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

by Suzanne Calvin

IWC ImageFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Or Celeste Hart 214-443-1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR
The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for
Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera
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2017 Dallas Residency: Nov. 6-18, 2017
Deadline for Applications: April 30, 2017
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TDO Seeks to Create New Opportunities for Talented Young Women Conductors Making Their Mark in the Field of Opera
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Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
And the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation
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www.dallasopera.org/womenconductors

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.”
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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.
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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 YAPtracker.com: http://www.yaptracker.com/applications/dallas-opera-conductors-2017
Early applications are definitely encouraged. For more information on The Women’s Conducting Institute at The Dallas Opera, please visit www.dallasopera.org/womenconductors.
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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).
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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.
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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.”
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2016-2017 SEASON SPONSOR
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA
IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7. VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS
Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org
Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at celeste.hart@dallasopera.org
~~~~
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 2016-2017 DALLAS OPERA SEASON
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 www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2016-2017 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION
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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Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition Semi-Finalists Announced

by Suzanne Calvin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild
Are Proud to Jointly Announce the Outstanding

Semi-Finalists of the 29th Annual
“Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition”
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Admission $5! Lexus Red Parking $5!
Audience Members Vote on “People’s Choice”
Visit www.dallasopera.org/vocal
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Finals: Sunday, April 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
The Centerpiece of TDO’s Annual
Springs Gala: An Evening of Rising Stars
Conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume
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The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
At the AT&T Performing Arts Center
2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201
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Honoring Dr. Susan Fleming

DALLAS, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 –Twenty of the finest young opera singers in the United States will be competing in the 29th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition presented, jointly, by The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild.
These talented artists will compete onstage in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas on April 29 & 30, 2017. At stake are thousands of dollars in cash awards and coveted honors including the “People’s Choice Award” selected during the Finals Round by audience ballot. The competition will serve as the centerpiece of The Dallas Opera’s glamorous Springs Gala, an annual fundraising celebration of opera’s fast-rising stars.
Patrons have the option of attending
• The free Semi-Finals Round on April 29th
• The complete Springs Gala evening on April 30th
• The Finals Round and Awards Ceremony only on April 30th
• Or, the Finals Round, Awards Ceremony and the post-performance party!

Tickets range from absolutely free (for the April 29th Semi-Finals) to $5 for the Finals Round and Awards Ceremony (available online at dallasopera.org/vocal).
A $750 “host ticket” will cover the entire gala evening, including a seated, gourmet, pre-competition dinner at 5:30 p.m., early seating for the vocal competition Finals Round at 7:30 p.m., and an invitation to the festive post-competition celebration at the Winspear Opera House.
For more information about the 2017 Springs Gala, visit dallasopera.org/gala or contact Special Events Manager Tracy Mott at tracy.mott@dallasopera.org.

With a renewed focus on encouraging the next generation of opera artists and audiences, proceeds from this stellar evening will go to support the multifaceted education programs of The Dallas Opera.
Two great Dallas Opera traditions create one truly remarkable evening of music, competition and celebration! It is certain to be an affair—and a weekend—you won’t want to miss!

Commented Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny: “The Guild Competition took a bold step forward in recent years and the results have been electrifying! Emmanuel Villaume and The Dallas Opera Orchestra have brought a significant level of excitement to these performances and clearly inspired last year’s finalists to rise to the occasion.
“However, each competition brings an entirely new set of challenges and gives us additional opportunities to build upon our previous success.
“Working closely with Dr. Brian Zeger, our esteemed adjudicators, and the Guild itself, we continually seek new ways to attract the very finest young singers of this generation. Their presence on the Winspear stage also promises to make our second annual Springs Gala: An Evening of Rising Stars, one of the most sought-after tickets in town.
“I am also extremely pleased that, with the energetic leadership of Brian Zeger,” Cerny adds, “we have been able to assemble such a distinguished panel of industry leaders and decision makers to judge this stellar event, making it a unique showcase for artists ready to take their careers to a higher level.”

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This year, the twenty semi-finalists were selected from a group of 364 applicants from 35 states—and one competitor currently residing in Germany (residents of the U.S. territories are eligible to apply for the prestigious competition, as well) by a panel of preliminary judges that included American pianist and educator Dr. Brian Zeger of the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School, and David Lomeli, Casting and Hart Institute for Women Conductors Manager.
The quest for these gifted young singers will begin with the Semi-Finals Round of the Vocal Competition at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Six finalists will be selected to return the following evening, Sunday, April 30th at 7:30 p.m., to perform with The Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by internationally acclaimed Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

“I am very proud to collaborate with our Guild on the expanded national competition,” adds Keith Cerny, the Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO. “This is an outstanding opportunity for the entire community to experience opera’s ‘next wave’ and to show their enthusiasm and support for the hopes and dreams of these deserving young artists.”

THE 2017 SEMI-FINALISTS
FOR THE DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

• Jared Bybee, baritone, age 30, Resident Artist at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia
• Helena Brown, soprano, age 28, Resident Artist at Glimmerglass Festival
• Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano, age 30, Merola Opera Program Graduate
• Jacquelyn Stucker, soprano, age 27, Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program Graduate
• Mane Galoyan, soprano, age 23, Currently at Houston Grand Opera Studio
• Leah Hawkins, soprano, age 26, Resident Artist at the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera
• Takaoki Onishi, baritone, age 29, Member of the Ryan Center at Lyric Opera Chicago
• Theo Hoffman, baritone, age 23, Member of Domingo Colburn Stein Young Artists Los Angeles Opera
• Alasdair Kent, tenor, age 29, Resident Artist at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia
• Alexandra Loutsion, soprano, age 33, Pittsburgh Opera Studio Graduate
• Alyssa Martin, mezzo-soprano, age 27, Member of the Arizona Opera Studio
• Meredith Mecum, soprano, age 31, Merola Opera Program Graduate
• Miles Mykkanen, tenor, age 25, Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School of Music
• Daniel Noyola, bass-baritone, age 24, Resident Artist at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia
• Mario Rojas, tenor, age 23, Member of the Ryan Center at Lyric Opera Chicago
• Brent Turner, tenor, age 33, 2016 McCammon Competition Winner
• Laura Wilde, soprano, age 30, Member of the Ryan Center at Lyric Opera Chicago
• Kihun Yoon, baritone, age 35, Member of Domingo Colburn Stein Young Artists Los Angeles Opera
• Samantha Hankey, mezzo-soprano, age 24, Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School of Music
• Xiaomeng Zhang, baritone, age 23, Masters in Music at Manhattan School of Music Graduate

Competitors in the 2016 Competition took home prize monies totaling $18,500. Although this competition has as its primary focus artists in the 18 to 34 age range, singers of any age were eligible to apply and considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition originally focused on young artists with Texas roots or Lone Star academic connections, and its many distinguished alumni include luminaries from throughout the opera world: Latonia Moore, Clifton Forbis, Marjorie Owens, Weston Hurt, Steven LaBrie, Amanda Woodbury, Jesus Garcia, J’nai Bridges, Anthony Clark Evans, and most recently, Kang Wang and Virginie Verrez.
As the competition sought to gain even greater prominence and significance, The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild made significant changes in 2015, prompting Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell to write that the competition had “considerably upped its ante.” The evolution didn’t stop there:

• In order to attract the most talented applicant pool with the greatest potential, the eligibility criteria for applicants changed. Today, it is open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories, including international students attending American colleges, universities, and music conservatories. Also eligible are active members of any young artist program associated with an American opera company.

• The Finals Round, taking place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Winspear Opera House as part of The Dallas Opera’s annual Springs Gala, will be accompanied by The Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by TDO’s internationally acclaimed Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume. Up to six finalists will participate, singing two arias each.

The impact of these changes was immediately perceived. Senior Classical Music Critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of theaterjones.com wrote: “The results surely exceeded expectations for this newly re-envisioned competition…It won’t take long to situate itself at the top of such events and become an important gold star on any young artist’s résumé.”
Dallas Opera Guild Co-President Jana Irwin explained that “The Dallas Opera Guild views this annual competition as the capstone of our philanthropic and supportive endeavors. The need to support the future of opera is so profound, particularly as it relates to young and somewhat unknown singers. As singers are selected, their professional stature automatically increases due to press and media exposure. However, the competition itself provides additional benefits for these singers, as well as the local opera community. It is truly a win-win situation for all concerned.”
Dallas Opera Guild 2017 Vocal Competition Chairs Bob and Patsy Brooks write: “The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition gives singers pursuing a professional opera career the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete with other singers for financial rewards. Best of all is the chance to perform before a panel of distinguished judges celebrated throughout the opera world.”

Lexus Red Parking is available for just $5 at both the Semi-Finals Round, from 11:00 AM until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29th as well as the Finals Round of the competition the following evening, Sunday, April 30th at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House.

The list of judges for the 2017 Vocal Competition reads like an opera management “Who’s Who”:

Judges for the 2017 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition:

Brian Zeger, Chair
Artistic Director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts
The Juilliard School

Keith Cerny
The Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO of The Dallas Opera

Emmanuel Villaume
The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director, The Dallas Opera

Andreas Melinat
Director of Artistic Planning, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Pal Moe
Casting Director, Bavarian State Opera;
Casting Consultant, Glyndebourne Festival and Opéra de Lille

Joshua Winograde
Senior Director, Artistic Planning, Los Angeles Opera

Diane Zola
Director of Artistic Administration, Houston Grand Opera

However, the judging isn’t left entirely to the professionals; “amateur” music lovers will have the opportunity to express their views, too. Audience participation is part of the fun at each year’s Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. For the eighteenth consecutive year, attendees will be given the chance to vote on their personal favorites to receive the “People’s Choice Award.”
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Honoring Dr. Susan Fleming
This year’s vocal competition honors former Dallas Opera Guild President and current Board Member, Dr. Susan Fleming, renowned for her philanthropy and leadership as well as her continuing work with children with communication disorders.
As a bachelor’s and master’s student in speech pathology and audiology at SMU, she thrived in the classroom. Her career path included working at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, directing the preschool at the Greenhill School and maintaining her own private practice. Over the years, Dr. Fleming honed her skills by providing evaluations of children, designing curriculum and working in admissions.
She joined the Shelton Evaluation Center (a division of the Shelton School) in 1993; serving as director until 2009 when she became director emeritus of the center.
Dr. Fleming dedicates her time away from work to numerous professional and volunteer organizations. She is co-chair of the Dream Team of the Rotary Club of Dallas, a program that provides mentors, encouragement and scholarships to local high school students who might otherwise be unable to attend college. Dr. Fleming recently became a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) in Dallas, appointed by judges to work for a year with specific children removed from their home environments by CPS. This UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award winner has held numerous positions with the Dallas Opera Guild Board.
“I am touched by my selection,” writes Susan Fleming, “as this places me in the company of the dynamic guild leaders I have admired; those who have contributed so much to The Dallas Opera Guild’s effectiveness in promoting and sustaining the annual Vocal Competition.
“Each person who contributes to this competition,” she adds, “should feel proud to be helping promote young singers as they strive for success in this especially beautiful art form.”
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SPECIAL THANKS
TO THE AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AND STAFF
FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THE
2017 DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

2016-2017 SEASON SPONSOR
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

