The Blockbuster of the Season! La boheme

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO PRESENT

GIACOMO PUCCINI’S IMMORTAL LOVE STORY

LA BOHÈME

LIBRETTO BY GIUSEPPE GIACOSA AND LUIGI ILLICA

STARRING LATIN AMERICAN SOPRANO ANA MARÍA MARTÍNEZ AS MIMÌ, AMERICAN TENOR BRYAN HYMEL AS RODOLFO, SPANISH SOPRANO DAVINIA RODRIGUEZ AS MUSETTA, AND BARITONE JONATHAN BEYER AS MARCELLO

CONDUCTED BY MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN HIS TDO DEBUT AND STAGED BY DIRECTOR PETER KAZARAS

OPENING NIGHT: FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015 AT 7:30 PM

WITH ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES Mar. 15(m), 18, 21, 27, 29(m)

UNDERWRITING SUPPORT PROVIDED BY TACA

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSOR TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION

            DALLAS, FEBRUARY 20, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is preparing to whisk audiences away to the Latin Quarter of Paris for the blockbuster opera of the season: Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 masterpiece, LA BOHÈME, based on Henri Murger’s newspaper serial-turned-novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème

          The Dallas Opera’s enormously popular period production of LA BOHÈME opens on Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Subsequent performances will be presented in this limited run on March 15(m), 18, 21, 27 at 7:30 p.m., & 29(m), 2015

          The performance on Saturday, March 21st will also be simulcast live from the Winspear to an audience of thousands at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.  Your best chance (short of joining the NFL) to be seen on the mega-screens at the home of the Dallas Cowboys!  

           The Winspear Opera House is centrally located in the Dallas Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201 and tickets start at just $19.

            This Dallas Opera production stars charismatic American tenor Bryan Hymel as Rodolfo and Grammy Award-winning Latin American soprano Ana María Martínez as Mimì, at the head of an international all-star ensemble.

            An opera “cover girl” who recently graced the covers of Opera News and Opera magazines, Ana María Martínez is one of the most in-demand sopranos of our time. With a voice described as lustrous and vibrant, she has sung beside the legendary Plácido Domingo and with famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel, in concert.  According to Opera News, Ms. Martínez has shown herself to be “a radiantly vulnerable Mimì, consistently employing her darkly textured lyric soprano with great sensitivity to dynamics and text.” She returns to The Dallas Opera stage following her star turn in our 2008 production of Die Fledermaus.

            The engaging Bryan Hymel is one of today’s fastest-rising opera stars.  His 2014-2015 Season commenced at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where he earned rave reviews in this same role.  The New York Observer praised Mr. Hymel’s top notes, “as brilliant as fireworks,” as well as his generous and romantic musical phrasing.  He returns to The Dallas Opera after his thrilling 2011 debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor.  Since that time, he has developed into an audience favorite at London’s Royal Opera and made successful debuts in Chicago and San Francisco, along with other leading opera companies around the world.

            Sultry soprano Davinia Rodriguez, born in Spain’s Canary Islands and now living in Italy, makes her Dallas Opera debut in this production as the tantalizing yet irrepressible Musetta. She recently performed with Plácido Domingo at Theater an der Wien (Vienna) in I due Foscari for which Bachtrack claimed, “it is a memorable instrument and she gave a striking performance of a very difficult role.” She will be paired with young baritone Jonathan Beyer (Captain Gardiner in the Dallas Opera’s 2010 world premiere production of Moby-Dick) as the equally mercurial Marcello. According to The Washington Post: “Beyer has the luxury of a robust, handsome voice, and promising years ahead.”

            The international ensemble cast includes Russian bass Alexander Vinogradov, who is a regular guest at major opera houses including Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera National de Paris and Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. He will sing the role of the philosophical Colline. Dallas native Steven LaBrie recently portrayed the musician Schaunard at Washington National Opera eliciting this rave review. “Depicting Schaunard as a matinée idol with uninhibited high spirits, baritone Steven LaBrie was as light on his feet as Errol Flynn and more handsome than the young Cary Grant ,” according to Voix Des Arts. Bass Stefan Szkafarowsky, a native of New York City, who sang in The Dallas Opera’s triumphant 2011 production of Boris Godunov and several recent appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, will return for the dual roles of Benoit the bohemian’s landlord and a secondary role as Musetta’s occasional “sugar daddy,” Alcindoro.

            This classic Dallas Opera production was lovingly designed by the late, great Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, with costumes by The Dallas Opera’s longtime resident costume designer, the incomparable Peter J. Hall.

            LA BOHÈME will be conducted by Italian Maestro Riccardo Frizza in his eagerly anticipated company debut.  Maestro Frizza is described by Seen and Heard as “totally convincing, conducting his forces with both strength and gentleness, always supporting the singers and getting fine results from the orchestra.” 

            In the role of stage director, TDO will welcome back acclaimed singer-turned-director Peter Kazaras to guide the enormous cast in this ever-popular favorite.

            Lighting design is by Thomas C. Hase and chorus preparation by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.  The children’s chorus will be prepared by Melinda Cotten.

            “Although recent media interest has centered on an unprecedented string of Dallas Opera world premieres in 2015, the company is just as careful in its selection—and enthusiastic in its presentation—of the most enduring works in the opera canon,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “Popular favorites like La bohème will always hold a special place in our hearts because they present familiar characters and an appealing and moving story, as well as universal truths about life, love, and mortality; what is fleeting and, ultimately, what lasts.

            “I am very excited to see what this splendid ensemble has in store for us, under the keen direction of Riccardo Frizza in his first podium appearance at TDO, and the watchful eye of stage director Peter Kazaras in his company directorial debut,” Cerny adds.  “We expect plenty of sparkle, but even more sparks!”

            LA BOHÈME was first performed in 1896 in Turin, Italy at the Teatro Regio. It was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini who became one of the most acclaimed conductors of the 20th century. The libretto, with its romantic poetic verse, was written by Luigi Illica (who also collaborated with Puccini on the successful operas Tosca and Madama Butterfly) and Giuseppe Giacosa. The opera was very nearly an “overnight success”; within six months of its premiere it became the composer’s most popular work, a position it has held for 118 years.

            The opera’s storyline revolves around four young artists, yearning for love and worldly recognition while struggling for day-to-day survival in 19th century Paris.  A knock at the door of the drafty garret they share leads to a fateful meeting between a poet and a seamstress; and the love ignited by the touch of a “cold little hand” has far-reaching repercussions for them all.

            Generous underwriting support for LA BOHÈME comes from TACA.

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

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

            No late seating is permitted at Dallas Opera performances once the house doors are closed.

            For additional information about the coming season, call The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

 

LA BOHÈME KEY BIOS:

RICCARDO FRIZZA*, (Conductor) has led some of the world’s most important orchestras, including Teatro alla Scala, Opera de Paris, Royal Festival Hall of London, La Monnaie of Bruxelles, Avery Fischer Hall in New York City, at the Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. He has conducted Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Symphonic Orchestra “G. Verdi” in Milan, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsorchester of Munich,  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Staatskapelle Dresden, and Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig. For Decca Records he recorded the recital of Juan Diego Florez, dedicated to Bellini and Donizetti with Symphonic Orchestra “G. Verdi”, which won the Cannes Classical Award 2004. His future plans include I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Barcelona and Otello in Bilbao.

PETER KAZARAS, (Stage Director) currently serves as Director of Opera and Music Theater at University of California Los Angeles.  Previously, he was the Seattle Opera’s Artistic Advisor and Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program. In addition to his work at UCLA, he also directed The Consul for Seattle Opera, a new production of Cendrillon with the Juilliard School, returned to the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera to direct The Rape of Lucretia; and directed the world première of a revised version of An American Tragedy for The Glimmerglass Festival. With Seattle Opera he also directed Madama Butterfly, Wozzeck, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Falstaff, and Tristan und Isolde. This season, he will direct La bohème in a new production for Washington National Opera.  An original cast member of The Dallas Opera world premiere of Thérèse Raquin, Mr. Kazaras makes his TDO directorial debut in this production.

JEAN-PIERRE PONNELLE, (Scenic Designer) (February 19, 1932 -- August 11, 1988) Mr. Ponnelle’s productions have been seen in nearly every important opera house in the world, from the Metropolitan Opera to the San Francisco Opera, from Paris to London and Milan to Vienna, from the Bayreuth Festival to the Salzburg Festival. His cycle of Mozart operas for which James Levine conducts has been a fixture at the Metropolitan and at Salzburg in recent seasons.  Throughout the 1950’s, Mr. Ponnelle worked all over Europe as a designer in opera, ballet and theater. His American debut came in 1958, with sets for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in San Francisco. 

PETER J. HALL, (Costume Designer) (January 22, 1926 – May 27, 2010) was a British-born American costume designer who spent most of his career as resident costume designer for The Dallas Opera. Mr. Hall has designed costumes (and occasionally sets) for more than 70 Dallas Opera productions beginning with Il barbiere di Siviglia in 1962. His work has been seen on stage at the Royal Opera House, London; Vienna State Opera; La Scala, Milan; Kirov Opera, St. Petersburg; the Sydney Opera House; the Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera. His award-winning costumes have graced the likes of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, and Dame Elizabeth Taylor. He has also designed for Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, David Bowie and many other stars.

THOMAS C. HASE, (Lighting Designer) has designed the lighting for Carmen, The Aspern Papers, La Traviata, The Winspear Opening Galas, Otello, and La bohème at the Music Hall all for The Dallas Opera. His body of work includes designs for The Next Wave Festival in New York, Broadway and many regional opera and theatre companies across the U.S. He has also designed throughout Europe and Asia for many of the national theaters and state opera companies. Mr. Hase has been the resident lighting designer and director for Cincinnati Opera for 18 years. He recently lit the musical Doctor Zhivago, which is moving to Broadway. Upcoming projects include La Finta Giardiniera for Santa Fe Opera and Billy Budd for the Nationale Reisoper in Holland.

DAVID ZIMMERMAN, (Wig & Make-Up Designer) has worked with Dallas and other opera companies around the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Paris National Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara. Mr. Zimmerman’s career extends to Broadway as well, where he has worked on shows including Wicked, Rocky Horror, Show Boat, South Pacific and Evita. His personal clients include Deborah Voigt, Joyce DiDonato, Patricia Racette, Martha Stewart, Olympia Dukakis, and Ricky Martin. He has also done the make-up for the DIFFA Fashion Runway, Dallas Fashion and Art Charity, and the Yelp.com fashion event. His print credits include two features in Opera News plus features in both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Television and film credits include Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year and a feature film.

ALEXANDER ROM, (Chorus Master) is a native of Kharkov, Ukraine, Alexander Rom holds a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Leningrad Conservatory of Music. Since immigrating to the U.S. he has worked as a performer, conductor, educator, voice teacher, opera coach, and composer. He has been the chorus master for Dallas Opera since 1990, and an opera coach with The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival, Cincinnati Festival, and Ravinia Festival. He has worked with world renowned singers including Paul Plishka, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Jorma Hynninen, Helga Dernesch, Martti Talvela, Joyce di Donato, and Jerry Hadley.  Maestro Rom is an honorary Visiting Professor at Sibelius Academy and Helsinki Conservatory and was a Visiting Professor at Savonlinna Opera Festival Music Institute. He maintains a private voice studio in Dallas.

