, Classical Music Critic for The Dallas Morning News lavished praise on individual performances in the inaugural concert and wrote: “Some fine conducting talents were displayed; one hopes to see and hear more from them.”
The Senior Classical Music Critic for Theater Jones, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, agreed: “They all did a fine job and got most of the details correct. Every one of them delivered involving performances and was, for the most part, right with the singers and clear in their stick technique. Most importantly, the orchestra responded to one and all with good ensemble playing and responsiveness to each conductor’s desires.”
The 2017 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors will provide a host of career-building opportunities:
• Fellows will rehearse and conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra, a full-sized professional ensemble, with outstanding young opera artists
• Participate in master classes with renowned conductor Carlo Montanaro, the
• Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and other stars of the podium
• Attend seminars and discussions, guided by a variety of experts (including Alec Treuhaft, former Senior Vice-President of IMG Artists, and Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny) on how women conductors can make a greater impact on their field and advance their conducting careers
• Network with peers and take part in a media “refresher” course

Six women will be selected from among those applying, along with four additional American observers to participate in this year’s Hart Institute. The Dallas Opera will provide the six fellows with a travel stipend, in-town housing, an honorarium, visa costs, and a per diem to cover basic living expenses. Most meals will be provided.
Hart Institute Observers will receive a travel and housing stipend. They will have complete access to master classes and seminars but will not have an opportunity to conduct. Most meals will be provided by The Dallas Opera.
Hart Institute Fellows are also eligible to take part in an annual spring/summer networking event for institute alumni. This spring, Hart Institute Fellows will gather at San Francisco Opera to work with Adler Fellows in an exciting new partnership for The Dallas Opera.
There is also the potential for one or more participants to be invited back to Dallas to serve as Assistant Conductors or Guest Conductors on future Dallas Opera productions.
The application process is now open, with a deadline of 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Sunday, April 30, 2017. Entry fee, $35. Applications may be submitted directly at
Early applications are definitely encouraged. For more information on The Women’s Conducting Institute at The Dallas Opera, please visit
Maestro Carlo Montanaro, music director of Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Poland from 2011 through 2014, has conducted both opera and concert repertoire on many of the world’s leading stages including La Scala, the Bastille Opera in Paris, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Verona’s Arena, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Communale in Florence, Vienna State Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Australia, the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Munich Opera, Monte Carlo Opera, and Teatro Verdi in Trieste (a collaboration which led to a Japanese tour with the orchestra).
The Dallas Opera’s Nicole Paiement, the Artistic Director and Conductor for San Francisco’s renowned contemporary opera company, Opera Parallèle, was singled out for praise in a recent Musical America “Profile in Courage” which wrote: “Working in a profession that often leaves women scandalously underrepresented, Paiement has established stellar credentials.”
As the subject of a 2015 article in Opera News (“The Mountain Climber” by Matthew Sigman), Paiement was described as “one of opera’s most adventurous spirits.” She also serves as Artistic Director of BluePrint, a contemporary music series at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she holds the Deléage Chair, and has broken important new ground in Dallas, where she was invited to conduct critically acclaimed performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, Death and the Powers by Tod Machover, and the successful 2015 world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s Everest. She has returned to The Dallas Opera this spring to conduct our first performances of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, in a Jonathan Kent production from Glyndebourne Opera.
Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America, remarked: “The Dallas Opera continues to expand its influence and stature among American opera companies, as shown by this exciting new initiative. The company is to be applauded for taking a significant step to remedy the existing gender imbalance on the podium. This effort complements OPERA America’s support of the work of female opera composers and promises to enrich the art form by encouraging more gifted artists to express themselves through opera.”
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family



Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at
Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at
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

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Single Tickets range from $19 to $275. Flex Subscriptions (three-performances of your choice) begin 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 Sixtieth 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 Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

MADAME BUTTERFLY by Giacomo Puccini
March 10, 12(m), 15, 18, 24, & 26(m), 2017
The must see, heart-wrenching Italian opera!
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica
Time: 1904
Place: Nagasaki, Japan
Conductor: Donato Renzetti
Stage Director: John Copley
Set and Costume Designer: Michael Yeargan
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Wig & Make-up Designer: Stephanie Williams
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Hui He* (Cio-Cio-San), Gianluca Terranova* (B.F. Pinkerton), Manuela Custer (Suzuki), Lucas Meachem* (Sharpless), David Cangelosi (Goro), Reginald Smith, Jr.* (The Bonze), Will Hughes (Prince Yamadori), Mark McCrory (Imperial Commissioner), Samuel P.J. Lopez (Registrar), Angela Turner Wilson (Kate Pinkerton)
A classic, period production (new to Dallas) from the San Francisco Opera!

THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Benjamin Britten
March 17, 19(m), 22, 25, 2017
A dark and gripping tale!
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper
Time: 1950s
Place: Bly, an English country house
Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Original Production: Jonathan Kent
Stage Director: Francesca Gilpin*
Set and Costume Designer: Paul Brown
Original Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson
Lighting Design Recreated By: David Manion
Wig and Make-up Designer: Stephanie Williams
Starring: William Burden (Prologue/Peter Quint), Emma Bell* (Governess), Oliver Nathanielsz* (Miles), Ashley Emerson* (Flora), Dolora Zajick* (Mrs. Grose), Alexandra LoBianco* (Miss Jessel)
An acclaimed production from Glyndebourne!

NORMA by Vincenzo Bellini
April 21, 23(m), 26, 29, May 7(m), 2017
A thrilling and suspenseful masterpiece!
Libretto by Felice Romani
Time: 50 B.C.
Place: Roman-occupied Gaul
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Stage Director: Nic Muni
Set Designer: John Conklin
Costume Designer: John Conklin
Lighting Designer: Thomas Hase
Wig & Make-up Designer: Stephanie Williams
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Elza van den Heever (Norma), Marina Costa Jackson* (Adalgisa), Yonghoon Lee* (Pollione), Christian Van Horn (Oroveso), Mithra Mastropierro* (Clotilde), Charles Karanja (Flavio)
An atmospheric production from Cincinnati Opera!

* 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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