~~~~
FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS
Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org
Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at celeste.hart@dallasopera.org
~~~~
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 2016-2017 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

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. Full Subscriptions (five opera productions) begin at $95; 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 www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2016-2017 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION

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 Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Anita Yavich
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), Sorrow (TBD)
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 Designer: Paul Brown
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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Hart Institute Featured on PBS NewsHour Tonight

by Suzanne Calvin

Check It Out!

THE DALLAS OPERA’S
LINDA AND MITCH HART INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN CONDUCTORS WILL BE FEATURED TONIGHT ON PBS NewsHour

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6:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 31, 2017
On Your Local PBS Station (times may vary)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/tv-schedule/
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Distinguished Faculty included Marin Alsop, Nicole Paiement, Carlo Montanaro, Alice Farnham and Alec Treuhaft
~~~~
Initial Support for the Hart Institute from
The Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation
Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Baker Botts LLP, Susan and Mark Geyer, Holly and Tom Mayer, Betty and Steve Suellentrop, Martha and Max Wells, Jenifer and Peter Flynn, Cindy Feld, and the TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund

DALLAS, JANUARY 31, 2017 –The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce that—barring urgent, late-breaking news, PBS NewsHour will present a news story tonight (6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the North Texas PBS affiliate, KERA-TV) focused on the recent Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera.
The behind-the-scenes segment was recorded in Dallas during the 2016 Hart Institute which ran from late November through mid-December and attracted 156 applicants from 34 countries. Six were selected to participate in the elite program for women conductors on the cusp of major careers in opera. An additional four American observers also took part.
The story, produced by PBS NewsHour Chief Arts and Culture Correspondent Jeffrey Brown and Deputy Senior Producer/Art and Culture Producer Anne Azzi Davenport, allows viewers to step into the world of rarely-seen conducting masterclasses, industry seminars, orchestra rehearsals, and specialized career guidance. However, the story also examines the life and work of several women participants through exclusive interviews, personal photographs, and adrenaline-pumping public performances. Here’s an advance look from PBS:
https://www.facebook.com/newshour/videos/10155038978803675/

Faculty for the most recent Hart Institute included Marin Alsop (Music Director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the only conductor ever to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship); The Dallas Opera’s own Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement, as well as Carlo Montanaro, a renowned Italian conductor; distinguished British conductor and educator Alice Farnham and the former chorus master of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Renato Balsadonna.
The institute also addressed career advancement challenges and opportunities for women conductors in sessions with experienced professionals like Alec C. Treuhaft, former senior vice-president of IMG Artists; Zizi Mueller, former president of Boosey & Hawkes; Carol Lazier, president, San Diego Opera; Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America; and a senior client partner and co-managing director of Korn Ferry’s Global Education Practice, Paul Hsun-Ling Chou. The Texas opera company also hosted intensive one-on-ones and networking opportunities for the Institute participants; and offered the six fellows the chance to conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra in two public concerts.
The Dallas Opera will begin accepting applications for the 2017 Hart Institute on February 27, 2017. For more information, visit dallasopera.org.
PBS NewsHour airs on 356 affiliate stations across the U.S. and can be viewed online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ as well. The award-winning program is one of the most-watched, and most-respected daily news programs on American television today.

2016-2017 SEASON SPONSOR
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family
~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7.
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS
Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org
Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at celeste.hart@dallasopera.org
~~~~

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 2016-2017 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

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. Full Subscriptions (five opera productions) begin at $95; 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 www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2016-2017 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION

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 Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Anita Yavich
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), Sorrow (TBD)
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 Designer: Paul Brown
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.

###

2017-2018 Season Announcement at NorthPark Center

by Suzanne Calvin

Traviata2_137_Final_LoRes

Photo by Maxine Helfman 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                            or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071

suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org                                    celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

 

 

THE DALLAS OPERA PROUDLY PRESENTS ITS

61st INTERNATIONAL SEASON

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FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTIONS

INCLUDING THE U.S. PREMIERE OF

 MICHEL VAN DER AA’S SUNKEN GARDEN

AND A DELIGHTFUL KORNGOLD RARITY:

THE RING OF POLYKRATES

 

2017-2018 Features Three Dazzling Classics

Samson & Dalila (Oct. 20-Nov. 5, 2017)

La traviata (Oct. 27-Nov. 12, 2017) and

Don Giovanni (April 13-April 29, 2018)

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SEASON SPONSOR

The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

~~~~

Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017 AT 8:00 PM

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

At the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas TX

 

 

            DALLAS, JANUARY 26, 2017 –The Dallas Opera is proud to announce its ambitious 2017-2018 Season, “Motives Unmasked!” consisting of five entertaining and varied mainstage productions, including a dazzling U.S. premiere and a new Dallas Opera production of a very early opera by Viennese wunderkind Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

            The 61st Season of The Dallas Opera mixes classics with the cutting edge in both unfamiliar and favorite productions.

Considered by many to be the ultimate art form, each opera will feature the powerful singing and acting of acclaimed international artists; outstanding conductors, directors and designers; The Dallas Opera Orchestra and The Dallas Opera Chorus; superb sets and costumes; imaginative technological enhancements and more.

            In an effort to present each work in its truest form as written by the composer and librettist, The Dallas Opera will continue to produce each opera in its original language with English supertitles projected above the stage for maximum enjoyment.

 

2017-2018 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

 

SAMSON & DALILA

By Camille Saint-Saëns

October 20, 22(m), 25, 28 and November 5(m), 2017

 

LA TRAVIATA

By Giuseppe Verdi

October 27, 29(m) and November 1, 4, 10 and 12(m), 2017

 

VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR, OP. 35

THE RING OF POLYKRATES

By Erich Wolfgang Korngold

February 9, 11(m), 14 and 17, 2018

 

SUNKEN GARDEN

By Michel van der Aa

March 9, 11(m), 14 and 17, 2018

 

DON GIOVANNI

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

April 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2018

 

We have enlisted the talents of some of the finest composers, singers, conductors, directors and designers to create visually arresting, intellectually and emotionally satisfying performances filled with a wide range of extraordinary music and drama,” explains Keith Cerny, the Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO of The Dallas Opera.

“Our 61st International Season, “Motives Unmasked!” will include three beloved classics, a U.S. premiere, an exquisite concerto, and a delightful opera rarity so rare, that we believe it has only had two professional productions in this country since it originally premiered in Munich 100 years ago.”     

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         Subscription prices for the 2017-2018 Season start at $95 for all five mainstage opera productions and go on sale April 3, 2017. The benefits of becoming a Dallas Opera subscriber include substantial savings off single ticket prices, priority seating, lost ticket replacement, ticket exchanges and invitations to special events. Single Tickets, starting at the low price of $19, go on sale to the public in July.   For more information, please contact the friendly staff in The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

Notable company debuts in the 2017-2018 Season will include:

  • Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as Dalila (Samson & Dalila)
  • German director Bruno Berger-Gorski (Samson & Dalila)
  • American baritone Michael Chioldi as Abimélech in Samson & Dalila
  • Italian director Stefania Panighini (La traviata)
  • American tenor Zach Borichevsky as Alfredo in La traviata
  • American mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis as Flora Bervoix in Traviata
  • Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro (La traviata)
  • American tenor Brenton Ryan as Gastone in La traviata
  • American baritone Daniel Armstrong as the Marchese D’Obigny (La traviata)
  • French violinist Augustin Dumay (Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major)
  • American tenor Paul Groves as Wilhelm Arndt in The Ring of Polykrates
  • American soprano Laura Wilde as Laura in The Ring of Polykrates
  • American soprano Susannah Biller as Lieschen in The Ring of Polykrates
  • American bass-baritone Craig Colclough as Peter Vogel in Polykrates
  • Dutch composer/director Michel van der Aa (Sunken Garden)
  • British baritone Roderick Williams as Toby Kramer in Sunken Garden
  • English soprano Katherine Manley as Zenna Briggs in Sunken Garden
  • Swedish soprano Miah Persson as Iris Marinus in Sunken Garden
  • American director Robert Falls (Don Giovanni)
  • American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello in Don Giovanni

 

Designer debuts next season will include:

  • Peter Dean Beck and Carrie Robins (Samson & Dalila)
  • Donald Eastman (The Ring of Polykrates)
  • Theun Mosk and Astrid Schulz (Sunken Garden)
  • Walt Spangler and Ana Kuzmanic (Don Giovanni).

 

Returning international artists in the 2017-2018 Season will include:

  • French conductor and Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume leading performances of Samson & Dalila; Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 and The Ring of Polykrates; and Don Giovanni
  • French conductor and Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement conducting the U.S. premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden
  • Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom (Samson, Traviata, Giovanni)
  • American tenor Clifton Forbis as Samson in Samson & Dalila
  • American baritone Richard Paul Fink as the High Priest of Dagon (Samson)
  • American bass-baritone Ryan Kuster as Old Hebrew (Samson & Dalila)
  • American soprano Georgia Jarman as Violetta in La traviata
  • Belarus baritone Vladislav Sulimsky as Germont in La traviata
  • American bass-baritone Dale Travis as Baron Douphol in La traviata
  • British designer Desmond Heeley (La traviata)
  • American director Peter Kazaras (The Ring of Polykrates)
  • Costume designer Tommy Bourgeois and lighting designer Krista Billings for The Ring of Polykrates
  • Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecie? as Don Giovanni
  • American soprano Laura Claycomb as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni
  • American tenor David Portillo as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni
  • American soprano Ellie Dehn as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni
  • French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez as Zerlina in Don Giovanni
  • American baritone Craig Verm as Masetto in Don Giovanni
  • American bass Morris Robinson as The Commendatore in Giovanni
  • Lighting designer Duane Schuler (Don Giovanni)

“Great opera will always speak to us,” explains General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “because it illuminates aspects of our nature and helps us define the times in which we live. 

“It is my aim to give Dallas Opera audiences the opportunity to better understand their world through the powerful mediums of music and drama.  I sincerely believe that the 61st International Season, filled with remarkable storytelling and unforgettable performances, will make good on that promise.”

 

            The Dallas Opera continues to expand and increase its reputation for producing important, world-class opera and the 2017-2018 season will be no exception.

The company will also present internationally renowned conductors: Emmanuel Villaume, the Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director, at the podium for three operas, Nicole Paiement, the Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor, and Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro.

Every mainstage production will be presented in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, located at 2403 Flora Street in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.  

 

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The Dallas Opera’s 2017-2018 Season, begins with The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. (note the special time). Camille Saint-Saëns’ passionate and romantic SAMSON & DALILA will launch the new season by bringing the house down!

Tenor Clifton Forbis and Russian soprano Olga Borodina—in her eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut!—portray the doomed twosome, trapped in a love affair of biblical proportions.

Samson is the only hope of his people, the Hebrews, in the oppressive grip of the Philistines.  Enter Dalila, the calculating seductress capable of capturing men’s hearts with ease.  Her temptation of Samson continues until she gets what she wants: the secret of his strength.  Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera builds to the familiar, spectacular climax, taken straight from the Book of Judges.

            Music Director Emmanuel Villaume will conduct the renowned Dallas Opera Orchestra in “one of the brightest jewels of French opera.”  

Recently, Maestro Villaume triumphed in a revival of Jonathan Kent’s production of Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; prompting Hannah Nepil of The Financial Times to praise Villaume for “teasing out sultry, sumptuous playing from his orchestra.”

            He also earned uniformly outstanding notices for his superb conducting of The Dallas Opera’s 2016 revival of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick, which prompted Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones to write, “…with Villaume on the podium, Heggie’s score comes across as much more neo-tonal, lush, magnificently constructed and neo-romantic opera than what I perceived in the score back then. Vocal lines soar, giving singers some great bel-canto phrases that are grateful for the voice.”