LA BOHÈME CAST BIOS:

ANA MARÍA MARTÍNEZ, (Mimì), soprano, returns to The Dallas Opera as Mimì after debuting here as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. Ms. Martínez, a Grammy Award® winner, has an international career spanning all of the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls. In 2014-15, the soprano opened the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s season as Donna Elvira in a new production of Don Giovanni, returned to Opéra national de Paris for La bohème and reprised the title role of Madama Butterfly with Houston Grand Opera. She concludes the season as Paolina in Donizetti’s Poliuto at The Glyndebourne Festival. This November, Decca releases Manon Lescaut with Ms. Martínez in the title role, recorded opposite Andrea Bocelli with Plácido Domingo conducting the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana.

BRYAN HYMEL, (Rodolfo), tenor, reprises the role of Rodolfo in The Dallas Opera’s production of La bohème. He recently performed the same role in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of La bohème for the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Hymel made his house and role debut as Percy in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s staging of Anna Bolena last December. He also recently appeared in concert at the Royal Opera House, Oman under the baton of Maestro Emmanuel Villaume and in the U.S. premiere of Roger Waters’ opera Ça Ira with the Nashville Symphony. His upcoming performances include his house debut with San Francisco Opera as Énée in Les Troyens this summer, followed by his return to the Santa Fe Opera as the Duke in Rigoletto.  Warner Classics recently released his first solo recording, “Héroïque,”conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

DAVINIA RODRIGUEZ*, (Musetta), soprano, makes her Dallas Opera debut in this role. Ms. Rodriguez started her career performing in the major Spanish and Italian theaters including Perez Galdos in Las Palmas, Teatro Real de Madrid, Carlo Felice di Genova, and many others. She has performed the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and Eurydice in Orpheus and Eurydice for Seattle Opera, Liù in Turandot for ABAO Ópera de Bilbao, and Micaela in Carmen for Teatro Ponchielli Cremona, Il Teatro Grande di Brescia, Teatro G. Fraschini Pavia, and Teatro Sociale Como. She portrayed Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari in Vienna at Theater an Der Wien beside Placido Domingo. Her future engagements include Luisa Fernanda at the Palau des les Arts Reina Sofia.

JONATHAN BEYER, (Marcello) baritone, sings the role of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and debuts with the Florida Grand Opera as Guglielmo in Cosí Fan Tutte, Ping in Turandot with the Cincinnati Opera, and Carmina Burana with the New Jersey Symphony in the 2014-2015 season. Future engagements include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Pittsburgh Opera, Marcello in a La bohème with Boston Lyric Opera, Danilo in The Merry Widow with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with Florentine Opera.  Mr. Beyer has recently sung with the Metropolitan Opera, MunichOman, Bari, Boston, Austin, Frankfurt Opera, Montreal, and Hong Kong Opera.  

ALEXANDER VINOGRADOV*, (Colline), bass, makes his Dallas Opera debut with this performance. Recent highlights include portrayals as Escamillo in Carmen at Teatro La Fenice, Sparafucile in Rigoletto and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Regio Turin, Silva in Ernani at Opera de Monte-Carlo and Mephistofeles in Faust at Atlanta Opera. In the 2014-15 season Mr. Vinogradov recorded René in Iolanta alongside Andrei Bondarenko with Dmitrij Kitajenko and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and then portrayed Escamillo in Carmen at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He will also perform the roles of Aleko and Malatesta in Aleko and Francesca da Rimini at Opera de Nancy and Walter in a new production of Guillaume Tell at the Royal Opera House in London, conducted by Antonio Pappano.

STEVEN LABRIE, (Schaunard), baritone, has appeared with The Dallas Opera as Dancaïro in Carmen, Paris in Roméo et Juliette as well as Mercutio in education programs of that production. This season Mr. LaBrie reprises the role of Schaunard in La bohème with Washington National Opera and appears with Jessica Lang Dance in her show The Wanderer at BAM.  Recent performances include Schaunard with New Orleans Opera, the Secret Police Agent in The Consul with Seattle Opera, and Raimbaud in Le comte Ory with Des Moines Metro Opera.  Mr. LaBrie’s awards include a 2013 Encouragement Grant from the George London Music Foundation and Second Place from the Gerda Lissner Foundation. Mr. LaBrie is a native of Dallas, Texas and a graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts.

STEFAN SZKAFAROWSKY, (Benoit), bass, was heard previously at The Dallas Opera as Mitiukh in its production of Boris Godunov. Recently Mr. Szkafarowsky returned to the Metropolitan Opera to take part in its productions of The NoseRigoletto, and Aida.  He also made his debut with the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Ukraine performing the role of Zaccaria in Nabucco. He performed Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera Colorado, and the role of Bonze in Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. Upcoming engagements include future productions at the Metropolitan Opera as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the 2015-2016 season. Mr. Szkafarowsky has been praised for the powerful quality of his voice as well as for his impeccable technique.

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

Making Magic on the Mountain – Robert Brill, Set Designer

by Celeste Hart

A key component of any opera production is the setting of the story – establishing time and place. This is indicated in the libretto and even the music but it’s also the set that adds to the understanding, impact, emotion, some of the “eye-candy” and excitement of the opera. It’s a tangible connection that complements and enhances the performances of the orchestra and singers.  

Hundreds if not thousands of details go into the design, creation, execution and utilization of the set. And while there are fundamental aspects to every set, there is a certain amount of nearly imperceptible nuance that is created by a set that adds to the flavor and experience of these musical masterpieces. Some may call that magic.

For Everest and La Wally the man behind that magic may just have the perfect combination of experience, passion, skills and creativity to pull off The Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” Season world premiere.

Building his Education

Set Designer Robert Brill’s affinity for building started young. Fortuitously, his high school, in central California had a strong vocational program in drafting so even in his teens he managed to get four years of training accomplished. Add to that a great curiosity about magic—he was strongly drawn to the performances of icons David Copperfield and Doug Henning for which he trained himself, (he even drove seven hours to see Henning perform and meet him) a future in set design was imminent, although he didn’t know it at the time. And while intricate planning is involved in set design, and Mr. Brill was in California dreaming about his career, his career development was not planned. The man now known for crafting the sets of the hit Moby-Dick, Faust for the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, Assassins, Guy and Dolls for Broadway and many others, didn’t intentionally build his career.

The next steps for Mr. Brill’s career included getting involved in theater, also while he was still in high school. As an aspiring magician, a friend suggested he do some acting to get performance experience. He got involved with the theater department at Hartnell College, which he also attended later, and the Western Stage Theater Company. Ultimately he gravitated and was pulled toward the behind-the-scenes work of set construction. Living in the small city of Salinas, California, his skills and passion quickly appointed him as the “go-to” guy to help create the settings. Because he had drafting skills he was asked to assist the resident set designer, paint and help build sets at the College. That opportunity was for him the “most amazing thing” in which to be involved and also offered him the ability to build props for his magic work. Mr. Brill also spent time as an apprentice at an architectural firm.

Soon afterwards, he was introduced to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, a large theater group. He got a job as Assistant to the Set Designer which allowed him to put skills he learned into practice. There, he was also able to work closely with Richard L. Hay (principal designer at Ashland for decades) from whom he learned much, labeling him a mentor. Mr. Hay and a friend at the Shakespeare Festival encouraged Mr. Brill to further his education in an undergraduate program. He took their advice and went to the University of California San Diego—and although not knowing much about the University or its program—became a theater major.

In another lucky development, one of the most prominent theater/opera designers, Robert Israel, was teaching there at the time, offering Mr. Brill wonderful access to this master. Between Israel and Hay, two very different personalities, it became “an interesting collision” for Mr. Brill. At the end of his first year at UCSD, he collaborated with a few other students to form an alternative theater company called “Sledgehammer Theater” that continued to produce for many years. With that company they created site specific work; theater spaces created from abandoned warehouses or retail buildings or spaces unique to a site. Their first venue was at an outdoor canyon space at the University.

Building His Career

Mr. Brill credits his work at Sledgehammer Theater, which he describes as hand-to-mouth, often funded by their personal credit cards, with helping to prepare him for important opportunities.  He also feels at the time it was the closest he’s ever been to “being an artist in the more formal sense of the word.” For him the most important thing was to get it done, get it realized, whether he was building it himself or paying for it himself. It was very hands-on.

Mr. Brill continued that work and ultimately lived in San Diego for ten years. He also worked with the Old Globe Theater and the La Jolla Playhouse on UCSD campus. Mr. Brill was fortunate again to work with another brilliant talent, Des McAnuff, who was Artistic Director at La Jolla Playhouse for many years, winning many awards. Mr. Brill feels he was always “lucky to work with people who are smarter than me.” It was another important period in his career development. He later designed the set for the opera Wozzeck for San Diego Opera, directed by Mr. McAnuff, who was making his opera debut.

Mr. Brill left San Diego when, after working together on a project, his then-wife brought him to the East Coast. He lived and worked in New York for fifteen years, adding significant work on and off Broadway to his resume.

In fact, while in N.Y. he landed a gig designing Cabaret in 1998 which ran on Broadway for five years. Mr. Brill says he was the last person interviewed for the project and many great designers much more senior than him had already been interviewed. Even with his successes at La Jolla and Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater he wasn’t expecting anything to come of it. But it was the site specific work he did for Sledgehammer that captured the producer’s attention. The vision of doing Cabaret was to do it site specific and transform theaters to enhance the story that involved the audience being immersed in a night club. The first production was done at a former theater that had become derelict. “Rough around the edges— taking found space and creating an event, primarily got me the job. I love having support and resources…but I still love getting my hands dirty, and being a part of the process,” he adds.  

Mounting Everest

When Mr. Brill was first approached by Stage Director Leonard Foglia, with whom he worked on Moby Dick, about creating Everest, he wasn’t too intimidated by it. “It was initially overwhelming but there was also something mildly humorous about the prospect. Our first collaboration was on Moby Dick—next was Cold Mountain set during the Civil War, so it seemed appropriate that the next project be as outrageous--Everest combined with La Wally. I felt like—bring it on! What’s next? Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes? Despite the challenge, we knew we had to create something unexpected and not literal. …Lenny was interested in a design that would be as muscular and as terrifying as Everest itself—a really physical space. But the most important thing to him was that it be a state of mind—that came up a lot in conversation. Every time we would explore an idea we kept reminding ourselves it had to reflect a state of mind,” he says.

“Lenny also wanted to incorporate imagery into the set in some way, but we didn’t know what form that would take. Our initial discussions were about physical space—what creates the tension between the characters and the landscape—what allows us to use the space dramatically and to be in a state of mind. We kept going back to that. The projections allow us to take both the audience and characters onto this journey up Everest. Elaine McCarthy (Projections Designer) was part of our early discussions. Some of our initial concepts look nothing at all like what’s onstage. Gene Scheer (the librettist) was very excited with our approach,” he describes.

Mr. Brill believes the set also echoes the libretto. During one meeting, Mr. Scheer was quoting from the libretto which talks about ‘dreams and a million contingencies, each unique and each the same’. Mr. Brill feels his set is a sculptural world that is very complicated and simple at the same time and has these extremes. Each component of the set is unique but the same and part of the larger whole. “Emotionally it should be as overwhelming and daunting as Everest itself,” he says.

