Cast Change for May 7th Performance of NORMA

by Suzanne Calvin


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                     Or Celeste Hart 214-443-1071                      


by Vincenzo Bellini
Soprano Aviva Fortunata

Steps into the Title Role

Co-Starring Marina Costa-Jackson, Yonghoon Lee

And Christian Van Horn
Conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume

Directed by Nic Muni


MAY 7, 2017, 2:00 p.m.
The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

AT&T Performing Arts Center

With Production Support from TACA

Tickets start at $19
Call 214-443-1000 or Visit


            DALLAS, May 3, 2017 – The Dallas Opera has released soprano Elza van den Heever from singing the upcoming matinee performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s NORMA on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., due to a family emergency.  Acclaimed Italian-Canadian soprano, Aviva Fortunata, will assume the role of the betrayed Druid priestess.

            This final performance in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, during OPERA America week, will serve as the grand finale of The Dallas Opera’s exciting and highly successful 60th Season.

            Tickets for NORMA begin at just $19 and may be purchased at or by contacting the friendly professional staff at The Dallas Opera Ticket Office: 214-443-1000.




Set during the Roman occupation of Gaul in 50 B.C.E., a passionate love triangle in the midst of a deepening culture clash leads to dangerous consequences.  A Druid high priestess, Norma (soprano Aviva Fortunata), is in the throes of despair after discovering that her longtime lover, a Roman proconsul for whom she has borne two children, may have been unfaithful.  Pollione (sung by tenor Yonghoon Lee in his company debut) confesses to a friend that he no longer loves Norma. His amorous attentions are now focused on Adalgisa, a young novice priestess (portrayed by soprano Marina Costa-Jackson), who reluctantly returns his love.  Pollione brushes aside a warning about Norma’s hair-trigger temper and her capacity for rage. 

Amid the turmoil of the occupation, personal betrayal, and impending revolution, Norma is driven to the very brink of insanity, convinced that her life is coming undone, and fearing what the future may hold for her disgraced “fatherless” children.

This production is generously supported by TACA.




           Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata has been praised as being “blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude” (Musical Toronto). Ms. Fortunata was a finalist in the 2016 Operalia Competition in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she performed under the baton of Maestro Plácido Domingo.  Representing Canada in the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, she was a finalist for the Song Prize.  A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Ms. Fortunata’s assignments included the role of Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, the title role in Norma, Anna in Maometto II, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes.  Ms. Fortunata is a graduate of the prestigious San Francisco Opera Merola Opera Program.


            Critically acclaimed international conductor and Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume leads The Dallas Opera Orchestra in one of Bellini’s greatest contributions to the bel canto repertoire.  The maestro is concluding his fourth season with the company; a season in which he has conducted a wide variety of works reflecting different styles and periods: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick (a revival of the Leonard Foglia production for The Dallas Opera that launched this worldwide success), Bellini’s Norma – and, still to come: Villaume will conduct a semi-staged performance of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s Everest (Friday, May 5th) a tremendously powerful 2015 Dallas Opera world premiere, with Talbot’s brand-new Everest Prelude.



            Stage director Nic Muni is making his company debut in this period production.  Mr. Muni served as artistic director of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  His productions have graced the stages of San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Prague National Opera, and The Kurt Weill International Festival, among others.

Set and Costume Design is by renowned opera, Broadway and Off-Broadway designer John Conklin.  Lighting design is by internationally acclaimed designer Thomas C. Hase, with wig and make-up design by Stephanie Williams.

As always, the renowned Dallas Opera Chorus will be prepared for the performances by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.


            The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talks, a free, pre-performance lecture, will be conducted one hour prior to curtain at all Norma performances. More perspective can be gained through “Opera Insights” presented by The Dallas Opera Guild. The informative panel discussion featuring artists, directors and/or designers for NORMA takes place Sunday, April 9, 2017, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in Hamon Hall (located off the main lobby concourse in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. For more details, visit and look under “Upcoming Events.”


            NORMA will be performed in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage.  For tickets or additional information, call 214.443.1000 or visit



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. 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. 


Please note: There will be no Pre-Opera Talk for EVEREST, ARJUNA’S DILEMMA, or THE MAGIC PIANO.


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!


ARJUNA’S DILEMMA by Douglas J. Cuomo

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

An exotic and appealing soundscape – in concert with projections!

Based on text from the Bhagavad Gita

Time: Thousands of years ago

Place: India

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Projection Designer: William Cusick

Sound Designer: Mark Grey

Lighting Designer: Krista Billings

Wig & Make-up Designer: Lexi O’Reilly

Starring: Humayun Khan* (Krishna), Tony Boutté* (Arjuna), Katrina Galka* (Quartet), Audra Methvin (Quartet), Alyssa Martin* (Quartet), Lindsay Ammann* (Quartet)


EVEREST by Joby Talbot (a semi-staged performance with projections)

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

A powerful and poignant masterpiece!

Libretto by Gene Scheer

Time: 1990’s

Place: Mt. Everest

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Lighting Designer: Krista Billings

Projections Designer: Elaine J. McCarthy

Recording Engineer: Mark Grey

Wig & Make-up Designer: Lexi O’Reilly

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Kevin Burdette (Beck Weathers), Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Michael Mayes (Doug Hansen), Sarah Jane McMahon (Jan Arnold), Julia Rose Arduino (Meg Weathers), John Boehr (Guy Cotter, Mike Groom)

With a special world premiere Prelude!


EVEREST PRELUDE with music by Joby Talbot

Film Realization: Elizabeth Seymour

Film Credit: The British Film Institute


THE MAGIC PIANO & The Chopin Shorts by BreakThru Films

Music by Frédéric Chopin

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

The “Passport Zone” in the Winspear Lobby starts at 12:30 p.m.

A charming adventure for all ages!

Pianist: Derek Wang*


* 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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