Dramatic tenor Clifton Forbis has sung some of the most challenging roles in the operatic repertoire.  He has mesmerized Dallas Opera audiences as Siegmund in Die Walküre, as well as a “forceful and manly” Tristan.  Samson is a signature role for Mr. Forbis, who has performed this part at Bilbao, San Francisco Opera and the Met.

He will star opposite the legendary Olga Borodina, the ultimate Dalila, according to London-based critic Rupert Christiansen of The Telegraph.  Adam Wasserman of Opera News observed “…to watch Borodina is to see the masterful emergence of a truly human, fully formed character…buttressed by some of the most luxurious, thrilling vocalism that one can hope to encounter in an opera house.” 

            Other members of this cast include Grammy-winning baritone Richard Paul Fink as the High Priest of Dagon, baritone Michael Chioldi in his TDO debut as Abimélech (the Philistine provincial governor), and bass-baritone Ryan Kuster as the Old Hebrew.

This Pittsburgh Opera production was designed by Peter Dean Beck (sets) and Carrie Robins (costumes) in their company debuts.

The opera will be staged by German director Bruno Berger-Gorski in his house debut. As always, chorus preparation is by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

 

            Performances continue on October 22(m), 25, 28 and November 5, 2017 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.  Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., (except for the opening night performance mentioned above) and the curtain rises on our Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.  There is no late seating.

SAMSON & DALILA will be performed in its original language, French, with English-language translations projected above the stage at every performance.

            Tickets may be purchased by phone (214.443.1000), online (www.dallasopera.org) or at the door.  Student Rush Tickets are available 90 minutes prior to curtain – a valid student ID is required for each ticket.

~~~~

 

            Back by popular demand, the second production of The Dallas Opera’s 2017-2018 Season is Giuseppe Verdi’s heartbreaking 1853 masterpiece, LA TRAVIATA, opening on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. with an extraordinary cast.

            Performed in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage, the romance continues with additional performances October 29(m), November 1, 4, 10 and 12(m), 2017 with evening performances beginning promptly at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2:00 p.m.

            It is a story that has been told for thousands of years in millions of ways, but, in this case, the tale of a woman of questionable virtue sacrificing her own happiness for the man she loves is based on an actual person. The famed “Lady of the Camillias” comes to life on the Winspear stage, under the guidance of two dynamic Italians: conductor Carlo Montanaro and director Stefania Panighini in their company debuts.

            Easily Giuseppe Verdi’s most romantic work, this revival of a magnificent Lyric Opera of Chicago production, originally directed by Frank Galati and designed by Desmond Heeley, is the perfect “Pretty Woman” night at the opera as well as a perennial crowd pleaser.

            Soprano Georgia Jarman, who possesses “a show-stealing coloratura with immaculate style” (The New York Times) will sing the lead role of the fatally ill courtesan, Violetta Valery.  Praised by Opera magazine for her “crystalline tone and uncommon attention to expressive detail,” Ms. Jarman made her TDO debut in our steamy Don Giovanni opposite Paolo Szot.

            This time around, she’ll be making sparks with tenor Zach Borichevsky.  F. Paul Driscoll of Opera News wrote that the young American has “the dashing good looks, the soft-eyed charm and the gleaming tenor needed” and he considers the role of Alfredo a personal favorite.

            As Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, The Dallas Opera is bringing back an extraordinary baritone: Vladislav Sulimsky from Belarus, bringing another of what Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News describes as “deeply sympathetic” portrayals to the Winspear stage.  His 2015 company debut as the mysterious Ibn-Hakia in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta was a show-stopper, even in the midst of a very strong cast.

            Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis makes her Dallas Opera debut as Flora Bervoix.  Berkshirefinearts.com applauded her “warm and resonant mezzo voice” but went on to note: “She has the rare interpretive gift of using coloratura to highlight emotional truth rather than to simply show off.”

            Tenor Brenton Ryan, “singing with a fresh, clarion tone and dramatic aplomb” (Corinna de Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times) will also be making his TDO debut as Alfredo’s friend, Gastone.  Also featured in the ensemble cast are baritone Dale Travis as Baron Douphol, baritone Daniel Armstrong in his Dallas Opera debut as the Marchese D’Obigny, bass-baritone Ryan Kuster as the sympathetic Doctor Grenvil, and soprano Rachel Sterrenberg in her company debut as Violetta’s maid, Annina.

            The chorus is a strong presence in this opera and will be prepared by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

            The complete season schedule, artist and production team bios, synopses and more can be found online, anytime, at www.dallasopera.org.

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            The third production of The Dallas Opera’s 61st Season is a unique pairing of two works by one of the great proponents of the early twentieth century “Viennese sound,” composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold.  The Dallas Opera is proud to present Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 (1945) and The Ring of Polykrates (1916) opening Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House.

            Revered French violinist Augustin Dumay (with more than 40 recordings in his discography) will be the featured soloist with The Dallas Opera Orchestra. Dumay is considered “an absolute master of using changes in tone color as an expressive device” (Fanfare) and many of his recordings are considered the “gold standard” in their repertoire.  Heather Kurzbauer of The Strad put it simply: “This is the stuff that dreams are made of.”  As for his live concert hall performances, Geoffrey Norris of The Daily Telegraph writes: “Mr. Dumay is a violinist of remarkable individuality…excitingly musical, stimulatingly original, a marvelously fresh but idiomatic interpretation with a strength of personality that made it so powerfully communicative and memorable.”

            Critically acclaimed Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume will conduct.

The concerto will be paired with Korngold’s very first opera, The Ring of Polykrates, a one-act domestic comedy composed in 1913 when he was just sixteen years old.  The work premiered in 1916 on a double bill in Munich.

The plot revolves around a musician, Wilhelm Arndt, whose career is on an upswing, along with his finances.  His happiness, he tells his wife, Laura, would be complete if only he could see his long-lost friend Peter Vogel again.  But you’re aware of the old saying, right? “Be careful what you wish for!” 

Conducted by esteemed Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, directed by Peter Kazaras, and starring tenor Paul Groves, soprano Laura Wilde and bass-baritone Craig Colclough in their TDO debuts.  This really is a once-in-a-lifetime musical event!

            Scenic Designer Donald Eastman will make his TDO debut.  This new Dallas Opera production will also feature period costumes by Tommy Bourgeois and lighting by Krista Billings.

            Performed in German with English translations projected above the stage, the Korngold program will have three additional performances on February 11(m), 14 (a romantic Valentine’s Day evening) and February 17, 2018.

Tickets are likely to go quickly; renew your Dallas Opera subscription today!

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            The fourth production of The Dallas Opera’s 61st Season is SUNKEN GARDEN by Michel van der Aa with libretto by British novelist David Mitchell. This production opens on Friday, March 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House.

            The U.S. premiere of this groundbreaking opera will be directed by the composer himself–-in both 2-D and 3-D.  SUNKEN GARDEN will be performed in English with English supertitles projected above the stage.

Michel van der Aa’s critically acclaimed contemporary operatic masterpiece, SUNKEN GARDEN, has been applauded by both critics and audiences as “a fantastical tale to set the ears and eyes popping” (New York Times headline).

The work, described by its creator as an “occult mystery film opera,” fuses film and live performance (including 3-D and other visual effects) to deliver what Steve Smith of The New York Times called “a bold, rewarding venture” during its 2013 English National Opera world premiere at the Barbican.  The production coming to Dallas was reworked for a successful 2015 relaunch of the production at Opéra de Lyon.

A film maker’s obsession with the disappearance of a young girl leads to the discovery of a walled garden, which is the barrier between life and death.  Does this place actually exist or is it just a stunning journey of the imagination?  Either way, it immerses audiences into a world of crime and mystery to create a one-of-a-kind production unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

SUNKEN GARDEN was originally a co-production of ENO, Toronto’s Luminato Festival, Opéra de Lyon, the Holland Festival and London’s Barbican Centre.  This opera also marked the first collaboration between the Dutch composer and British novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas).

Heidi Waleson, reviewing for The Wall Street Journal described the experience: “The inventive and haunting music is acoustic and electronic, live and prerecorded, classical and pop…Film and music align seamlessly; neither would make sense without the other…When the live singers enter the 3-D garden, the music grows richer and more expansive…The images here are spectacular: the opulent trees and flowers; the quivering holograms of the two captives, Amber and Simon; and the vertical pool through which Zenna enters and departs, which explodes out toward the audience as a shower of droplets or a giant, whirling funnel.

“The fine singers—live and on film—adeptly captured the ferocity and pathos in Sunken Garden.  And the lively actors…were completely believable…technical wizardry enhanced the humanity of the piece rather than overwhelming it,” Ms. Waleson added.

Antony Craig of Gramophone (UK) emphasized that SUNKEN GARDEN is a compelling theatrical work: “This is real drama and it works dramatically. The mystery is as complex as TV film noir. The spoken interviews work as film and the 3D successfully drew me right into the sunken garden. Crucially, Sunken Garden works as opera, with Van der Aa’s fusion of musical styles matching the fusion of mediums.”

And Andrew Clement of The Guardian added, “Van der Aa has directed the show as well as the often sumptuous-looking film sequences. As always he’s done it with immense technical skill, and both his orchestral writing and the electronic soundtrack are strikingly effective.”

 

            SUNKEN GARDEN will star English baritone Roderick Williams as Toby Kramer,

British soprano Katherine Manley as Zenna Briggs, and renowned Swedish soprano Miah Persson as Iris Marinus.  All will be making their Dallas Opera debuts in this production.

            Williams has been praised for “his astonishing ability to perform highly emotional music…from the top of his vocal range (where he was clear as a bell and his diction impeccable) to rich, low notes that stirred the heart.” (Laura Kate Wilson, Bachtrack)

            Set and lighting design for SUNKEN GARDEN is by Theun Mosk with costumes by Astrid Schulz, both in their company debuts.

 

SUNKEN GARDEN will be conducted by the Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement, who has developed an international reputation as a conductor of contemporary music and opera.

Wayne Lee Gay of D Magazine’s Front Row wrote of The Dallas Opera’s 2015 world premiere of Everest: “(Paiement) combined old-fashioned precision and discipline with up-to-the-minute insight into the complex modernity of the score.”

 

Three additional performances of Michel van der Aa’s SUNKEN GARDEN will take place on March 11(m), 14, and 17, 2018.  Season subscriptions will go on sale to the public on April 3, 2017.  Current season subscribers may renew at any time by contacting the friendly professionals in The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office, at 214.443.1000.

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The final production of the 61st International Season is Mozart’s hell-raising operatic masterpiece, the comedy-drama, DON GIOVANNI, based on the exploits of the legendary Don Juan, opening Friday, April 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.

After more than two centuries, the argument rages on as to whether DON GIOVANNI is the greatest of Mozart’s many masterpieces.  Decide for yourself as Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume conducts an all-star cast in this boldly provocative, R-rated production from Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecie? stars as the insatiable womanizer who became a living legend.  William Burnett of Opera Warhorses writes, “Kwiecien was extraordinary, an utterly charming but lethally sociopathic bad boy…his Giovanni is a masterpiece.”  Added Michael White of The New York Times: “glamorous, handsome of voice and presence, (charismatic) and intelligent besides.  It’s the whole package and explains why he’s in such demand to play the part.” 

Soprano Laura Claycomb (Rigoletto) returns to the Winspear stage as Donna Anna, after captivating North Texas audiences as Gilda several seasons back, prompting Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News to praise her “limpid tone, dazzling technique and eloquence.”

Tenor David Portillo is this production’s steadfast Don Ottavio, soprano Ellie Dehn will sing the bitter and betrayed Donna Elvira, bass Kyle Ketelsen is the irrepressible Leporello, with stars Virginie Verrez as the coquettish Zerlina, baritone Craig Verm (Everest) as her fiancé, Masetto, and bass Morris Robinson (Show Boat) as The Commendatore!

Disguises and deceptions abound in Lorenzo Da Ponte’s scathing and often humorous portrait of this jaded and unrepentant anti-hero, directed by Robert Falls (Artistic Director of the famed Goodman Theater) in his eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut.

            Critically acclaimed international conductor and TDO Music Director Emmanuel Villaume leads The Dallas Opera Orchestra in Mozart’s action-packed season finale.

            “One of the most satisfying perks of being a music director,” says Maestro Villaume, “is the opportunity to conduct productions that I find of particular interest—musically, dramatically, or both.  This season is no exception and I am thrilled to be conducting a masterpiece from the late Classical Period, a splendid example of 19th century French Romanticism, and a pair of works from the neo-Romantic Viennese School of the early 20th century.

            “I sincerely hope, when you leave the performance, you will feel as passionate about these works as we do.”

 

            Scenic Design for DON GIOVANNI is by Walt Spangler, with costumes by Ana Kuzmanic and lighting design by Duane Schuler.

           Performed in Italian with English translations projected above the stage, this acclaimed period production will command centerstage for five additional performances, April 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2018.  

Don’t delay: mark your calendar, buy your tickets, and then padlock your doors—because there will be no “safe spaces” while Don Giovanni roams the streets of Seville.

 