Mr. Brill is also highly aware that all the efforts of the team, the lighting designer, the costume designer, even the singers, become part of the architecture of the mountain as well. “The collaboration…takes us on a journey that can be the mind space I was talking about,” he adds.

The Building Process

Mr. Brill started talking with Mr. Foglia in the spring of 2014 about his vision. “It was a difficult idea to communicate--there was no real way to draw it, so I began by sculpting it” he says. He started, of course, with a model.

 “I spent a lot of time sculpting the set in model form.  It was hundreds of small blocks of wood that were painted white. In that way it was very simple. Once we agreed on the form, we kept massaging it to tell the story…We were confident that the visual approach was going to support the tone of the opera, but now it’s about really digging through the libretto moment by moment, asking ‘is this a good way to stage the scene? This moment—between two people separated by this much distance’. We just kept chipping away at it. And after meeting with the team in New York and continuing to hone the 3D model, we took the next step of constructing the design virtually in the computer.  That step was crucial to study and communicate the design to others.  It was about turning a sculpture into something practical--something that can be realized within a budget and a timeframe,” Mr. Brill describes.

The next phase of it, the engineering and construction phase, involved working with The Dallas Opera’s Technical Director Drew Field and Greg Blackburn, of Dallas Stage Scenery, both of whom Mr. Brill says were “amazing collaborators.”

“Greg came on board and was able to realize the design within a limited timeframe and budget. It was a lot to assess in a short amount of time—it’s a very deceptive design, and he managed to build it all in 6 weeks!  And that wasn’t just Everest, but working with Drew to engineer it to partner with La Wally. I’m also the designer for La Wally, and that piece has to change-over during the intermission. One has to disappear and the other appear. That’s a kind of a magic trick in itself. They both have their own sense of volume mass and spectacle. It’s very unexpected. Drew and Greg have definitely been working their magic,” he adds.

The next step was about performer safety and allowing them to find their sea legs. He knew they would need to feel comfortable and secure so they could do their job.

Mr. Brill says he has never designed something like this before. “It’s exciting—it’s really refreshing to me— it makes me feel inspired. I’m excited to be working in a completely different form.  Because I have an architectural background a lot of my work starts with creating space, but a lot of times it’s about architectural space, and this is really very much about creating a really dynamic sculpture that can serve as a canvass, a landscape for the story. And working in a truly sculptural way…something we’re doing for Cold Mountain. Similar to Everest it’s one idea that has exploded in a way. It’s really liberating. I’m having a great time working on it,” he says.

Mr. Brill said even the carpenters were enthusiastic about the set. They had never worked on something like this before.

Creating Illusions

“What we’re all doing is taking an audience on a journey and being transported to somewhere else, both the illusion we create and the experience of it are part of a great magic trick. There are a number of projects I’m involved in right now using very specific forms of illusions to create effects on stage. Kind of satisfying to see it come full circle,” Mr. Brill adds.

His latest project is in Las Vegas to create a space for Mat Franco the “America’s Got Talent” winner for 2014. Mr. Franco is a magician.

And at least one opera critic recognized that with composer Joby Talbot’s music, the mountain was brought “alive and into the opera as an active character.” Now that’s magic!

 By Celeste Hart, Communications ManagerRobert Brill - Set Designer EVEREST (640x427) SM

The Dallas Opera Expands Its Influence With The Institute for Women Conductors

by Celeste Hart

The Dallas Opera is Proud to Announce

A Unique New Residential Initiative:

The Institute for Women Conductors

At The Dallas Opera

~~~~

Inaugural Program: Nov. 28 – Dec. 6, 2015

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TDO Seeks to Create New Opportunities for Talented Young Women Conductors Making Their Mark in the Field of Opera 

DALLAS, FEBRUARY 9, 2015 – Working to address a long-standing career issue in the opera world, The Dallas Opera is delighted to announce the launch of a unique, new residential program designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors.  Female conductors age forty and younger, as well as accomplished women singers, opera coaches and accompanists, and instrumentalists with established careers seeking a new career at the podium, are encouraged to apply.

This new program, The Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera, will be inaugurated on November 28, 2015 and run through December 6, 2015, with generous support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.

Stated Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny: “The Dallas Opera has demonstrated, in multiple ways, its 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,” Mr. Cerny adds, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and insights to our collective understanding of this marvelous art form.” 

            The Women’s Conducting Institute will provide participants with opportunities to

  • Conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra
  • Participate in master classes with Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement
  • Attend seminars and discussions on how women conductors can make a greater impact on their field
  • Network with peers and take part in a media “refresher” course

Six women will be selected for the inaugural class, and all program participants will conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra in a public concert to be held on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.

Those attending are also eligible to take part in an annual two-day networking event, beginning in the summer of 2016.  There is also the potential for one or more participants to be invited to serve as Assistant Conductors on future Dallas Opera productions. 

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 TDO’s Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume, enjoys a stellar international career, which includes regular appearances at The Dallas Opera, Covent Garden, the Mariinsky, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, as well as his critically acclaimed work as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia and with other major opera companies, symphony orchestras and prestigious concert venues throughout the world.  Maestro Villaume notes: “I have advised many talented young conductors over the course of my career, both on and offstage, and I look forward to the chance to incorporate what I have gleaned from these experiences in support of this important new national program.

“No conductor ever stands at the podium alone.  We raise our baton with those who came before us, and those who will follow in our footsteps.

“It takes a lifetime to become completely at home on the podium,” Villaume adds.  “It was my privilege to be guided and taught by geniuses like Spiros Argiris and Seiji Ozawa, who, in turn, always quoted their own masters.  In fact, they claimed that, only near the end of their performing careers, did they entirely understand some of the comments and advice they received from their mentors.

“We are always trying to perfect our work.  I feel I am now at a place in my career, where I can begin to effectively share my experiences with the next generation of conductors.”

~~~~

The Dallas Opera’s Principal Guest Conductor, 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 recent article in Opera News (“The Mountain Climber,” January 2015), Paiement was described as “one of opera’s most adventurous spirits.”  The woman who also serves as Artistic Director of BluePrint, a contemporary music series at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she holds the Deléage Chair, 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 recent successful world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s Everest

About the new institute itself, Maestra Paiement 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 to be responsible for guiding each carefully selected group through this newly developed Dallas Opera program.

“You can learn a great deal by watching other conductors in action: how they interact with the orchestra, how they exercise their authority, apply their insights to a particular score, and guide the artists to greater heights of musical expression. 

 “The women taking part in this program will have the all-too-rare opportunity to observe another woman in this leadership role, “ Paiement added, “something that, regrettably, I never experienced in my early career as I sought role models from among my professional peers.  I sincerely hope my work with the women in this institute can serve as a source of both valuable insights and inspiration.”

~~~~

 The application process opens today, February 9, 2015, with a deadline of April 15, 2015.  Applications can be submitted at YAPtracker.com.  Early applications are encouraged.

Those chosen to participate will receive a travel stipend, in-town housing, and a per diem to cover basic living expenses.  For more information on The Women’s Conducting Institute at The Dallas Opera, visit www.dallasopera.org/womenconductors.

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.”          

~~~~

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

For high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print

Or to arrange an interview

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

 

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Spring Season

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

 

 

Cast Changes in TDO’s LA WALLY

by Suzanne Calvin

The Dallas Opera is announcing cast changes for the upcoming production of Cataloni’s LA WALLY; read on.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, January 19, 2015
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014 or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera Announces
Cast Changes to LA WALLY

LA WALLY, ACT IV
With Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST
(A Dallas Opera World Premiere)
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OPENING FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
FOR THE FIRST OF FOUR PERFORMANCES
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The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
At the AT&T Performing Arts Center
~~~~
ALICE W. AND RICHARD D. BASS,
EVEREST Underwriters
With Additional Support from
National Endowment for the Arts,
TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund
& Tobin Theatre Arts Fund
~~~~
Three-Opera FLEX Subscriptions
Still Available, Starting at $75
Single Tickets Start at $19

DALLAS, TX, JANUARY 19, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is announcing cast changes for the company’s upcoming new production of Alfredo Catalani’s LA WALLY (Act IV).
Mexican tenor Rodrigo Garciarroyo will perform the leading role of Giuseppe Hagenbach on January 30 (opening night), February 1 and 4, 2015. Tenor Arnold Rawls will sing the role for the final performance scheduled on February 7, 2015. The singers are assuming the role after Carl Tanner recently withdrew, due to illness.
In addition, soprano Melissa Citro will sing the final performance of La Wally in the title role. Earlier, soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams took over the part from Latonia Moore, who withdrew because of her pregnancy.
Mr. Garciarroyo, who is making his Dallas Opera debut in LA WALLY, has been praised by John Bills of Pro Opera Magazine as “…combining a rich sound and a smooth legato with secure and heroic high notes: first class singing.”
Mr. Rawls makes his Dallas Opera debut in this production after earning rave reviews from Opera News, which wrote, “He owned the stage dramatically and musically…nailing each note.”
Ms. Citro, making her house debut with The Dallas Opera as the intrepid title character of Wally (short for “Walburga,” in case you were wondering), has excelled in a variety of Wagnerian roles. Writing about her Glimmerglass Festival appearance in The Consul, one reviewer claimed Miss Citro “stopped the performance in the second act with her aria, when she finally snaps in the face of the unseen Consul’s inhumanity to his fellow man. Ms. Citro is already singing such Wagnerian roles as a Norn and a Valkyrie in major houses. She has a great career ahead of her. See her now.”
LA WALLY is the first half of the sole double bill in The Dallas Opera’s 2014-2015 “Heights of Passion” Season. The climactic final act of this rarely produced 1892 work is being paired with the world premiere of EVEREST—the first opera by renowned British composer Joby Talbot (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Gene Scheer (Moby-Dick).