~~~~

 

            Evening performances during the 2017-2018 Season will begin at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise stated (including the 8:00 p.m. curtain for the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance).  All Sunday matinees are slated to begin at 2:00 p.m.

            The “Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talks,” a free background lecture designed to enhance your enjoyment of the opera being performed, takes place in Nancy B. Hamon Hall located just off the Winspear Opera House lobby, one hour prior to each performance, except for Opening Night of the Season.

            Dallas Opera performs mainstage works in their original languages.  Easy-to-read English translations are projected above the stage during every Dallas Opera performance—even those sung in English—and special headsets are available for the hearing impaired.

            No late seating is permitted at Dallas Opera performances once the house doors are closed.  Latecomers will be seated at the first available opportunity (usually, intermission).

 

            Flex subscriptions for three mainstage performances of your choice begin at $75 for the 2017-2018 Season.  Full Subscriptions begin at $95 for all five productions.  New subscriptions will become available on April 3, 2017.

            Single Tickets for next season will start at $19 and are expected to go on sale next July.  Group rates are available.

            For additional information about the “Motives Unmasked!” Season, call The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

 

~~~~

Put aside those computers, tablets, and smart phones—and grab the kiddoes—in order to take advantage of budget-minded, kid-friendly performances offered by The Dallas Opera in the 2017-2018 Season!

In addition to presenting world-class opera, and to providing support for outstanding young artists, established stars, and up-and-coming female conductors; The Dallas Opera is also committed to introducing the joys of opera to as many people as possible, and to provide budget-minded, kid-friendly performances (mostly if not entirely in English) that can be enjoyed by North Texans of every age, educational level and background.

 

The always popular Dallas Opera Family Performance Series is proudly presented by Texas Instruments, and made possible with additional generous support from the Betty and Steve Suellentrop Educational Outreach Fund and Lockheed Martin.

            TDO Family Performances are a part of the Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs.

            Five dollar single tickets will be available through The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or 24/7 at dallasopera.org/family.

2017-2018 FAMILY PERFORMANCE SERIES

 

Presenting Sponsor, Texas Instruments

 

DONIZETTI AND COMPANY

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday, February 18, 2018

 

From sparkling, good-natured comedies to hanky-clutching tragedies, Gaetano Donizetti was one of the great masters of Italian bel canto. This incredibly prolific composer gave us 75 operas, including four that are highlights of the repertoire: Lucia di Lammermoor, The Daughter of the Regiment, The Elixir of Love and Don Pasquale.  Gather up the children (and grand-children) to experience the music of Donizetti, a man who lifted himself out of poverty through hard work, generosity, and extraordinary talent.  Featuring the acclaimed Dallas Opera Orchestra and a charismatic narrator, as well as outstanding young singers.

 

THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday, February 3, 2018

 

Based on scenes and music from operas by W.A. Mozart, this production is an operatic version of the beloved children’s fairy tale, with adaptations by John Davies. The story reinforces the virtues of reading as one of the little pigs, Despina, successfully reads up on building a “huff-proof, puff-proof” house at the library.  As constructive as it is instructive!

PÉPITO by Jacques Offenbach

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Saturday, February 10, 2018

 

Vertigo, a jack of all trades (who introduces himself with a parody of Figaro’s entrance in The Barber of Seville) is rebuffed by the beautiful hostess of the local inn, Manuelita. She is waiting patiently for her fiancé Pépito to be released from military service. Miguel, a childhood friend, returns to their native village where he immediately falls for Manuelita’s charms.  He gets Vertigo out of the way, in order to flirt with the girl, yet Miguel’s advances are rejected.  In fact, Miguel is so impressed with Manuelita’s virtue and loyalty that he decides to take the young soldier’s place, so he can come home to marry.  However, a letter from Pépito drops a stunning piece of news on Manuelita and Miguel!  Learn who finally gets the girl in Offenbach’s charming, one-act comedy. 

 

$5 performances in the Winspear Opera House. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door.  Learn more online at www.dallasopera.org/family.

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2016-2017 SEASON SPONSOR

The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

~~~~

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7.  VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

 

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

~~~~

 

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 2016-2017 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

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. Full Subscriptions (five opera productions) begin at $95; 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 www.dallasopera.org.

 

 

 

THE DALLAS OPERA 2016-2017 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION

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 Designer: Michael Yeargan

Costume Designer: Anita Yavich

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), Sorrow (TBD)

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 Designer: Paul Brown

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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Participants Selected for 2016 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors

by Suzanne Calvin

IWC ImageFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                            Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071

suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org                                    celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

                                                               

Participants Named for Second Annual

Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for

Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera

~~~~

Nov. 26 – Dec. 11, 2016 in Dallas, Texas

~~~~

Six Selected for Elite Opera Program from

156 Applicants Representing 31 Countries