Opening night will take place on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
That night, LA WALLY will star Mary Elizabeth Williams, described by Opera News as “the next great Verdi soprano,” as Wally, on the heels of her performances as Floria Tosca for Seattle Opera (where she was selected as the 2011-2012 “Artist of the Year”). Ms. Williams, praised by The Washington Post for “wonderful stage presence, both regal and human.” Ms. Williams will perform the role on January 30, February 1 and 4, 2015.
The role of Walter will be sung throughout by Dallas Opera favorite Jennifer Chung, who appeared as Juliette in last season’s critically acclaimed production of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s twentieth-century masterpiece, Die tote Stadt.
Conducted by Anthony Barrese (Tosca, 2008) and staged in this abridged production by renowned stage director Candace Evans (Don Pasquale, The Merry Widow), this is the tale of a free-spirited and fiercely passionate young woman who realizes, too late, that love delayed isn’t always love denied. TDO’s production also will incorporate the famous Act I aria, “Ebben, ne andrò lontana.”
Other members of the top-notch production team include acclaimed set designer Robert Brill (Moby-Dick), costume designer David C. Woolard (Oscar, Death and the Powers), lighting designer Christopher Akerlind (The Dream of Valentino, La bohème, The Marriage of Figaro), wig and make-up designer David Zimmerman and projections designer Elaine J. McCarthy.
~~~~
On the slopes of Mount Everest, luck and the weather can turn with equal ferocity and swiftness, and dreams die even for the most valiant of men.
British composer Joby Talbot’s first opera confronts the tragic events surrounding an ill-fated 1996 Everest expedition with a cast that includes tenor Andrew Bidlack and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, as well as bass Kevin Burdette and baritone Craig Verm in their company debuts. This much-anticipated Dallas Opera world premiere will be conducted by contemporary music specialist and Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and staged by director Leonard Foglia (Moby-Dick) – this season’s James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director in Honor of John Gage -- with stunning projections designed to carry us to the one of the highest, most awe-inspiring, and dangerous places on earth.

“It’s a thrill to have this opportunity to bring together artists from several of the most memorable productions in recent Dallas Opera history,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and to combine their extraordinary talents in fresh and exciting new ways.
“I am also delighted to cement The Dallas Opera’s newfound reputation as a creative force in American Opera with the first of three world premieres scheduled to take place in 2015,” Mr. Cerny adds. “My team and I are confident that this thrilling original work by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer will bring us a step closer to our goal of providing adventurous North Texas audiences with thought-provoking new works, in addition to carefully conceived productions of rarely performed and much-loved favorites from the opera repertoire.”

Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement made a profound impression on theatergoers during the 2012 launch of our chamber opera series: The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies. Wrote Willard Spiegelman of Opera News, “Nicole Paiement led the ensemble briskly through a score that is rhythmically as well as harmonically complex.” Dallas Observer Classical Music Critic Katie Womack expounded further: “The success of Friday’s performance was largely due to Nicole Paiement, who conducted the orchestra skillfully and artistically, and DTC’s artistic director, Kevin Moriarty, whose staging of this work marked his opera directorial debut. Moriarty’s transition to this genre seemed effortless and his work at home in the Wyly Theatre space. Together, the two produced one of the most interesting hours of opera I’ve seen in a while.”
The conductor also led brilliant performances of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers last season, easily the most cutting-edge and technologically sophisticated opera ever produced in North Texas.
Andrew Bidlack, praised by David Fleshler of The Miami Herald for his “smooth legato and heroic top notes,” prompted Classical Voice of New England to proclaim that he has “vocal color to match one of the original ‘Three Tenors’.” Mr. Bidlack made his TDO debut as Sandy in The Lighthouse, which launched our chamber opera series in 2012.
Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, who debuted with Dallas Opera in the acclaimed 2013 production of Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers before creating the role of Mary Magdalene in the San Francisco Opera world premiere of Mark Adamo’s most recent work, “made a brilliant impression,” according to Georgia Rowe of Opera News. “Cooke sang with complete conviction, sounding unforced and lustrous.” While San Francisco Chronicle Critic Joshua Kosman wrote that her singing was “eloquent and shimmeringly rich.”
Bass Kevin Burdette will be making his company debut but he’s already attracting a lot of attention for his “large powerful voice with a burnished robust sound” and a “vibrant personality that pervaded the entire theater” (Opera Today).
Baritone Craig Verm, who will also be making his TDO debut in this production, has earned raves for his “brilliantly performed” roles and “consistently solid and well-colored” singing” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).
The Dallas Opera Chorus is prepared by acclaimed Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

EVEREST is generously underwritten by Alice W. and Richard D. Bass, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund, and the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Performances of this unique double bill (LA WALLY sung in Italian, EVEREST sung in English, with English language supertitles projected above the stage) will take place in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on January 30, February 1 (2:00 p.m. matinee), 4 & 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. These works will be separated by an intermission.
~~~~
Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” 2014-15 Season (La bohëme, Iolanta) are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org. Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $15 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.
~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JANUARY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”
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

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR
FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA
IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Spring Season

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described. Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75. Family performance tickets are just $5. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2014-2015 SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Eighth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired. The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

A RARE DALLAS OPERA DOUBLE BILL:

LA WALLY by Alfredo Catalani
January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015
The Climactic Final Act!
First performed in Milan, Italy on January 20, 1892
Text by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern’s story, Die Geyer-Wally
Time: Around the year 1800
Place: The Austrian Alps
Conductor: Anthony Barrese
Stage Director: Candace Evans
Scenic Design: Robert Brill
Costume Design: David C. Woolard
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Williams* & Melissa Citro* (Wally), Rodrigo Garciarroyo* & Arnold Rawls* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (Walter)
A Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

Paired with EVEREST by Joby Talbot
January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015
A Dallas Opera World Premiere!
Text by Gene Scheer
Time: Modern Day
Place: In the Death Zone on Mount Everest
Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Stage Director: Leonard Foglia
Scenic Design: Robert Brill
Costume Design: David C. Woolard
Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Sasha Cooke (Jan Arnold), Kevin Burdette* (Beck Weathers) and Craig Verm* (Doug Hansen).

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini
March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2015
A passionate and timeless masterpiece in a beloved period production
An opera in four acts first performed in Turin, Italy on February 1, 1896
Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème
Time: mid-19th century
Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France
Conductor: Riccardo Frizza*
Stage Director: Peter Kazaras
Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Costume Design: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotton
Starring: Ana Maria Martinez (Mimi), Bryan Hymel (Rodolfo), Davinia Rodriguez* (Musetta), Jonathan Beyer (Marcello), Alexander Vinogradov* (Colline), Stephen LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit).
One of the Dallas Opera’s Most Popular!

IOLANTA by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
April 10, 12(m), 15 and 18, 2015
A rarely performed Tchaikovsky gem, set in Medieval Provence!
First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892
Text by Modest Tchaikovsky based on the Danish play King Rene’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz
Time: The 15th century
Place: Provence, a mountainous region in Southern France
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Stage Director: Christian Räth
Scenic Design: Christian Räth
Costume Design: Susan Cox
Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy
Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Ekaterina Scherbachenko* (Iolanta), Sergey Skorokhodov* (Count Vaudémont), Joanna Mongiardo* (Brigitta), Lauren McNeese (Laura), Tamara Mumford* (Marta), Andrei Bondarenko** (Robert, Duke of Burgandy), Mikhail Kolelishvili (Renè, King of Provence), Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), Vladislav Sulimsky** (Ibn-Hakia) and Jordan Bisch (Bertrand).
Another New Dallas Opera Production

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut
______________________________________________________________________________________
The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera. Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera. Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News. A special thanks to the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

###

FREE Opera on One of the World’s Largest HD Screens!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE ANOTHER OUTSTANDING, FREE COMMUNITY EVENT AT AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON!

SIMULCAST NUMBER TEN: LA BOHÈME

SPONSORED BY THE DALLAS FOUNDATION

~~~~

SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2015

Stadium Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Live Opera Performance at 7:30 PM

~~~~

Free Seating, Free Parking, Paid Concessions

Free Tickets Available Now Through TDO Website:

www.dallasopera.org/simulcast

 

            DALLAS, TX, NOVEMBER XX, 2014 – The Dallas Opera, in partnership with AT&T Stadium and with support from our founding sponsor, The Dallas Foundation, is extremely proud to announce the company’s fourth stadium simulcast—and the tenth free Dallas Opera simulcast since 2010—scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX (home of the Dallas Cowboys). 

            Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  The curtain time for that evening’s live performance of Giacomo Puccini’s beloved 19th century masterpiece, LA BOHÈME, from the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage in the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas is 7:30 p.m. 

            Patrons will be able to enjoy this landmark live simulcast on one of the world’s largest high-definition video board structure, comprised of four massive viewing screens (the largest, 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide) suspended directly above the playing field.

            This performance will take place as part of The Dallas Opera’s nationally recognized, free public simulcast program, which has attracted more than 50,000 attendees over the past four years.

            The Dallas Opera’s 2015 AT&T Stadium Simulcast is expected to draw thousands more to enjoy one of the greatest “date nights” in opera: Puccini’s charming, touching and highly romantic masterpiece about life among the young bohemians of the Latin Quarter of Paris has been a popular favorite since it first premiered in 1896.  This Dallas Opera production was designed by the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, with costumes by the late Peter J. Hall, both legendary designers.

            The conductor of LA BOHÈME will be Riccardo Frizza in his much-anticipated company debut.  Maestro Frizza is described by Seen and Heard as “totally convincing, conducting his forces with both strength and gentleness, always supporting the singers and getting fine results from the orchestra.”  TDO will welcome back acclaimed singer-turned-director Peter Kazaras to marshal the throngs that breathe life into this zesty and colorful production.

            And what a cast! 

            Grammy Award-winning Latin American soprano Ana María Martínez returns to the Dallas Opera (following her star turn in our 2008 production of Die Fledermaus) to sing the role of the frail seamstress, Mimi.  According to Mark Thomas Ketterson of Opera News, Ms. Martinez has shown herself to be “a radiantly vulnerable Mimi, consistently employing her darkly textured lyric soprano with great sensitivity to dynamics and text.”

            Described as Britain’s “go-to tenor for grand opera,” New Orleans native Bryan Hymel will portray the poet Rodolfo with a voice described by Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times as “dark-hued and muscular, with a quick vibrato and earthy texture…Mr. Hymel sang with unflagging stamina and impetuous abandon, capped with some exciting full-voiced top notes.”  He made his 2011 Dallas Opera debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, which earned the artist a nomination for the 2012 “Maria Callas Award” for achieving one of the most notable debuts that season.

            Soprano Davinia Rodriguez, born in Spain’s Canary Islands and now living in Italy, makes her Dallas Opera debut in this production as the irrepressible Musetta.  Praised by The Seattle Times as “dramatically convincing and vocally resplendent,” Ms. Rodriguez will be paired with baritone Jonathan Beyer (Captain Gardiner in the Dallas Opera’s 2010 world premiere production of Moby-Dick) as the equally mercurial Marcello.  Diana Burgwyn of Opera Now found Mr. Beyer “totally at ease with his physical and vocal self (with) a rounded, sure baritone voice and excellent diction.”  Added Tom Huizenga of The Washington Post: “Beyer has the luxury of a robust, handsome voice, and promising years ahead.”

            The international ensemble cast includes Russian bass Alexander Vinogradov, an artist who made his acclaimed Bolshoi Theatre debut at the age of 21.  He will sing the role of the philosophical Colline.  Native son Steven LaBrie, winner of the 2009 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, is a baritone who dazzled in the role of the smuggler, Le Dancaïre in our 2013 Carmen.  He continues to impress audiences with his acting as well as his vocal abilities.  Opera Now labels LaBrie “a young baritone to watch.”

            Bass Stefan Szkafarowsky, from New York City, sang in the Dallas Opera’s triumphant 2011 production of Boris Godunov and will return to our stage for the dual roles of Benoit the landlord and Musetta’s unfortunate suitor, Alcindoro.

Lighting design is by Thomas C. Hase.  Wig and make-up design is by David Zimmerman and chorus preparation by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom

The children’s chorus will be prepared by Melinda Cotten.

 

            The Dallas Opera’s AT&T Stadium Simulcast is one of six performances of the opera that will take place on March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 & 29(m), 2015 in the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

            Free general admission tickets to the La bohème simulcast can be obtained through the Dallas Opera website, effective immediately, at www.dallasopera.org/simulcast.