~~~~

Distinguished Faculty include Marin Alsop, Nicole Paiement, Carlo Montanaro and Alec Treuhaft

~~~~

Initial Support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,

Baker Botts LLP, Susan and Mark Geyer, Holly and Tom Mayer, Martha and Max Wells, and the TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund

 

DALLAS, JUNE 20, 2016 – The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the names of the six distinguished professionals selected to participate in the second annual session of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera taking place November 26 -- December 11, 2016 in Dallas, Texas:

  • Elizabeth Askren (USA)
  • Mihaela Cesa-Goje (Romania)
  • Alexandra Cravero (France)
  • Tianyi Lu (New Zealand)
  • Chaowen Ting (USA/Taiwan)
  • Zoe Zeniodi (Greece)

Working to address a long-standing career issue in the opera world, The Dallas Opera in 2015 launched a unique, new residential program—one of only three in the world—designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors.  Female conductors, as well as accomplished women singers, opera coaches, accompanists, and instrumentalists with established careers seeking to develop new skills at the podium, were encouraged to apply.

A total of 156 women conductors and professional musicians heeded the call and applied by the April 22nd deadline.  Of that number, approximately one-third of the IWC applicants (59) came from the United States. 

Other nations represented in this year’s applicant pool were from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, and Mexico; as well as New Zealand, Poland, Finland, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Applicants from these 31 countries included music directors, principal and assistant conductors, concertmasters and music staff from top-ranked symphonies, opera companies, and conservatories.

 

As is the case each year, four U.S. observers were chosen to “audit” the 2016 Institute: Ching-Chun Lai, Michelle Rofrano, Carolyn Watson and Parisa Zaeri.

 

The institute had key, foundational support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.  Naming support came through the generosity of Linda and Mitch Hart.  Additional vital support comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Baker Botts LLP, Susan and Mark Geyer, Holly and Tom Mayer, Martha and Max Wells, and the TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund.

The 2016 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute will consist of hands-on master classes with Marin Alsop (Music Director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the only conductor ever to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship); The Dallas Opera’s Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and Carlo Montanaro, a renowned Italian conductor. 

The institute will include career advancement seminars with experienced professionals like Alec Treuhaft, former senior vice-president of IMG Artists; industry discussions; intensive one-on-ones and networking opportunities; as well as the chance to conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra in two public concerts on the evenings of December 4th and December 10th (additional details to be announced at a later time).

As part of TDO’s 5-year commitment to each institute “class” of conductors, alumnae will be invited to summer reunions for additional masterclasses with piano and singers, and a series of introductory seminars about the business of music: General Management, Marketing and Communications, Development and Finance.  In our inaugural program last December and the first round of follow-up discussions this spring, the 2015 class of conductors reiterated their interest in this type of training on multiple occasions. 

 

Keith Cerny, The Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO notes: “The Dallas Opera has demonstrated, in multiple ways, its commitment to reshaping the opera field through the use of innovative public outreach, by exploring new technologies, commissioning new works to expand the operatic repertoire, and programming with passion and imagination.”

“This much-needed program,” Mr. Cerny added, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and perspectives to our collective understanding of this art form, while encouraging conversation about the necessity of women in leadership roles.”

 

The Dallas Opera’s Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement, who also serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor for San Francisco’s renowned contemporary opera company, Opera Parallèle, commented, “In tandem with my work as a professional conductor, I have spent many years striving to develop and support exceptional young talent, both onstage and in the orchestra pit.  I am tremendously pleased to be able to continue this aspect of my career in a leadership role here in Dallas and I sincerely hope my work with the women in this institute can serve as a source of both valuable insights and inspiration.”

Nicole Paiement’s residency for the institute is supported by the TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund.

Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America, earlier 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.”

2016 IWC FELLOWS:

 

 

ELIZABETH ASKREN (USA)

Elizabeth Askren has worked as Assistant Music Director in leading European venues (Théâtre des Champs Elysées, The Concertgebouw, etc.) and has guest conducted orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Débuts for the 2015-16 season include concerts with the Romanian National Opera in Cluj and the Opera Orchestra of Toulon.  Ms. Askren is a laureate of France’s ADAMI, and has received fellowships from the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Royaumont Foundation, and the Aldeburgh Festival.  A finalist candidate for the Mahler Competition, she was invited by Lorin Maazel as “Apprentice Conductor” for the inaugural season of the Castleton Festival in Virginia. She is the subject of several radio and press interviews, and is currently a Young Leader of the French American Foundation.  Ms. Askren holds diplomas in piano and conducting from the Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Conducting Institute of Bard in the United States, and the Schola Cantorum and the Ecole Normale de Musique in France. 

 

MIHAELA CESA-GOJE (ROMANIA)

Mihaela Cesa-Goje gained widespread attention in 2009 as the winner of the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop and in 2010, a Conducting Grant from the League of American Orchestras.  In 2011, she was awarded the Dudamel Fellowship from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and later that same year, was selected from a field of 160 candidates for a masterclass with Bernard Haitink and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Cesa-Goje received the “Sandor Vegh Prize” from the Romanian Mozart Society for an outstanding performance of Mozart’s “Der Schauspiele Direktor” at the Cluj National Opera, Romania.  In 2005, she completed her Conducting Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music in London and was awarded the Irene Burcher Prize.  In 2013, she earned a graduate degree in conducting from Gh Dima Music Academy in Cluj, Romania, where she studied with Florentin Mihaescu. She also studied with Harold Farberman, Gustav Meier, Patrick Russill and Roland Börger.  Ms. Cesa-Goje is regularly invited to Cluj National Opera. In her first season (2014) she conducted eight different titles.

 

ALEXANDRA CRAVERO (FRANCE)

As a musician of many talents with a charismatic personality and artistic sensibility, Alexandra Cravero has quickly earned the reputation of being one of this generation’s conductors to watch.  With a National Diploma and Masters in viola and conducting from the National French Conservatory, Alexandra was also finalist at the Besancon, Pedrotti, and Cadaques competitions.  She has assisted Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, Tito Ceccherini, Patrick Davin and directed the BBC, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, the Sofia Radio, the Theatre de La Monnaie and the Opera National du Rhin Orchestras.  On the operatic stage, she has directed, among others, Annick Massis, Michael Spyres, Magdalena Kožená, and Etienne Dupuis.  Her vast operatic repertoire spans many centuries: Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, Norma, Faust, Porgy and Bess, The Cunning Little Vixen, Reigen, and Doctor Atomic, to name a few.  Upcoming engagements will see Alexandra Cravero direct The Tales of Hoffmann, Tosca, La traviata, and the Orchestre National de Lille at the Paris Philharmonic Hall.

TIANYI LU (NEW ZEALAND)

Now based in the United Kingdom, Tianyi Lu is the Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Music Director Designate of the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra. She has been assistant conductor to Thomas Søndergård with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sir Mark Elder with the Hallé, Alice Farnham with the Welsh National Youth Opera and Carlo Rizzi at the RWMCD.  She is regularly engaged by orchestras throughout Wales and New Zealand and was Music Director of The Magic Flute with Opera Otago.  Ms. Lu has studied with David Jones, John Hopkins and Uwe Grodd and has attended masterclasses with Bernard Haitink, Neemi Järvi, Sian Edwards, Alexander Polynichko, Marin Alsop and Kenneth Kiesler.  She was voted as a finalist at the twelfth ‘Interaktion’ conducting workshop by players of the Berlin Philharmonic and professional players in Germany.

 

CHAOWEN TING (USA)

Winner of the 2009 International Conductors’ Workshop and Competition, Chaowen Ting currently serves as Conductor of the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra. A protégé of Bernard Haitink, Ting studied with the maestro at Lucerne Festival and was later invited by Haitink to observe his work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Outside of the U.S., she has conducted the Lucerne Festival Strings (Switzerland), Mihail Jora Bac?u Philharmonic (Romania), Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (Croatia), St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic (Russia), and Orquesta Filarmónica de Honduras (Honduras).  She won the 2013 Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and was a Conducting Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.  In addition to her symphonic repertoire, opera productions she directed received honors from National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competitions for two consecutive years.

 

ZOE ZENIODI (GREECE)

Zoe Zeniodi has conducted productions at the Florida Grand Opera, Greek National Opera, the Onassis Cultural Center and guest conducted all the major Greek orchestras as well as Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic, Palm Beach Symphony, New Florida Philhamornic, and JONDE, among others.  She is currently the Music Director of Broward Symphony Orchestra, Momentum Athens Chamber Orchestra and the Associate Music Director of the Festival of the Aegean.  Previous positions include: Chief Conductor of MOYSA, Assistant/Cover Conductor for Florida Grand Opera, Music Director of Alhambra Orchestra and Associate Conductor of Frost Symphony Orchestra. She has released five CD recordings of contemporary music.  Ms. Zeniodi holds a DMA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Miami and also studied at the Royal College of Music and the Mozarteum, Salzburg.

 

(Headshots of this year’s class are available.  Contact suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org)

 

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2016 IWC OBSERVERS:

 

CHING-CHUN LAI (USA)

Ching-Chun Lai, Director of Orchestras at the Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam, has worked on opera productions of Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Pasquale, L’elisir d’amore, Maria Stuarda, Alcina, Thaïs, and The Turn of the Screw. Her performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion were described in Isthmus as “consistently excellent.”  During her tenure, the Crane Symphony Orchestra has performed in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Recent engagements include the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth orchestra.  Dr. Lai studied conducting with Gunther Schuller and James Smith. Additional studies include Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Academy, Gustav Meier, and JoAnn Falletta.  She received her DMA degree from UW-Madison, where she received the Church Memorial Conducting Award, and earned her Master’s degree with Distinguish Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.

 

MICHELLE ROFRANO (USA)

Michelle Rofrano recently completed her master’s degree in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, and Markand Thakar. She will serve as assistant conductor for the upcoming Oberlin in Italy 2016 summer festival.  Ms. Rofrano recently led a production of Così fan tutte with D.C. Public opera, and she was the assistant conductor for Baltimore-based new music ensemble Symphony Number One during its 2015-16 Season. Previous engagements include serving as cover conductor for productions with Lyric Opera Baltimore and Opera Birmingham, performances with the Opera Project of New Jersey and Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, and masterclasses with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Rofrano holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Rutgers University.

 

CAROLYN WATSON (USA)

Conductor Carolyn Watson is Director of Orchestral Studies at Texas State University. From 2013-2015 she held the position of Conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.  A Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Watson was a major prizewinner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest.  She has participated in master classes with Peter Eötvös, Yoel Levi and Alex Polishchuk and conducted musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic in Interaktion.  Ms. Watson is the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors, the Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize and Opera Foundation Australia’s Bayreuth Opera Award. She holds a PhD in Performance (Conducting) from the University of Sydney where her doctoral thesis was Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiberwww.carolyn-watson.com.

 

PARISA ZAERI (USA)

A native of Dallas, Texas, Parisa Zaeri maintains an active career as a conductor, collaborative pianist, and vocal coach.  Her recent musical engagements include serving as Music Director for Boulder Opera’s upcoming production of Carmen (Fall 2016), as Cover Conductor for the American premiere of Philip Glass’s Witches of Venice at Opera Saratoga (Summer 2016), and as Assistant Conductor for the recent Southern Methodist University production of  Die Zauberflöte (Spring 2016).  Notable mentors include Paul Phillips and Grant Wenaus.  Ms. Zaeri graduated with her Master’s degree in Piano Performance -- Collaborative Piano from New York University in May 2015 and currently resides in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and two dogs.

 

~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7.  VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

 

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

~~~~

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 2016-2017 Dallas Opera Season

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.  Full Subscriptions start at $95, 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 www.dallasopera.org.

 

 

THE DALLAS OPERA 2016-2017 FALL SEASON INFORMATION The Dallas Opera celebrates its Sixtieth Year 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 language 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.

 

EUGENE ONEGIN by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

October 28, 30(m), November 2, 5, 2016

A tumultuous and lush romantic opera!

Libretto by K.S. Shilovsky, after Pushkin

Time: Late Nineteenth Century

Place: Czarist Russia

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Jean-Claude Auvray*

Costume Designer: Maria Chiara Donato

Lighting Designer: Laurent Castaingt

Choreographer: Cooky Chiapalone

Wig & Make-up Designer:

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Andrei Bondarenko (Eugene Onegin), Svetlana Aksenova* (Tatyana), Stephen Costello (Lensky), Kai Rüütel** (Olga), Mikhail Kazakov (Prince Gremin), Elizabeth Batton (Larina), Meredith Arwady (Filipievna), Greg Fedderly (Triquet), Musa Ngqungwana* (Zaretski)

A classic, period production originally created for the Israeli Opera Tel-Aviv-Jaffa!

 

MOBY-DICK by Jake Heggie

November 4, 6(m), 9, 12, 18, & 20(m), 2016

Back by Popular Demand!

Libretto by Gene Scheer

Time: Nineteenth Century

Place: Whaling Ship on the High Seas

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Set Designer: Robert Brill

Costume Designer: Jane Greenwood

Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift

Projections Designer: Elaine J. McCarthy

Wig and Make-up Designer:

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Jay Hunter Morris (Captain Ahab), Stephen Costello (Greenhorn), Morgan Smith (Starbuck), Musa Ngqungwana* (Queequeg), David Cangelosi (Flask), Jacqueline Echols* (Pip), Peter McGillivray* (Stubb)

Our internationally acclaimed 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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KEITH CERNY Featured on KERA’s “CEO”

by Celeste Hart

Tune in to KERA-TV and KERA radio for a fascinating interview with our General Director and CEO Keith Cerny by host and veteran journalist Lee Cullum. “CEO” features the best corporate and non-profit leaders in North Texas and beyond. 

According to KERA’s website, the show explores what it takes to make a company successful in today’s global marketplace, covering topics like leadership style and ethics.

Please click here for the online video! ceo cerny 11X17

Mr. Cerny’s “CEO”
interview will air on KERA-TV:

Friday, June 3, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, June 13, 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 26, 11:30 a.m.

It will also air on KERA Radio 90.1 FM:

Sunday, June 5, 5:00 p.m.

Thanks to Lee Cullum and KERA for this fabulous segment!

What We Learned from the Women Conductors Institute

by Celeste Hart

In his latest Off the Cuff, Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny reflects on the success, and opportunities for further improvement, from the inaugural Institute for Women Conductors.


published Sunday, January 3, 2016

 

Dallas — Between Nov. 28 and Dec. 6, The Dallas Opera held the inaugural program of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors. Six conductors were selected from more than 100 applicants representing 27 countries, and four additional American observers were also selected. As it turned out, of these six, two were Americans, another two Australian, one British, and one Russian/German. More information on the program can be found here. As a measure of the program’s impact, a Google search in mid-December of the terms “Women Conductors” and then “News” from computers in both Dallas and New York showed this program realizing 9 of the 10 top search slots. (The other entry was an article about Marin Alsop’s subscription series debut with the Chicago Symphony).

Although I began the serious planning and initial fundraising two-and-a-half years ago to create this conducting program, the question of why women face barriers to professional success in some fields has been on my mind for more than 35 years. By way of background, my own career has been diverse, encompassing music performance, high technology, and business, and I have observed in many different settings the challenges that women face in establishing themselves in traditionally male-dominated fields.

I grew up in an academic family; and my mother and several of her friends were among the first women to be admitted to Ph.D. programs in physics and chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley; this experience gave me some important early exposure to the challenges facing women in academia at that time. When I attended Harvard Business School in 1989, and worked as a consultant for two top-tier firms in the U.S. and Europe in the 1990s, I observed a range of barriers for women achieving success in the business world—some overt, others more subtle. And, most recently, in my career as an opera General Director and CEO, I continue to see barriers for women as conductors and leaders in classical music, with the result that women are significantly under-represented in top management—including Music Director positions—as well as guest conductor opportunities at leading American opera companies. I consider the Institute for Women Conductors to be one of my most important personal initiatives at The Dallas Opera to date, and am extremely grateful for the support of Linda and Mitch Hart, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation, and Baker Botts LLP.

The inaugural conducting program at The Dallas Opera was very intensive, especially since in its first year it covered a vast range of material in just nine days. (In the future, when more funding will be available, the institute will last a full two weeks). The curriculum was focused around two primary areas. The first was hands-on conducting experience with The Dallas Opera Orchestra, and master classes with singers and piano presented by TDO’s Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement. The second curriculum area, which I designed personally, was a series of seminars, panel discussions and role plays on important topics including personal branding and image management; conducting successful media interviews; succeeding in a male-dominated field; selecting repertoire for career impact; accepting and declining specific engagements; partnering with the concertmaster; and finding the right artist manager. The program culminated in a public concert on Dec. 5, 2015, with each of the six conductors conducting an overture and two arias or small ensembles with orchestra. The concert received excellent reviews, and the very high standard of the singers in the performance was noted by multiple reviewers.