 

          “The Dallas Foundation has been pleased to support The Dallas Opera’s simulcasts to AT&T Stadium since 2012, helping to provide families throughout our community the chance to experience world-class opera in this unique and relaxed setting,” remarked Mary M. Jalonick, President of The Dallas Foundation. “This successful partnership has inspired our Board of Governors to pledge our continued support of these efforts through 2017.  The Dallas Foundation is proud to be the Founding Sponsor of The Dallas Opera AT&T Stadium Simulcasts.”

 

          “We are excited that for the fourth year the Dallas Opera will once again hold their simulcast at AT&T Stadium,” adds Dallas Cowboys Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson.  “Each of the past three simulcasts has been a huge success, and we look forward to continuing that tradition by bringing in another great show this year. The Dallas Opera has done an outstanding job with each of its events, and it is a great honor to share in this incredible cultural event in our local community.”

 

            “It’s been a personal goal of mine to engage the finest world-class artists to create an unforgettable entertainment experience for people from all walks of life,” commented Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and nothing does this better than opera—a spectacular art form made even more so when viewed on the largest high-definition screens in the country.

            “The Dallas Opera is deeply honored that our founding sponsor, The Dallas Foundation, is supporting this event for a fourth consecutive year and we are equally grateful for the generosity of the Jones Family, who encouraged this extraordinary collaboration with the Cowboys organization from the moment we made our dream known to them.

           “I am certain that the centralized location of AT&T Stadium will—once again—prove to be an irresistible magnet,” Mr. Cerny added.  “With free parking, a wear-what-you-want dress code, phenomenal performances in one of the most popular operas ever, on-screen supertitles and plenty of available concessions—this night will continue to redefine 21st century opera as a user-friendly entertainment experience.”

~~~~

            Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” Season—including the world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST—are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org.  Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “NOVEMBER AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

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 for additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

~~~~

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

 

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Season

  

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

 

THE DALLAS OPERA 2014-2015 SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Eighth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated.  English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired.  The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

 

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

October 24 (The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance), Oct. 26(m), 29, November 1, 7 and 9(m), 2014

In a single crazy, romantic day, doors will be locked and unlocked, disguised donned, kisses exchanged and innermost hearts revealed—to some of the most memorable music Mozart ever composed.

An opera in four acts first performed in Vienna on May 1, 1786

Text by Lorenzo Da Ponte after the 1784 play La folle journée, ou Le mariage de Figaro by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

Time: The late 18th century

Place: Aguasfrescas near Seville, Spain, the Almaviva’s country house

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Kevin Moriarty

Production Design: John Bury*

Lighting Design: Mark McCullough

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Choreography: Joel Ferrell*

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Mirco Palazzi (Figaro) , Beate Ritter** (Susanna), Joshua Hopkins (Count Almaviva), Nicole Car** (Countess Almaviva), Emily Fons (Cherubino), Diana Montague* (Marcellina), Kevin Langan (Doctor Bartolo), Doug Jones (Don Basilio), Angela Mannino (Barbarina), Adam Lau* (Antonio) and Jon Kolbet (Don Curzio).

Production Owned by Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

SALOME by Richard Strauss

October 30, November 2(m), 5, 8, 2014

Once in a great while, the term “over the top” doesn’t seem nearly high enough.

An opera in one act first performed in Dresden, Germany on December 9, 1905

Hedwig Lachmann’s German translation of Oscar Wilde’s French language play

Time: During the time of Jesus Christ

Place: King Herod’s palace on the Sea of Galilee

Conductor: Evan Rogister*

Stage Director: Francesca Zambello

Original Production: Francesca Zambello

Scenic Design: Peter J. Davison*

Costume Design: Anita Yavich

Lighting Design: Mark McCullough

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Choreography: Yael Levitin*

Starring: Deborah Voigt* (Salome), Robert Brubaker (Herod), Greer Grimsley* (Jokanaan), Susan Bickley* (Herodias), Scott Quinn (Narraboth), Heather Johnson* (Herodias’Page), Bradley Garvin (First Nazarene), Grigory Soloviov* (First Soldier), Jason Grant (Second Soldier), Joseph Hu (First Jew), Jay Gardner (Second Jew), John Robert Lindsey (Third Jew), Steven Haal (Fourth Jew), Patrick Guetti* (Fifth Jew), Tyler Simpson* (Second Nazarene), NaGuanda Nobles (A Slave) and Matthew Stump* (A Cappadocian).

Production Owned by Washington National Opera

 

A RARE DALLAS OPERA DOUBLE BILL:

 

LA WALLY by Alfredo Catalani

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

The Climactic Final Act!

First performed in Milan, Italy on January 20, 1892

Text by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern’s story, Die Geyer-Wally

Time: Around the year 1800

Place: The Austrian Alps

Conductor: Anthony Barrese

Stage Director: Candace Evans

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Latonia Moore (Wally), Carl Tanner* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (Walter)

A Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

 

 With EVEREST by Joby Talbot

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

A Dallas Opera World Premiere!

Text by Gene Scheer

Time: Modern Day

Place: In the Death Zone on Mount Everest

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Sasha Cooke (Jan Arnold), Kevin Burdette* (Beck Weathers) and Craig Verm* (Doug Hansen).

 

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2015

A passionate and timeless masterpiece in a beloved period production

An opera in four acts first performed in Turin, Italy on February 1, 1896

Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème

Time: mid-19th century

Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza*

Stage Director: Peter Kazaras

Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotton

Starring: Ana Maria Martinez (Mimi), Bryan Hymel (Rodolfo), Davinia Rodriguez* (Musetta), Jonathan Beyer (Marcello), Alexander Vinogradov* (Colline), Stephen LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit).

One of the Dallas Opera’s Most Popular!

 

IOLANTA by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

April 10, 12(m), 15 and 18, 2015

A rarely performed Tchaikovsky gem, set in Medieval Provence!

First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892

Text by Modest Tchaikovsky based on the Danish play King Rene’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz

Time: The 15th century

Place: Provence, a mountainous region in Southern France

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Christian Räth

Scenic Design: Christian Räth

Costume Design: Susan Cox

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Ekaterina Scherbachenko* (Iolanta), Sergey Skorokhodov* (Count Vaudémont), Joanna Mongiardo* (Brigitta), Lauren McNeese (Laura), Tamara Mumford* (Marta), Andrei Bondarenko** (Robert, Duke of Burgandy), Mikhail Kolelishvili (Renè, King of Provence), Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), Vladislav Sulimsky** (Ibn-Hakia) and Jordan Bisch (Bertrand).

Another New Dallas Opera Production

 

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from:  Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera.  Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera.  Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.  A special thanks to the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

 

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Announcing Five Extraordinary Works – 2015-2016 Season Kick-Off!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

THE COMPANY’S 59TH INTERNATIONAL SEASON:

SEEKING THE HUMAN ELEMENT

~~~~

FIVE EXTRAORDINARY WORKS – INCLUDING TWO DALLAS OPERA WORLD PREMIERES: JAKE HEGGIE AND TERRENCE MCNALLY’S “GREAT SCOTT” AND MARK ADAMO’S “BECOMING SANTA CLAUS”

OPENING NIGHT OF THE SEASON:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 AT 8:00 PM

THE MARGOT AND BILL WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE

AT THE AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 

                DALLAS, JANUARY 12, 2015 — The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the five phenomenal mainstage productions of the 2015-2016 Season, “Seeking the Human Element,” to be presented in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center located in the Dallas Arts District.

            The season line-up was announced this afternoon by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, with special guests that included composer Jake Heggie and one of opera’s brightest stars: mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

            The 59th International Season consists of works from the 19th and 20th centuries – in addition to two eagerly awaited Dallas Opera world premieres.  This season also marks the company’s first exploration of the musical theater repertoire, as TDO stages one of the genuine landmarks in American Theater in a popular production by acclaimed director Francesca Zambello.

           The Dallas Opera’s 2015-2016 Season explores the circumstances that prompt individual initiative, self-sacrifice, artistic integrity, the quest for social justice, and plain, old-fashioned “gumption,” in five outstanding stories designed to engage and inspire for many years to come.

            The first performance of the 2015-2016 Season takes place the evening of Friday, October 30, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. (please note special time for the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance, in conjunction with The Dallas Opera’s high-profile FIRST NIGHT celebrations).  Performances of the five productions that constitute the season will continue through the final curtain calls on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

            “From the company’s first venture into the greatest repertoire of the American Musical Theater to the enthusiastic response generated by the decision to schedule two world premieres in a single season,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “there’s every indication that The Dallas Opera is attuned to the desires of an increasingly diverse and sophisticated twenty-first century audience. 

            “Despite the many challenges of our times, American Opera is experiencing a remarkable golden age,” Mr. Cerny adds.  “Commissioning, guiding and supporting intelligent new works and world-class productions are important facets of the mission of this company—and will be, for as long as I am privileged to lead it.  I am also proud to say that The Dallas Opera has been a significant contributor to the technological advancement of this art form in recent years, both onstage and off. 

           “However, we will always honor and remember where we came from; presenting extraordinary artists in iconic productions each season, along with rarely performed gems from every era.  We hope you’ll want to be a part of this adventure!”

          Among the highlights of the upcoming season are 20 Dallas Opera debuts; however, every Dallas Opera performance will feature internationally renowned singers, exceptional conductors, and other artists of the top rank—whether new to TDO or returning to the scene of earlier triumphs.

            Each TDO production will feature the outstanding talents of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and Dallas Opera Chorus, led by some of the finest conductors at work in the world today: Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, Patrick Summers, and Graeme Jenkins

            Off-stage, the talent roster reads like a theatrical “Who’s Who”: preeminent producers and stage directors including Jack O’Brien, David McVicar, E. Loren Meeker, Francesca Zambello and Paul Curran; in addition to illustrious designers Bob Crowley, Gary McCann, Paul Tazewell, Mark McCullough, Tanya McCallin, Peter J. Davison, Ulisse Santicchi and David Zimmerman.

            As always, each of these outstanding works will be performed in their original languages (English, French and Italian) with English translations projected above the stage at every performance. 

2015-2016 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

“Seeking the Human Element”

 

GREAT SCOTT

A Dallas Opera world premiere

By Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally

October 30, Nov. 1(m), 4, 7 & 15(m), 2015

 

TOSCA

By Giacomo Puccini

November 6, 8(m), 11, 14, 20 & 22(m), 2015

 

BECOMING SANTA CLAUS

A Dallas Opera world premiere by Mark Adamo

December 4, 6(m), 9, 12, 2015

 

MANON by Jules Massenet

March 4, 6(m), 9 & 12, 2016

 

SHOW BOAT

By Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II

April 15, 17(m), 20, 23, 29 & May 1(m), 2016

 

          The benefits of becoming a Dallas Opera subscriber include priority seating, lost ticket replacement, invitations to special events and dramatic savings over the price of single tickets. 

            Renewal packets for season subscribers are being mailed to patrons shortly; however, Dallas Opera Season Subscribers are eligible to renew their seats for the 2015-2016 Season, beginning today, January 12, 2015, and an email with renewal instructions and options will be sent this afternoon.

            New Dallas Opera patrons can purchase their subscriptions for the 2015-2016 Season in April, 2015.  Subscriptions for all five productions can be purchased for as little as $95.

            Single tickets will go on sale to the general public in July, 2015, starting at just $19.  All single tickets for individual performances are subject to availability.  Tickets may be purchased at the door – throughout the 2015-2016 Season – or in advance by calling 214.443.1000.  Subscriptions and single tickets will also be available for purchase online throughout the season at www.dallasopera.org.

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

            For more information, consult the friendly staff in the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.         

            The 2015-2016 Season, “Seeking the Human Element,” officially opens on the evening of Friday, October 30th at 8:00 PM (please note special time)—The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance—with the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s eagerly anticipated GREAT SCOTT, featuring a phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime cast headed by America’s favorite mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato, in the title role of Arden Scott.

            This full-length opera by renowned composer Jake Heggie and Tony Award/Drama Desk Award-winner Terrence McNally marks the duo’s first major collaboration since Dead Man Walking (2000) and Heggie’s first opera since his 2010 Dallas Opera triumph with Moby-Dick, a modern-day masterpiece which has since gone on to win critical acclaim in sold-out performances from Canada to Australia.

            The world premiere will be conducted by the distinguished Patrick Summers in his first TDO appearance since Moby-Dick, staged by Broadway legend and Tony Award-winner Jack O’Brien, and designed by Tony and Olivier Award-winner Bob Crowley.

            In McNally’s original story and libretto, international opera star Arden Scott returns to her hometown to try to save the struggling opera company that launched her to fame and fortune. However, as American Opera prepares for the world premiere of Rosa Dolorosa, Daughter of Pompeii – the 200-year old bel canto opera Arden recently discovered – she faces unexpected competition from an ambitious young soprano as well as community excitement surrounding the local pro-football team’s first national championship game (Go Grizzlies!).  The fate of the opera company hangs in the balance as Arden is forced to consider the personal sacrifices she has made for her career, and comes to understand that true greatness is a matter of heart.

            Superstar mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who prompted Michael Church of The Guardian (U.K.) to write, “No other singer could match what this blonde bombshell from Kansas does, marrying coloratura with the serene liquidity of birdsong to an expressiveness of heart-stopping beauty,” leads a brilliant all-star cast that includes soprano Ailyn Pérez, praised by the San Diego News Network for her “big, powerful, beautiful, lyrical and endlessly supple voice,” as Tatyana Bakst, a fiercely ambitious young singer from Eastern Europe, eager to assume the mantle of stardom—as quickly as possible. 

            The cast also includes the legendary Frederica von Stade as Mrs. Edward “Winnie” Flato, the founder and chief benefactor of the American Opera Company, who also happens to be married to the owner of the Super Bowl-bound local football team.  Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “Even if she were not one of the great singers of our day, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade could probably draw a full house…eager just to be in her presence and watch her be herself.  She’s that enchanting.” 

            In the role of architect Sid Taylor, the man from Arden Scott’s past who might not be content to remain there, is opera heart-throb Nathan Gunn, “a vivid, appealing stage presence, with that gorgeous, well-focused baritone” (Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News); a singer who most recently dazzled Dallas Opera audiences as clever Figaro in The Barber of Seville and as the mysterious Lodger in TDO’s highly praised 2013 revival of Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers.

            Rounding out the GREAT SCOTT cast is counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in his company debut as a no-nonsense stage manager and longtime friend of Arden Scott.  Mr. Costanzo possesses, “the kind of high-voltage, high-register male singing that comes once in a generation” (Ken Smith, Musical America).  

            Versatile bass Kevin Burdette, attracting attention for his “large powerful voice with a burnished robust sound” and “a vibrant personality” (Opera Today) performs the dual roles of conductor Eric Gold and The Ghost of Vittorio Bazzetti, the composer of Rosa Dolorosa, the long-lost, never-performed bel canto opera being championed by Arden.  Tenor Garrett Sorenson portrays Anthony Candolino and baritone Michael Mayes sings the role of Wendell Swann—both in their Dallas Opera debuts.

            Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement will serve as Associate Conductor of GREAT SCOTT.

            The Dallas Opera Chorus will be prepared by Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

            Performances will continue on November 1(m), 4, 7 & 15(m), 2015 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, selected by Southern Living as the best new venue for opera.  All evening performances besides the Opening Night of the Season will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.  Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 PM. 

            A free, pre-performance lecture (The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talks) will be conducted one hour prior to curtain at most performances.  The Dallas Opera Guild also hosts “Opera Insights,” a lively panel discussion featuring artists, directors and designers, on the Sunday afternoon prior to opening.  For more details, visit dallasopera.org.

            The second production of the Dallas Opera’s 2015-2016 Season, opening on Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., is Giacomo Puccini’s immortal TOSCA in one of The Dallas Opera’s most beautiful and beloved traditional productions.

           It’s not enough to live for art when the winds of change threaten to radically reshape the political landscape.  However, famed Roman diva Floria Tosca, one of opera’s most unforgettable female characters, sung by soprano Emily Magee (Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro), and her beloved painter, Cavaradossi, portrayed by the charismatic Chilean tenor Giancarlo Monsalve in his Dallas Opera debut, share a love that can withstand any test or torture Baron Scarpia (Raymond Aceto, praised by Gregory Barnett of Opera News for his “powerful, pathologically evil baron”) can devise.

          That doesn’t guarantee a happy ending; just the promise of a riveting musical experience.

          Experience one of Puccini’s greatest works—and expect edge-of-your-seat excitement!

          Love, lust and loyalty blend with political intrigue and religious fervor in this superb action-packed opera conducted by critically acclaimed Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, who inspired Edward Seckerson of Grammophon (U.K.) to recently write: “The refinement of Villaume’s conducting is a constant source of delight.”

         Emily Magee is described by Robert Levine of Classics Today as “a super Tosca, singing with clarity and grand tone, delivering outrage and tenderness in equal proportions.   Her ‘Vissi d’arte’ is gorgeous.”  The New York Times, too, has praised her “richly resonant soprano.”

         Giancarlo Monsalve, according to The Washington Times, “displayed a smooth, flexible tenor range…his diction remained superb as he accurately hit each top note”; and Rebecca Evans of DC Theater Scene added: “All that needs to be said about Monsalve is that his presence is unparalleled.  Bravo.”

            Also featuring tenor William Ferguson as Spoletta (a singer described by The Denver Post as “unforgettable…with a pliable, expressive voice” and by The Advertiser as possessing “an absolutely swoonworthy” top range), baritone Dale Travis in his TDO debut as a Sacristan, and bass Ryan Kuster as Angelotti, an escaped political fugitive.

          This breathtaking Dallas Opera production was designed by Ulisse Santicchi, an Italian master in his field and staged by director Ellen Douglas Schlaefer in her company debut.

            Sung in Italian, with English language translations projected above the stage, TOSCA can be experienced at any of five additional performances: November 8(m), 11, 14, 20 & 22(m), 2015 in the Winspear Opera House.

            The third production of the “Seeking the Human Element” Season, opening on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House, is another outstanding world premiere: BECOMING SANTA CLAUS by American composer Mark Adamo (Little Women), an original new work brimming with the true spirit of the holidays!

          In an Elven kingdom in the Far, Far North, Prince Claus (Juan José de León) is about to celebrate his 13th birthday with a party to end all parties.  If the evening proceeds without a hitch, a family curse is lifted; and the working elves get their first day off in a thousand days.  However, Queen Sophine’s best-laid plans for her son fall victim to a host of last-minute cancellations from relatives around the world.  A bright star has signaled a momentous birth.  Claus, who has filled the emotional gaps in his own life with possessions, decides to dazzle this newborn with an assortment of the very latest toys before discovering that love is the most treasured gift of all.  Also starring Jennifer Rivera, “a powerful stage presence,” in her company debut.

           BECOMING SANTA CLAUS will be conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, applauded by Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times for eliciting “glowing and nuanced playing from the orchestra.”  This family friendly opera will be staged by award-winning Scottish stage director Paul Curran, former artistic director of the Norwegian National Opera. 

          Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera (Queen Sophine), a former New York City Opera “Debut Artist of the Year,” has earned accolades on both sides of the Atlantic for her extraordinary vocalism and versatility, prompting Opera News to write of her “ravishing mezzo bloom from top to bottom.”

          Tenor Juan José de León, a graduate of the University of North Texas who pursued post-graduate studies at Southern Methodist University, most recently completed a residency at Pittsburgh Opera and made his 2013 Metropolitan Opera debut in the American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, “a dark, ambitious and innovative work” (The New York Times).  “The thrust of de León’s voice is thrilling to experience,” wrote Mark Kanny of TribLive.

          Bass Matthew Boehler makes his company debut in the role of Donkey.  His voice, wrote Madison.com, “has fantastic dexterity and power.”

          Production designer Gary McCann leads a team that includes lighting designer Paul Hackenmueller and Driscoll Otto, designing projections for this world premiere production.

           There are other wonderful surprises in store but, just like Christmas, you’ll have to wait and see.

           Discover the real meaning of this very special time all over again, and make this world premiere opera your most joyful, tuneful family tradition!

           Additional performances of BECOMING SANTA CLAUS sung in English, with English language supertitles projected above the stage) will take place in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on December 6(m), 9 & 12, 2015.   Don’t be surprised if Adamo’s newest opera proves to be the hit of the North Texas holiday season!  Ensure your seats by renewing your Dallas Opera subscription today.

            The fourth production in The Dallas Opera’s upcoming season is Jules Massenet’s heart-wrenching MANON, opening March 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House.

            This production, by Sir David McVicar for Lyric Opera of Chicago, marks the return of Dallas Opera Music Director Emeritus Graeme Jenkins to conduct, in his first appearance with TDO since The Aspern Papers in 2013.  E. Loren Meeker will direct.

            MANON stars soprano Ailyn Pérez in the title role (an adorable Zerlina in our 2010 Don Giovanni opposite Paulo Szot, the 2012 Richard Tucker Award winner will make her Metropolitan Opera debut next month as Micaëla).  Praised by Kronenzeitung for her “sumptuous lyric soprano voice (which) displays every nuance of expression and emotion,” she will be singing opposite another Dallas Opera favorite, tenor Stephen Costello (Moby-Dick) in the role of Chevalier des Grieux.  San Diego News Network writes “Costello’s voice is passionate and powerful, but with a quality of impetuosity and innocence.”  The role of Lescaut will be performed by French-Irish baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer in his exciting Dallas Opera debut.  Jean-Luc Macier of Opéra Magazine describes him as “a demonstration of pure class with perfect vocals, and excellent style.”

            The star-studded international cast also includes bass-baritone David Pittsinger, extolled in The Washington Times for a brilliant delivery that provided “the perfect mix of romance, passion, and masculine bravado” in his company debut as Le Comte.  Greg Fedderly, “one of the nation’s superb character tenors” (Opera Warhorses) makes his company debut as Guillot de Morfontaine. Baritone Troy Cook sings the role of Brétigny.

            The three actresses: Pousette, Javotte and Rosette will be portrayed by Canadian soprano Katherine Whyte, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis, and mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock (respectively).

            Set in late 19th century France, this timeless tale of young love and the allure of life’s unavoidable temptations stars American soprano Ailyn Pérez, described by The New York Times as “a beautiful woman who commands the stage” singing the title role opposite tenor Stephen Costello (Moby-Dick), “a prodigiously gifted singer” at the head of an all-star cast.  Can a woman with a taste for the best things in life sacrifice it all – for the one man whose love is both unconditional and never-ending? 

            The production design is by Tanya McCallin, wig and make-up design by David Zimmerman and chorus preparation by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

            Additional performances will be on March 6(m), 9 & 12, 2016 in the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

            One of the perks of subscribing is a 20% discount on all additional single tickets purchased for friends, family, co-workers—or yourself.  Learn more today at dallasopera.org.

            The Dallas Opera’s 2015-2016 Season Finale is the work that changed American Musical Theater forever, in a brilliant Francesca Zambello production created for Lyric Opera of Chicago.  SHOW BOAT, opening on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m., carries us down the Mississippi through love’s choppy waters, as life rolls on for Magnolia and the gambling man she adores.  This 1927 masterpiece by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II stars Canadian soprano Andriana Chuchman, praised by The Chicago Tribune for radiating “enough vocal allure, physical beauty and charm to light up the stage,” in the role of Magnolia Hawks and “elegant” baritone Michael Todd Simpson (Huffington Post), a Dallas Opera favorite, as the irresistible Gaylord Ravenal. 

        This production also marks the company debut of Alyson Cambridge as Julie, whose secret reveals shameful attitudes that once hovered beneath the surface of American life. 

In the iconic role of “Joe,” bass Morris Robinson, a commanding Commendatore in TDO’s 2010 Don Giovanni, “brings a penetratingly deep operatic bass to ‘Ol Man River’,” according to Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times

Soprano Angela Renée Simpson, with a voice that can “bring the house down” (Opera News) will perform the role of Queenie.

            Broadway dancer, singer, actor Lara Teeter makes his Dallas Opera debut as Cap’n Andy, the owner of The Cotton Blossom, and Cindy Gold as Parthy Ann Hawks.

Conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and staged by E. Loren Meeker, “whose megawatt talent lights up the stage” (Berkshire Fine Arts), our season finale is a high watermark in this season’s altogether extraordinary journey. 

            Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, SHOW BOAT is the source of memorable musical numbers including “Make Believe,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “Ol’ Man River.”  The landmark musical also tackled such taboo subjects as racism, addiction and miscegenation on this journey through the lives of those associated with the show boat.

            Additional performances are scheduled for April 17(m), 20, 23, 29 & May 1, 2016 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.

            The Dallas Opera has presented five American premieres, as well as three world premiere works in its illustrious 58-year history.  It also continues to create fresh, new productions of established masterpieces and rarities of the genre.

            Evening performances during the 2015-2016 Season will begin at 7:30 PM, unless otherwise stated (including an 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 for 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 works in their original languages.  Easy-to-read English translations are projected above the stage during every Dallas Opera performance and special headsets are available for the hearing impaired.

            No late seating is permitted at Dallas Opera performances once the house doors are closed.

            Flex subscriptions begin at $75 for the 2015-2016 Season.  Full Subscriptions begin at $95.

            “It is my sincere hope that, over the course of this season, ours eyes will be opened—many times—to the power and wonder of this shared experience we call ‘opera”,” adds Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

“Won’t you join us?”

 

            For additional information about the coming season, call The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JANUARY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

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

 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

Scaling New Heights in Opera!

by Celeste Hart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Dallas Opera is Proud to Present A Rare Double Bill:

LA WALLY, ACT IV

With Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST
(A Dallas Opera World Premiere)

OPENING FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015, 7:30 P.M.

FOR THE FIRST OF FOUR PERFORMANCES