Over the holiday period, I indulged in a little self-reflection about the curriculum for the seminars, panel discussion and role-plays we had developed. I wondered, with more than 35 years of thinking about the question of barriers to women in professional fields, how well did I anticipate the needs of the participants, and how could the program be improved in future years? I have organized my self-reflections into three areas: pleasant surprises, future opportunities, and—if I may be permitted—one general observation on how gender differences may possibly influence international conducting careers.

 

Photo: Karen Almond/The Dallas Opera -- The conductors take a bow at the Dallas Opera’s Institute for Women Conductors final concert at the Winspear Opera House

 

 

Pleasant surprises

At the start of the conducting program, we organized a welcome get-together for the participants and observers at the elegant home at one of the lead sponsors. Many of the conductors and observers had only flown in that day, and some were quite jet-lagged. Of the nine participants, I had only met one before. One of the things that most impressed me in this event was how secure and confident the 10 conductors and observers were, as they interacted with donors they had never met in a city that many of them had never been to before. This outcome was extremely reassuring to me, as the contemporary conducting field requires any conductor—male or female—to be willing and supremely able to build relationships with their supporters and patrons.

Another pleasant surprise was how well the participants and observers collaborated from the very start, and formed their own network. Yes, this criterion had been an important part of the selection process, but personality and teamwork can be hard to judge from applications and references alone. Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and I had worked to select conductors and observers who were outstanding musicians, and who also appeared to have a strong interest in being mutually supportive, as we wanted to create a long-term network among the group. I was delighted to see that we were able to get this right.

Photo: Karen Almond/The Dallas Opera -- Conductor Stephanie Rhodes

 

 

Future Opportunities

In evaluating the group, I saw three areas where the workshop and seminar program can be of greatest value to women conductors (in addition to, of course, the master classes and work with the Dallas Opera Orchestra). None of these areas are especially gender specific, in my mind. The first area is helping the conductors to better articulate their personal brand – i.e. the three-to-five areas that they believe make them memorable and distinctive relative to other conductors. These might include having made a major debut with a particular opera company, having conducted an important new opera, having won a major international conducting position, or having been the protégé of a famous conductor. The inter-personal confidence, noted above, allowed them to express themselves very well in mock interviews with TDO’s Director of Media and PR, Suzanne Calvin, and, later, in actual media interviews (see, for example, this piece on TheaterJones), they all made considerable progress over the week in being able to articulate their brands to themselves, one another, the program faculty, and ultimately, the media.

Secondly, the conductors clearly need a greater understanding of the music business—both at the internal operating level (e.g. marketing, fundraising, finance), and the overall field (e.g. executive recruiters and hiring processes, the role of artist managers, how guest conductors get hired). This area will be the focus of the summer reunions that will be held each year, with participants and observers being invited to attend each summer for five years following their initial residency.

One final area that came to light is the urgent need for the conductors to have video of themselves conducting. In the online applications for the program through Yaptracker.com, we had encouraged applicants to include video of themselves conducting. Relatively few of them did, since getting video of conducting typically requires payments to artists and unions that budget-strapped opera houses and symphonies (is there any other kind?) are not always able to pay. These videos are vital, however, in eliciting the interest of artist managers, making it possible to apply for conducting programs, and securing guest conducting appointments. The Dallas Opera will be providing personalized video of the performances to the six conductors in the first part of 2016.

 

One Possible “Confidence Gap”

While the strategy of TDO’s program is to create opportunities and support for exceptionally talented women conductors, rather than to focus on barriers to success, I had one general observation that I think will help the program, and ultimately the field. One of the lead faculty members was my friend and colleague Carol Lazier, President of the San Diego Opera Board, who shared an important article with me on women and careers; whether one agrees with every point made in the article or not, the piece is certainly worthy of discussion and self-reflection. The article, entitled “The Confidence Gap”, was written by Claire Shipman (a reporter for ABC News), and Katty Kay (anchor of BBC World News America) in the May, 2014 edition of the Atlantic Magazine. The subtitle of the article was “Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here’s why, and what to do about it.”

Photo: Karen Almond/The Dallas Opera -- Conductor Natalie Murray Beale

 
 
 
 
While generalizing about gender differences in conducting is dangerous, especially since we had women representing such diverse countries, ethnic backgrounds, and local musical cultures participating in the conducting institute, Shipman and Kay’s article rang true with my experience leading the program. To quote the authors:

“Even as our understanding of confidence expanded, however, we found that our original suspicion was dead-on: there is a particular crisis for women—a vast confidence gap that separates the sexes. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology.

A growing body of evidence shows just how devastating this lack of confidence can be. Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence. No wonder that women, despite all our progress, are still woefully underrepresented at the highest levels. All of that is the bad news. The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired. Which means that the confidence gap, in turn, can be closed.”

What was refreshing and reassuring about the Conducting Institute was the extent to which the conductors were able to project a high level of—situationally appropriate—confidence in many donor-focused social settings and media interviews; this is vital in a world where Music Directors and guest conductors are expected to interact intensively and effectively with their audiences and supporters. The conductors and observers were also very comfortable in sharing highly personal perspectives in a group setting as we worked through questions of personal branding, the role of artist management, and career aspirations. There was, however, one specific area that resonated, for me at least, with the comments of Shipman and Kay. As I commented during the program, almost all of the conductors apologized too much to the orchestra, and this is an area where they may unknowingly give other conductors the edge. (I shared this perspective with them during the working sessions, and I think they all quickly assimilated the point).

Just to be clear, I believe that conductors should apologize to the orchestra if they make a technical mistake. My favorite example is the ferociously difficult finale of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, where it is very easy to get a beat pattern wrong as the meters change rapidly. However, in this case, a quick – “sorry, my mistake” suffices – although it is critically important to get this right the second time, or the orchestra will lose confidence in you. With the institute conductors, who were all accomplished musicians, but who varied considerably in podium experience and sophistication of stick technique, they tended to apologize when making a musical request. This sends the wrong message, completely. If a conductor wants the oboes and flutes to emphasize the phrasing, the first trumpet to play more quietly, or the strings to play with a different bowing, there is no need – indeed, it is unproductive – to be apologetic. (Rudeness won’t get them anywhere either, of course). This is a relatively minor point, and can be corrected, but is also important as these conductors work to secure future engagements in an extremely competitive field.

In closing, I was delighted with the success of The Dallas Opera’s inaugural conducting program, and am already looking forward to next year—which will feature considerably more orchestra time, stretched over a full two weeks. My team and I are also working on the follow-up networking opportunities for the group, and preparing for the summer reunion in the summer of 2016, which will feature more master classes and discussions of the music business, based on what we’ve learned from the process and the participants themselves.

Thanks to the generosity of Linda and Mitch Hart, The Dallas Opera has made a 20-year commitment to this program, so we will have ample time in the coming years to fine-tune the curriculum, choice of repertoire, faculty backgrounds, and format of the final public concerts. All in all, I feel very encouraged by how well-equipped these relatively young conductors are, to tackle the challenges of an international conducting career. I look forward to following their progress with great interest and, admittedly, a measure of personal satisfaction that stems from the role of The Dallas Opera in preparing these outstanding young professionals for the next set of challenges awaiting them.

It has been a rare pleasure and privilege.

 

New Major Gifts Announcement!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS THE PROUD RECIPIENT OF EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS FROM

Mrs. Eugene McDermott

And  The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Honoring Kern Wildenthal

~~~~

The Position of General Director and CEO Has Been Named, in Perpetuity, for

Two-Time TDO Board Chair

            DALLAS, DECEMBER 18, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is the proud recipient of two extraordinary new gifts, totaling $2 million, from The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Mrs. Eugene (Margaret) McDermott, who have requested that the position of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO be known henceforth as the “Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO” in honor of the longtime Dallas Opera Board Member and Past Chairman.  Dr. Wildenthal currently serves the company as an Officer-at-large on TDO’s Executive Committee.

           Recognized throughout the medical and business communities for his accomplishments as president of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Southwestern Medical Foundation, as well as in his current position as president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dr. Wildenthal applies the same combination of vision, skill, philanthropy and advocacy to advance the standing of The Dallas Opera, both locally and internationally.

Dr. Kern and Marnie Wildenthal at the 2013 Juanita and Henry S. Miller Founders Award Luncheon -- PHOTO BY Dana Driensky

            In addition to his 27 years on The Dallas Opera Board of Directors, Dr. Wildenthal has been extremely generous with both his time and expertise, sitting on multiple senior committees including Strategic Planning, Nominating, Finance, Audit, and the Executive Committee.  He has also served on The Dallas Opera Board of Trustees.  

            Kern Wildenthal was a founding board member of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts (now known as the AT&T Performing Arts Center) and worked tirelessly toward the successful completion of the final phase of the city’s central Arts District, with the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House as its acoustically acclaimed “crown jewel.”

            In 2008, Dr. Wildenthal accepted the position of Chairman of The Dallas Opera Board of Directors, leading the company for two consecutive terms through the most dramatically transformative period in the company’s history. During his 2008-2012 tenure as Chairman, Kern Wildenthal:

  • Guided the company’s October 2009 move into the Winspear Opera House after more than 50 years of performances in the Music Hall at Fair Park
  • Served as the principal negotiator of a $10 million matching challenge to build the company’s endowment, personally securing 6-and 7-figure gifts and devoting countless hours to the task of completing the match, which quintupled the endowment from $5 million to $25 million
  • Acted as a strong advocate for The Dallas Opera in the community, recruiting numerous patrons, supporters and board members from among business leaders and Dallas’ philanthropic community
  • Played a leading role in the recruitment of Keith Cerny as TDO’s General Director and CEO

            Upon Mr. Cerny’s arrival in 2010, Dr. Wildenthal was asked to take an unusual step: “Kern agreed to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman of the Board, in order to provide stability and continuity to the company, and to support my transition into my new role,” explains Keith Cerny, who will be the first “Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO.”

            “I shall always be grateful to Kern for putting the company’s needs first during that critical time,” Mr. Cerny adds, “and for his role in securing major gifts for general operations to deal with a significant deficit in our second year in our new home.

            “Together with the Board, we restructured The Dallas Opera season schedule and successfully addressed significant cost increases, while simultaneously developing strategies to attract new and more diverse audiences.  Ultimately, this led to a dramatic expansion of our education programs—reaching tens of thousands of students each year—and an ongoing program of free simulcasts which, so far, have entertained more than 60,000 people.”

            Dr. Wildenthal and his wife, Marnie, are members of the General Director’s Circle and are recognized on the West Lobby Wall in the Winspear Opera House as donors of 21st Century Major Endowments and Special Gifts.  They share a genuine passion for opera and are known throughout Texas as two of our most committed and enthusiastic champions.

            A multi-year pledge made by the couple in 2011 established the “Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Principal Artist,” a fund to support an artist’s participation in one main stage production each season.  The 2015 recipient was internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who led a glittering, all-star cast in The Dallas Opera’s eagerly anticipated October world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Great Scott.

            “The Eugene McDermott Foundation is delighted to be able to show its passion for the Greater Dallas community, as well as for the arts, through this gift made in honor of Kern Wildenthal,” says Mary McDermott Cook, President of the McDermott Foundation.  “Kern has earned the admiration—not only of our foundation and our family—but of the arts, medical and academic communities in Dallas and throughout the country.  His insightful leadership, integrity, and decades of exemplary service to a variety of causes have contributed greatly to our community.

            “I think,” she adds, “this is the perfect way to acknowledge Dr. Wildenthal’s continuing influence on the life of this city while providing an even brighter future for opera and the arts in Dallas.”

            Margaret McDermott and the Eugene McDermott Foundation have been steadfast and generous of supporters of The Dallas Opera.  Since 2003, they have made gifts totaling more than $7.6 million to special campaigns that helped the opera build their administrative offices in the Winspear Opera House, complete a $10 million challenge grant to build the company’s endowment, underwrite the world premiere of Great Scott, and to name the position of the General Director and CEO for Dr. Wildenthal.

            “It has been a great privilege to be associated with The Dallas Opera as it has emerged as one of America’s leading companies,” Dr. Wildenthal responds.  “The major gifts from Margaret McDermott and the Eugene McDermott Foundation are of enormous importance to the expanding mission of The Dallas Opera, and I feel incredibly honored that Margaret and Mary wished to recognize me by having my name associated with their exceptional donations.”

            The new name of the position of general director and CEO for the company will be applied in perpetuity.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

~~~~

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2015-2016 SEASON SPONSOR FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “SEEKING THE HUMAN ELEMENT” SEASON

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 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.  Full and Flex Subscriptions are on sale now 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 2015-2016 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Ninth 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.