~~~~

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

At the AT&T Performing Arts Center

~~~~

ALICE W. AND RICHARD D. BASS, EVEREST Underwriters

With Additional Support from National Endowment for the Arts, TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, Enika and Richard Schulze, and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal

~~~~

Three-Opera FLEX Subscriptions Still Available, Starting at $75

Single Tickets Start at $19

            DALLAS, TX, JANUARY 6, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is extremely proud to present the third production in its 2014-2015 “Heights of Passion” Season, an unusual double bill: the eagerly anticipated world premiere of EVEREST—the first opera by renowned British composer Joby Talbot with a superb libretto by Gene Scheer (Moby-Dick)—preceded by the climactic final act of an 1892 opera rarity: Alfredo Catalani’s LA WALLY (Act IV) set in the Tyrolean Alps.

            Opening night will take place on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

            The first half of the evening, LA WALLY (Act IV), will star Mary Elizabeth Williams, described by Opera News as “the next great Verdi soprano,” as Wally, on the heels of her performances as Floria Tosca for Seattle Opera (where she was selected as the 2011-2012 “Artist of the Year”).  Ms. Williams, praised by The Washington Post for “wonderful stage presence, both regal and human,” has graciously assumed the title role from Latonia Moore, who withdrew from the production due to pregnancy.

            Tenor Carl Tanner will make his Dallas Opera debut as Giuseppe Hagenbach.  Following his 2010 Metropolitan Opera debut, Uptempo Magazine proclaimed “the quality of Tanner’s voice gave a lasting impression with its vastly dynamic and resonant timbre.”

            The role of Walter will be sung by Dallas Opera favorite Jennifer Chung, who appeared as Juliette in last season’s critically acclaimed production of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s twentieth-century masterpiece, Die tote Stadt.

            Conducted by Anthony Barrese (Tosca, 2008) and staged in this abridged production by director Candace Evans (Don Pasquale, The Merry Widow), this is the tale of a free-spirited and fiercely passionate young woman who realizes, too late, that love delayed isn’t always love denied.  TDO’s production also will incorporate the famous Act I aria, “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana.”

            Other members of the top-notch production team include set designer Robert Brill (Moby-Dick), costume designer David C. Woolard (Oscar, Death and the Powers), lighting designer Christopher Akerlind (The Dream of Valentino, La bohème, The Marriage of Figaro), wig and make-up designer David Zimmerman and projections designer Elaine J. McCarthy.

           On the slopes of Mount Everest, luck and the weather can turn with equal ferocity and swiftness, and dreams die even for the most valiant of men.  British composer Joby Talbot’s first opera—EVEREST—a Dallas Opera world premiere with a libretto by Gene Scheer (Moby-Dick)—confronts the tragic events surrounding an ill-fated 1996 Everest expedition with a cast that includes tenor Andrew Bidlack and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, as well as bass Kevin Burdette and baritone Craig Verm in their company debuts.  This much-anticipated Dallas Opera world premiere will be conducted by contemporary music specialist and Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and staged by director Leonard Foglia (Moby-Dick) – this season’s James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director in Honor of John Gage -- with stunning projections by Elaine J. McCarthy (Moby-Dick, Tristan & Isolde) to carry us to the one of the highest, most awe-inspiring, and dangerous places on earth.

          “It’s a thrill to have this opportunity to bring together artists from several of the most memorable productions in recent Dallas Opera history,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and to combine their extraordinary talents in fresh and exciting new ways. 

            “I am also delighted to cement The Dallas Opera’s newfound reputation as a creative force in American Opera with the first of three world premieres scheduled to take place in 2015,” Mr. Cerny adds.  “My team and I are confident that this thrilling original work by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer will bring us a step closer to our goal of providing adventurous North Texas audiences with thought-provoking new works, in addition to carefully conceived productions of rarely performed and much-loved favorites from the opera repertoire.”

          Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement made a profound impression on theatergoers during the 2012 launch of our chamber opera series: The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies.  Wrote Willard Spiegelman of Opera News, “Nicole Paiement led the ensemble briskly through a score that is rhythmically as well as harmonically complex.”  Dallas Observer Classical Music Critic Katie Womack expounded further: “The success of Friday’s performance was largely due to Nicole Paiement, who conducted the orchestra skillfully and artistically, and DTC’s artistic director, Kevin Moriarty, whose staging of this work marked his opera directorial debut. Moriarty’s transition to this genre seemed effortless and his work at home in the Wyly Theatre space. Together, the two produced one of the most interesting hours of opera I’ve seen in a while.”

          The conductor also led brilliant performances of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers last season, easily the most cutting-edge and technologically sophisticated opera ever produced in North Texas.

          Andrew Bidlack, praised by David Fleshler of The Miami Herald for his “smooth legato and heroic top notes,” prompted Classical Voice of New England to proclaim that he has “vocal color to match one of the original ‘Three Tenors’.”  Mr. Bidlack made his TDO debut as Sandy in The Lighthouse, which launched our chamber opera series in 2012.

          Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, who debuted with Dallas Opera in the acclaimed 2013 production of Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers before creating the role of Mary Magdalene in the San Francisco Opera world premiere of Mark Adamo’s most recent work, “made a brilliant impression,” according to Georgia Rowe of Opera News.  “Cooke sang with complete conviction, sounding unforced and lustrous.”  While San Francisco Chronicle Critic Joshua Kosman wrote that her singing was “eloquent and shimmeringly rich.”

          Bass Kevin Burdette will be making his company debut but he’s already attracting a lot of attention for his “large powerful voice with a burnished robust sound” and a “vibrant personality that pervaded the entire theater” (Opera Today).

          Baritone Craig Verm, who will also be making his TDO debut in this production, has earned raves for his “brilliantly performed” roles and “consistently solid and well-colored” singing” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

          The Dallas Opera Chorus is prepared by acclaimed Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

          EVEREST is generously underwritten by Alice W. and Richard D. Bass, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, Enika and Richard Schulze, and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal.

 

          Performances of this unique double bill (LA WALLY sung in Italian, EVEREST sung in English, with English language supertitles projected above the stage) will take place in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on January 30, February 1 (2:00 p.m. matinee), 4 & 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.  These works will be separated by an intermission.

 

            Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” 2014-15 Season—including the world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST—are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org.  Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.               

~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JANUARY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

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

 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

 

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Spring Season

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

 
THE DALLAS OPERA 2014-2015 SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Eighth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated.  English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired.  The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

 

 A RARE DALLAS OPERA DOUBLE BILL:

 LA WALLY by Alfredo Catalani

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

The Climactic Final Act!

First performed in Milan, Italy on January 20, 1892

Text by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern’s story, Die Geyer-Wally

Time: Around the year 1800

Place: The Austrian Alps

Conductor: Anthony Barrese

Stage Director: Candace Evans

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Williams (Wally), Carl Tanner* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (Walter)

A Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

 

 Paired with EVEREST by Joby Talbot

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

A Dallas Opera World Premiere!

Text by Gene Scheer

Time: Modern Day

Place: In the Death Zone on Mount Everest

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Sasha Cooke (Jan Arnold), Kevin Burdette* (Beck Weathers) and Craig Verm* (Doug Hansen).

 

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2015

A passionate and timeless masterpiece in a beloved period production

An opera in four acts first performed in Turin, Italy on February 1, 1896

Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème

Time: mid-19th century

Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza*

Stage Director: Peter Kazaras

Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotton

Starring: Ana Maria Martinez (Mimi), Bryan Hymel (Rodolfo), Davinia Rodriguez* (Musetta), Jonathan Beyer (Marcello), Alexander Vinogradov* (Colline), Stephen LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit).

One of the Dallas Opera’s Most Popular!

 

IOLANTA by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

April 10, 12(m), 15 and 18, 2015

A rarely performed Tchaikovsky gem, set in Medieval Provence!