 

MANON by Jules Massenet
March 4, 6(m), 9, 12, 2016
A Timeless Tale of Young Love Set in France
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille
Time:
Late 19th Century
Place:
France
Conductor:
Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director:
E. Loren Meeker*
Set and Costume Designer:
Tanya McCallin
Original Choreographer: Paule Constable
Revival Choreographer: Colm Seery*
Lighting Designer:
Kevin Sleep
Wig & Make-up Designer:
David Zimmerman
Chorus Master:
Alexander Rom
Starring:
Ailyn Pérez (Manon), Stephen Costello (Chevalier des Grieux), Edwin Crossley-Mercer* (Lescaut), David Pittsinger* (Count des Grieux), Greg Fedderly* (Guillot de Morfontaine), Troy Cook* de Brétigny), Katherine Whyte* (Pousette), Kathryn Leemhuis* (Javotte), Audrey Babcock (Rosette), Theodor Carlson (Innkeeper)
The Return of Graeme Jenkins to the Podium!

 

SHOW BOAT by Jerome Kern
April 15, 17(m), 20, 23, 29, May 1(m), 2016
A Great American Musical
Music by Jerome Kern -- Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Time: 1887-1927
Place:
Mississippi and Chicago
Conductor:
Emmanuel Villaume
Stage Director:
E. Loren Meeker
Set Designer:
Peter J. Davison
Costume Designer: Paul Tazewell*
Lighting Designer:
Erik Watkins
Sound Designer: Tom Clark
Choreographer: Michele Lynch*
Wig & Make-up Designer:
David Zimmerman
Chorus Master:
Alexander Rom
Starring:
Andriana Chuchman* (Magnolia), Michael Todd Simpson (Gaylord Ravenal), Lara Teeter* (Cap’n Andy Hawks), Alyson Cambridge* (Julie), Angela Renée Simpson (Queenie), Mary-Pat Green* (Parthy Ann Hawkes), Kirsten Wyatt* (Ellie Mae Chipley), Morris Robinson (Joe), John Bolton* (Frank), Keith Chambers (Jake)
Performed with the Power of the Operatic Voice and Full Orchestra!

* 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.

 

###

IWC Receives Mellon Foundation Grant

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

A $500,000 Grant from

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

~~~~

In Support of a New Initiative:

“The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for

Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera”

Inaugural Session, Nov. 28-Dec. 6, 2015

            DALLAS, NOVEMBER 18, 2015 – The Dallas Opera has been awarded a $500,000 grant over a three-year period from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the company’s new initiative, “The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera.” This innovative program is designed to support the career aspirations and advancement of women conductors in the field of opera, while addressing the thorny problems resulting from ingrained gender inequality at the top of the profession. 

            The inaugural institute is scheduled to take place in Dallas from November 28th through December 6, 2015 with participants (six institute fellows, four additional American observers) selected from more than a hundred qualified applicants originating in 27 countries around the globe.  There is no comparable program today for addressing the needs of talented young female conductors seeking to make their mark on the world’s top opera organizations.

            Although “Level One” opera companies in North America (as defined by OPERA America) produce approximately a hundred different opera productions each year, women conductors will stand at the podium for only around 5% of the total number of productions during the 2015-2016 Season. 

            The situation is equally dire in the symphonic world: of the top symphony orchestras in the U.S., only one is led by a female music director (the Baltimore Symphony’s Marin Alsop).

            Recent trends indicate the gender gap may, in fact, be widening.  Data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that over the past decade, 44% of Masters Degrees and 30% of all doctorates in conducting went to women.  Nevertheless, a mere dozen female conductors are positioned to lead the top 103 high-budget orchestras on this continent (League of American Orchestras report, 2013).  “To some extent,” opined The Independent (U.K.) in 2010, “the scarcity of female conductors is a vicious circle.  With so few women…in high-profile posts, the role models have not existed to inspire more, so the situation becomes self-perpetuating.”

            “The Institute for Women Conductors” was created under the auspices of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny to identify and support emerging major women conductors and provide an intensive residential program that combines master classes, coaching, and distinguished guest lecturers with hands-on podium time in front of a full-sized orchestra. 

            The Institute, launched with catalyst funding from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation, will culminate on Saturday, December 5th, in a public concert “showcase” expected to attract high-ranking industry influencers and decision makers to the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House to experience these artists at work. 

            Additionally, Mr. Cerny is keen to develop a national “center for excellence” for women conductors, hosted by The Dallas Opera, as well as an ongoing support network consisting of peer-to-peer discussions, experienced mentoring, regular career consultations on specific media and management issues, and steps to encourage other music organizations to develop solutions that address the ongoing gender imbalance.

            “The under-representation of women at the top of our profession is a complex problem that will require more than a single solution,” explains Mr. Cerny.  

            “Even where overt discrimination isn’t a factor, women conductors in the field often aren’t as visible as their male counterparts.  In this business, ‘out of sight’ is ‘out of mind’ to a very real extent,” Cerny adds, “and talented women conductors are too-often passed over for important positions and opportunities because they haven’t caught the attention of artist management agencies, board search committees and the people most involved in an opera company’s day-to-day hiring decisions. 

            “By raising their profiles and increasing the visibility of outstanding women conductors through programs like the IWC, we have a chance to influence the future of this art form—and an opportunity to bring even more talented leaders to the conducting field.”

            The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, combined with additional major gifts, underscores the importance of programs designed to uncover solutions to longstanding inequities in the arts, such as the gender imbalance at the podium addressed by the “Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera.”

2015 IWC FELLOWS:

JENNIFER CONDON (Australia/Germany)

Jennifer Condon has been passionate about opera from an absurdly young age -- since her teens she has been fortunate to have fellow Australian, Simone Young, as mentor.  Jennifer studied piano in Sydney, and conducting in Melbourne and Vienna before commencing work as a souffleuse at the Hamburg State Opera in 2008.  She now has a repertoire of over 55 operas.  During her time in Hamburg, Jennifer also brought Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ opera Sappho (1963) from the composer’s hand-written manuscript to the recording studio.  The CD, with an eminent cast including Deborah Polaski, Sir John Tomlinson and Wolfgang Koch with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, has been released to considerable critical acclaim.  Jennifer lives in Berlin and works as a free-lance vocal coach and prompt as she pursues a conducting career.  Assistant conducting engagements to date include Lohengrin in Zurich and Salome in Vienna.  Future engagements include Reimann’s Lear in Budapest and Ariadne auf Naxos in Tokyo.

JESSICA GETHIN (Australia)

Conductor Jessica Gethin, winner of the prestigious Brian Stacey Australian Emerging Conductor Award, has won praise from audiences and critics alike for her dynamic energy, outstanding musicianship and abounding presence on the podium.  A graduate of the exclusive Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program, Ms. Gethin commenced her official appointment as Chief Conductor of the Perth Symphony Orchestra (Perth, Australia) in 2011.  Jessica Gethin has performed on stages throughout Europe, USA, UK, Canada, Asia and Australia as conductor, concert presenter, program writer, orchestrator, guest lecturer, music educator and adjudicator.  With a diverse background working across a variety of genres ranging from classical, jazz, opera and ballet to musical theatre, contemporary and film score; Jessica has recorded for numerous CDs, television documentaries, live radio broadcasts and television commercials.  She was recently named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Australia” for 2015 by the Australian Financial Review.  Artist collaborations include conducting Welsh bass baritone Bryn Terfel, Divinyl’s Chrissy Amphlette, The Ten Tenors, soprano Rachelle Durkin, Australian screen star Lisa McCune, soprano Marina Prior, tenor David Hobson, jazz trumpeter James Morrison and Dutch violinist Rudolf Koelman, to name a few.  Ms. Gethin currently resides in Western Australia with her husband and two children.

NATALIE MURRAY BEALE (UK)

Conductor Natalie Murray Beale is a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow and is being mentored by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has performed with the Welsh National Opera, Opera Holland Park, Spitalfields Festival, Chamber Orchestra of London and the City of London Sinfonia.  Ms. Murray Beale has also gained valuable experience as Assistant Conductor for the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Festival d’Aix, Wiener Festwochen and Den Nye Opera with the Philharmonia, Bergen Philharmonic, B’Rock Orchestra, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie and the Freiburger Barockorchester.  Previous positions include serving on the music staff of Welsh National Opera; as coach at the Royal Opera House, Young Artist Programme; and as Guest Chorus Director of London Symphony Chorus. 

Ms. Murray Beale enjoys collaborating with composers and recently conducted the soundtracks to the video game Alien:Isolation (BAFTA nominated) and the British film Robot Overlords. Her performances of the new opera, We are Shadows, received a Royal Philharmonic Society award.  This year she will make her debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

STEPHANIE RHODES (USA)

Stephanie Rhodes is a renowned opera collaborator, having served on the music staff of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, The Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, amongst others. She has garnered experience as a conductor, assistant conductor, prompter, chorus master, rehearsal pianist, orchestral keyboardist and diction coach.  This summer she joins the Miami Summer Music Festival as the Studio Program Director and conductor of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, additionally participating as a fellow in the festival’s Orchestral Conducting Institute. As a Fulbright award recipient, Ms. Rhodes spent the 2012/13 season in Moscow specializing in Russian repertoire and pronunciation for non-native singers. She was recently commissioned by The Dallas Opera to transliterate Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and is currently working on a book to standardize Russian diction for singers. An alum of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and San Francisco’s Merola Opera program, she holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Utah State University in Collaborative Piano and Piano Performance.

ANNA SKRYLEVA (Russia/Germany)

Russian conductor Anna Skryleva has lived and worked in Germany for the past 15 years.  Currently, Ms. Skryleva is engaged as principal resident conductor at The State Theatre, Darmstadt, in addition to performing as a concert pianist and a chamber musician in Russia, other European nations and Mexico.  Anna Skryleva’s career as a conductor began in 2002 in Karlsruhe, where she was engaged at the Music College as music assistant of the conductor Prof. Alicja Mounk.  From 2007 to 2012, Anna Skryleva was engaged at the State Opera Hamburg as musical assistant of Simone Young, where she acquired a wide repertoire, from German Romanticism to Italian bel canto to modern music of the 20th century.  After successfully conducting Richard Strauss’ Salome at the State Theatre Darmstadt in 2013, Anna Skryleva was named Darmstadt’s Principal Resident Conductor.  Since then, she has conducted new productions and revivals of works including Otello, Tristan und Isolde, Il trittico, Madame Butterfly, La traviata and many more.  The German publication Main-Echo named Anna Skryleva “Person of the Year 2013.”  Earlier this year, she was nominated for the “Emotion Award 2015” in the Category “Women in Leadership”; winners will be announced later this month.

LIDIYA YANKOVSKAYA (USA)

Lidiya Yankovskaya’s recent work as a symphonic and opera conductor has been hailed as “superb,” “expert,” and “coax[ing] every possible expressive note from the instrumentalists.”  Currently, Ms. Yankovskaya serves as Music Director of Harvard University’s Lowell House Opera, Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble, and Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater.  She also works regularly with Gotham Chamber Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, and New York Lyric Opera.  Last summer, Ms. Yankovskaya served as a conducting fellow under renowned conductor Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival, where she had the privilege of assisting Maestro Maazel and filled in for him regularly in rehearsal and performance.  Recent productions have received multiple awards ranging from The American Prize to the National Opera Association Award.  In addition to her work as a conductor, Lidiya is a pianist and coach, recently serving as Music Director for Opera Boston’s education tours.  Presently, she is working as a Russian Diction Coach and occasional rehearsal conductor for Tanglewood Festival Chorus (the chorus of the Boston Symphony). www.LidiyaYankovskaya.com

2015 IWC OBSERVERS:

ARIANNE ABELA (USA)

Known for her work promoting charitable organizations, conductor Arianne Abela has appeared on NBC’s Today Show and America’s Got Talent as artistic director of “3 Penny,” a non-profit chorus and orchestra, and co-founder of “House of Clouds.”  Arianne served as music director of Saybrook College Orchestra and has conducted the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Wesleyan University Orchestra and the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria.  As a chorusmaster, Abela has prepared choirs for Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Rafael Payare, and Martin Katz, as well as for the University of Michigan Opera in productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.  As a soloist and professional ensemble singer, Abela has performed with major ensembles across North America, Europe and Asia.  Abela is currently a doctoral candidate in conducting at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Jerry Blackstone. She holds a master’s degree in conducting from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

LUÇIK APRAHÄMIAN (USA)

Luçik Aprahämian’s versatility as a conductor makes her equally at home in front of an orchestra, leading a vocal ensemble, or guiding outstanding performances on the opera stage.  With her profound passion for opera, Dr. Aprahämian has served as co-artistic director of Southern Arizona Opera, worked with Opera Parallèle and Bayshore Lyric Opera (both located in the Bay area), and served as assistant conductor and director of the Opera Theatre Program at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  She is an avid exponent of new music and has commissioned and premiered works for choir, orchestra, and opera with ensembles in the Bay Area and Arizona.  Recent premieres include Andrew Pascoe’s opera, God: The Opera and David Evan Jones’s chamber opera, The Rehearsal.   Dr. Aprahämian received her bachelor’s degree in fortepiano performance practice, as well as a master’s degree in conducting, from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  She pursued additional graduate studies to earn her doctorate in conducting from the University of Arizona. 

AVLANA EISENBERG (USA)

Music Director of the Boston Chamber Symphony, Avlana Eisenberg has conducted orchestras throughout the United States and in France, Germany, Austria, Scotland, Spain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Her debut CD, with soloist Zina Schiff and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAV, features violin concertos by Sibelius and Barber and the world premiere orchestral recording of Ben-Haim’s Three Songs without Words.  Eisenberg received a Fulbright Fellowship for conducting study in Paris and apprenticeship at the Paris National Opera and was one of Glamour magazine’s “Top Ten College Women of the Year.”  As an undergraduate at Yale University, she founded and directed the Silliman Symphony and was honored with Yale’s “V. Browne Irish Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts.”  An alumna of Interlochen Arts Camp and the Aspen Music Festival, Eisenberg holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute.

CO BOI NGUYEN (USA)

Ms. Co Boi Nguyen has been on the faculty of the University of Redlands, School of Music since 2006, serving as music director of the University of Redlands Orchestra and Opera.  From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Nguyen was conductor and faculty member of the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival at Long Island University, New York.  At the same time, she also worked as assistant conductor to Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun in New York.  As an alumna of the Vietnam National Academy of Music, Ms. Nguyen returns to Hanoi regularly to perform and to give master classes.  She made her highly acclaimed debut with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra at the Hanoi Opera House in July 2002, making her the first woman ever to lead the ensemble.  Ms. Nguyen is a graduate of the conducting programs at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Juilliard School in New York.

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7.  VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

Keith Cerny and Emmanuel Villaume Extend TDO Contracts to June 2022!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE 

CONTRACT EXTENSIONS TO JUNE 30, 2022

FOR KEITH CERNY AND EMMANUEL VILLAUME

DALLAS, NOVEMBER 19, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is pleased and proud to announce contract extensions for its two most senior leaders: General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, and Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.  Both contracts have been extended to June 30, 2022.

General Director & CEO Cerny, who joined The Dallas Opera in 2010, will continue to lead the artistic, fund-raising, and operational activities of the company.  Working with the Board of Directors, Mr. Cerny will maintain his responsibilities for programming and casting, in addition to the selection of productions, directors, designers, guest artists and conductors. 

Music Director Villaume, now beginning his third season with the company, will conduct three productions each year.  Maestro Villaume will also continue to work closely with the general director on season planning, as well as their ongoing efforts to bring the world’s finest performing artists to North Texas. 

In making today’s announcement, Board Chair Steve Suellentrop noted the following: “Over the past five years, Keith Cerny has demonstrated exemplary leadership.  His artistic accomplishments include the commissioning of three world premieres in 2015, the launch of the Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital Series to fill a vital musical niche in the North Texas performing arts scene, the expansion of The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition to the rank of a major national program, and the creation of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors

“He brought a number of neglected operatic “gems” to North Texas for the first time, including Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Peter Maxwell-Davies’s The Lighthouse and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta

“Keith has also reimagined the company’s relationship with the community, in all its diversity, by creating a free public simulcast program that has reached over 60,000 patrons in the U.S. and abroad. 

“With an eye on the next generation of opera audiences, he led the development of an ambitious education program that presents nearly 100 performances and concerts each year to schools, community centers, and in other non-traditional locations. 

“Working closely with the Board, Keith has also played a major role in achieving three consecutive balanced budgets – the first time in fifteen years that The Dallas Opera has achieved this result.”

Mr. Suellentrop went on to say, “Music Director Emmanuel Villaume has accomplished a great deal in his first two years with the company.  In addition to conducting several outstanding productions, he has made Dallas his musical home; using his considerable intelligence and charm to forge extremely positive relationships with the community, our Board, and our supporters.  We are incredibly fortunate to have Maestro Villaume as our Music Director, considering the constant demand for his services from the world’s leading opera companies and symphonies.”

Keith Cerny commented on the announcement: “Leading the Dallas Opera over the last five years has unquestionably been the highlight of my professional career, and I am greatly looking forward to leading the company in exciting directions in the future. 

“As an opera company, we are extraordinarily blessed to have the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House as our musical home; a magnificent, acoustically acclaimed performance space in the AT&T Performing Arts Center that provides us with an opportunity to build on The Dallas Opera’s long and distinguished musical history—and take it to new heights. 

“I am equally ecstatic that Maestro Villaume has been willing to make The Dallas Opera a central part of his musical life for the next seven years.  With the Board’s strong support, I appointed him as Music Director in 2013, and have been delighted with his work for the company, both on and off the podium.  He is a remarkable musician and colleague, and he and I have many ambitious plans for the future of the company.”

Music Director Emmanuel Villaume also responded to the news: “I am absolutely delighted to have extended my commitment to The Dallas Opera.  Since the day I began as Music Director, I have been warmly welcomed into this community by everyone I have met.  This city has created a remarkable Arts District; we are especially fortunate that Margot and Bill Winspear gave so generously for the design and construction of one of the world’s finest opera houses. 

“I look forward to working with the excellent Dallas Opera Orchestra and the Dallas Opera Chorus throughout the coming years, while collaborating closely with Keith to continue to bring significant artistic projects, thrilling performances, and the world’s leading artists to audiences here in North Texas.”

“The promise of a new era in opera,” Mr. Cerny added, “that began with the company’s successful move in 2009 from Fair Park to the purpose-built Winspear Opera House and the creation of the Cultural Renaissance Endowment Fund, is in the process of being fulfilled today. 

“When I think back on what we, as a company, have accomplished during the fast-paced years since, it makes me look forward—with greater anticipation than ever—to the innovative and exhilarating seasons to come.”

BIOGRAPHIES

Keith Cerny, General Director and CEO

Keith Cerny’s career spans music, technology and business. He began studying piano at the age of 10, and performed extensively in his teens as a solo pianist and accompanist. He subsequently studied Music and Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating with highest honors in both degrees, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to London. There he studied at the English National Opera and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and performed and coached regularly for four years. Following his return from London, he worked for two years for the accounting firm Touche Ross & Co. in San Francisco before attending Harvard Business School. While living in Boston, Keith also accompanied voice students in the studio in the Chair of the Voice department at New England Conservatory. After graduating with honors from HBS, Keith spent nearly 15 years in management consulting, working first for McKinsey & Co. in London and Atlanta, and then as a telecom and high tech Partner with Accenture in San Francisco. During this period, Keith also completed a Ph.D. in Econometrics and Economic Development Policy from the Open University in the U.K. As a consultant, he worked on numerous pro bono projects for opera companies in parallel with his paid consulting work, including the San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera and Spoleto Festival USA. He was hired by the Board of the San Francisco Opera in 2004 as the Executive Director (COO) and CFO. During his tenure at SF Opera, the company achieved three years of balanced operating results, following an institution-threatening downturn prior to his arrival. He then worked for Russell Reynolds in San Francisco, recruiting CEOs and senior executives for non-profits, before taking over as CEO of SheetMusicPlus.com – the largest online retailer of sheet music.

Keith joined The Dallas Opera in 2010 as General Director & CEO. There, he has worked with the Dallas Opera’s Board of Directors and opera staff to stabilize the company’s finances and grow the endowment, leading to the first three consecutive balanced operating results in 15 years; recruited an accomplished new Music Director with an international reputation, Emmanuel Villaume, and a Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement; commissioned three world premieres by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer, Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, and Mark Adamo; launched the company’s free public simulcast series including an international simulcast of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers to 9 locations in the U.S., U.K. and Continental Europe; and forged new artistic collaborations with the Dallas Theater Center, the Dallas Children’s Theater, University of North Texas, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and Dallas Museum of Art. In 2011, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Opera America, where he also serves as Chair of the Strategy Committee.  In 2015 he was elected to the Board of Tessitura.

Emmanuel Villaume, Music Director

Now in his third season as Music Director of The Dallas Opera where he recently conducted Tosca, Iolanta and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. He made his debut with the company in 1998 conducting Faust and returned to conduct The Marriage of Figaro in 2002. He is a frequent guest conductor at the world’s leading opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, London’s Royal Opera, the Paris Opera, Monte Carlo Opera, Venice’s La Fenice, the Munich Staatsoper, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, the Hamburg Staatsoper, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colón. He has led the Montreal Symphony in Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, Detroit, Minnesota, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, and the China National Opera Orchestra for the 2008 Olympic Games. He is currently Chief Conductor of the National Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. He served as the Spoleto Festival USA’s Music Director for Opera and Orchestra from 2001 to 2010. Maestro Villaume has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (including Iolanta featuring Anna Netrebko), Decca and EMI. He recently assumed a new post as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia, in addition to his work in Dallas.

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

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TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2015-2016 SEASON SPONSOR FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “SEEKING THE HUMAN ELEMENT” SEASON

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 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.  Flex Subscriptions are on sale now 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.