First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892

Text by Modest Tchaikovsky based on the Danish play King Rene’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz

Time: The 15th century

Place: Provence, a mountainous region in Southern France

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Christian Räth

Scenic Design: Christian Räth

Costume Design: Susan Cox

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Ekaterina Scherbachenko* (Iolanta), Sergey Skorokhodov* (Count Vaudémont), Joanna Mongiardo* (Brigitta), Lauren McNeese (Laura), Tamara Mumford* (Marta), Andrei Bondarenko** (Robert, Duke of Burgandy), Mikhail Kolelishvili (Renè, King of Provence), Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), Vladislav Sulimsky** (Ibn-Hakia) and Jordan Bisch (Bertrand).

Another New Dallas Opera Production

 

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from:  Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera.  Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera.  Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.  A special thanks to the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

 

Marilyn Horne Competition Winners to Perform in Dallas

by Celeste Hart

The Dallas Opera, in Partnership with the Music Academy of the West, is Proud to Announce the Expansion of the Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital Series

 

TDO will present the winners of the prestigious

Marilyn Horne Song Competition in recital

 

2014 Winners Michelle Bradley (soprano) and Michael Gaertner (pianist) will perform in Dallas on May 17, 2015

            DALLAS, TX, DECEMBER 18, 2014 – The Dallas Opera is delighted to announce a partnership with the Music Academy of the West located in Santa Barbara, California, that will allow patrons from across North Texas to experience the artistry of the winners of the annual Marilyn Horne Song Competition as an added dimension of the popular Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital Series. The Music Academy of the West is one the nation’s premier summer training programs for gifted young classical musicians.

            The landmark gift of the Titus Family that created this program, dedicated to the advancement of art song in American cultural life, will continue to enable The Dallas Opera to present recitals featuring established, world-class performers (such as renowned British tenor Ian Bostridge) representing this rarified field.  Beginning in 2015, the series will be expanded to include an annual recital to showcase the previous year’s Marilyn Horne Competition winners. 

The 2014 competition champions, soprano Michelle Bradley and pianist Michael Gaetner will perform on May 17, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

Tickets will go on sale in early 2015 for this special one-time-only event and will be on a “first come, first served” basis. They may be purchased through the Dallas Opera Patron Services Office at 214.443.1000.

 

            “Building on the remarkable generosity of the Titus Family,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “this rewarding partnership allows us to expand the reach and influence of TDO’s art song series, making Dallas one of a mere handful of American cities committed to spreading the excitement about this unique and tremendously important art form.”

            “It’s gratifying to be able to make such an announcement, even as we prepare for the next Titus Art Song Recital in January, starring the remarkable American tenor Matthew Polenzani and his esteemed accompanist, Julius Drake, in their eagerly anticipated Texas debuts,” added Mr. Cerny.

 

            Scott Reed, President of the Music Academy of the West affirms the remarkable possibilities of such a partnership: “We are thrilled to join hands with Keith Cerny and The Dallas Opera in order to create new opportunities for the extraordinary young talents identified through the Marilyn Horne Song Competition.”

 

            The Music Academy of the West was founded in 1947 by a group of visionary Southern California arts patrons and musicians, including the legendary soprano Lotte Lehmann and the famed conductor Otto Klemperer.

One of the most popular events of the summer season at the Music Academy, the Marilyn Horne Song Competition (formerly known as the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition) is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists. Top awards are given to the Academy singer and vocal pianist who demonstrate excellence in the performance of song repertoire as well as a unique gift for audience communication.

Previous winners of the competition have included baritone John Brancy and pianist Mario Antonio Marra (2013); soprano Tracy Cox and pianist Maureen Zoltek (2012); soprano Karen Vuong and pianist Saule Tlenchiyeva (2011); soprano Megan Hart and pianist Sun Ha “Sunny” Yoon (2010); mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller, tenor Jeffrey Hill, and pianist Lio Kuokman (2009); soprano Simone Osborne, baritone Edward Parks, and pianist In-Sun Suh (2008); soprano Nadine Sierra and pianist Karen Kyung-Eun Na (2007); Santa Barbara’s own Evan Hughes (2006); soprano Elaine Alvarez, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and pianist Tamara Sanikidze (2005); mezzo-soprano Daniela Lehner and pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone (2004); mezzo-soprano Megan Latham and pianist Carol Wong (2003); mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski and pianist Jerome Tan (2002); tenor Ramon Diggs and pianist Nino Sanikidze (2001); baritone Nicolai Janitzky, mezzo-soprano Liesel Fedkenheuer, and pianists Ji Young Lee and Spencer Myer (2000).

The competition regularly attracts industry insiders eager for a glimpse of up-and-coming talent.

 

ARTIST BIOS:

 

Michelle Bradley, 31, born in Versailles, Kentucky, is a graduate of Kentucky State and Bowling Green State universities. She currently resides in Houston, Texas, where she studies with Lois Alba. The recipient of a Houston Ebony Opera Guild Encouragement Award, Ms. Bradley won the Lois Alba Aria Competition in 2011. In December 2013, she placed third and received the Audience Choice Award at the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert Vocal Competition.

 

Michael Gaertner, 24, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in collaborative piano. He earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, with a collaborative emphasis, at Ithaca College, where he received the Mary Hayes North Piano Competition Award. Mr. Gaertner has attended the Brevard Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has performed in masterclasses for Aviram Reichert, Timothy Hester, Irene Gubrud, Eric Owens, and Sasha Cooke, and his teachers have included Jennifer Hayghe, Charis Dimaras, Kenneth Merrill, and Martin Katz.

 

~~~~

Dallas Opera Wants to Take YOU Higher

by Suzanne Calvin

The supers, or non-singing extras, that performed the duties of deckhands in our 2010 world premiere production of “Moby-Dick” have been immortalized in scads of photos in books and publications around the world.  You could be next.  Read on.

Media Alert

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                            Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071

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

 

Scale Unimaginable Heights!

Explore New Experiences!

Make History as Part of the Original Cast

Of a Dallas Opera World Premiere!

EVEREST

~~~~

TDO Seeking Supers with Serious Climbing Skills

No Theatrical Experience Necessary

No Singing Required!

~~~~

Apply Online at https://secure.dallasopera.org/supers/

 

            DALLAS, TX, DECEMBER 5, 2014 – The Dallas Opera is putting out a call for men and women of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds—with actual climbing experience—to join the original cast of the world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST, opening January 30, 2015 for the first of four performances in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

            Like the Moby-Dick world premiere in 2010, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  The Dallas Opera is seeking individuals who are unafraid of heights and comfortable working in a harness.  They may be called upon to dangle 30 feet in the air for as long as fifteen minutes at a time.

            For additional information about the job of opera supernumeraries (or, “supers”) go to http://dallasopera.org/about/employment/seasonal/.

            To sign-up, fill out the form at https://secure.dallasopera.org/supers/ and you will be contacted by a member of our artistic/production team.

            Rehearsals for the supernumeraries will begin in early January.  The position comes with modest compensation and complimentary tickets; not to mention, lifelong “bragging rights.”

            Do not delay!  Explore this extraordinary opportunity today!

 

~~~~

 

On the slopes of Mount Everest, luck and the weather can turn with equal ferocity and swiftness, and dreams die even for the most valiant of men.  British composer Joby Talbot’s first opera—EVEREST—a Dallas Opera world premiere with a libretto by Gene Scheer (Moby-Dick)—confronts the tragic events surrounding an ill-fated Everest expedition with a cast that includes tenor Andrew Bidlack and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, as well as bass Kevin Burdette and baritone Craig Verm in their company debuts. 

This much-anticipated Dallas Opera world premiere will be conducted by contemporary music specialist and Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement and staged by director Leonard Foglia (Moby-Dick) with stunning projections by Elaine J. McCarthy (Moby-Dick, Tristan & Isolde) to carry us to the one of the highest, most awe-inspiring, and dangerous places on earth.

 

Performances of this unique double bill (LA WALLY, Act IV sung in Italian, followed by EVEREST sung in English, with English language supertitles projected above the stage) will take place in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on January 30, February 1 ( 2:00 matinee), 4 & 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. 

These One Acts will be separated by an intermission. 

 

~~~~

            Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” Season—including the world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST—are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org.  Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “DECEMBER AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

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 for additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

 

Ticket Information for the 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Spring Season

  

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

 

THE DALLAS OPERA 2014-2015 SEASON INFORMATION

The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Eighth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated.  English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired.  The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

 

 

A RARE DALLAS OPERA DOUBLE BILL:

 

LA WALLY by Alfredo Catalani

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

The Climactic Final Act!

First performed in Milan, Italy on January 20, 1892

Text by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern’s story, Die Geyer-Wally

Time: Around the year 1800

Place: The Austrian Alps

Conductor: Anthony Barrese

Stage Director: Candace Evans

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Latonia Moore (Wally), Carl Tanner* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (Walter)

A Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

 

 Paired with EVEREST by Joby Talbot

January 30, February 1(m), 4 and 7, 2015

A Dallas Opera World Premiere!

Text by Gene Scheer

Time: Modern Day

Place: In the Death Zone on Mount Everest

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Stage Director: Leonard Foglia

Scenic Design: Robert Brill

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Andrew Bidlack (Rob Hall), Sasha Cooke (Jan Arnold), Kevin Burdette* (Beck Weathers) and Craig Verm* (Doug Hansen).

 

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

March 13, 15(m), 18, 21, 27 and 29(m), 2015

A passionate and timeless masterpiece in a beloved period production

An opera in four acts first performed in Turin, Italy on February 1, 1896

Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème

Time: mid-19th century

Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza*

Stage Director: Peter Kazaras

Scenic Design: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Children’s Chorus Master: Melinda Cotton

Starring: Ana Maria Martinez (Mimi), Bryan Hymel (Rodolfo), Davinia Rodriguez* (Musetta), Jonathan Beyer (Marcello), Alexander Vinogradov* (Colline), Stephen LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit).

One of the Dallas Opera’s Most Popular!

 

IOLANTA by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

April 10, 12(m), 15 and 18, 2015

A rarely performed Tchaikovsky gem, set in Medieval Provence!

First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892

Text by Modest Tchaikovsky based on the Danish play King Rene’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz

Time: The 15th century

Place: Provence, a mountainous region in Southern France

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director: Christian Räth

Scenic Design: Christian Räth

Costume Design: Susan Cox

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: Thomas C. Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Ekaterina Scherbachenko* (Iolanta), Sergey Skorokhodov* (Count Vaudémont), Joanna Mongiardo* (Brigitta), Lauren McNeese (Laura), Tamara Mumford* (Marta), Andrei Bondarenko** (Robert, Duke of Burgandy), Mikhail Kolelishvili (Renè, King of Provence), Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), Vladislav Sulimsky** (Ibn-Hakia) and Jordan Bisch (Bertrand).

Another New Dallas Opera Production

 

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from:  Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera.  Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera.  Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.  A special thanks to the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

 

###

Dallas Opera Receives Major NEA Grant for EVEREST

by Celeste Hart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014      suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org         
Or Celeste Hart 214.443.1071     celeste.hart@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera is the Proud Recipient Of a $50,000 Art Works Grant
from the National Endowment for the Arts

~~~~

Supporting the January 2015 World Premiere Production of
Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s 
EVEREST

~~~~

One of 919 Non-profit Organizations in the U.S. Receiving Grant Monies Totaling $26.6 Million

            DALLAS, TX, DECEMBER 2, 2014 – The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce that it is one of 919 non-profit organizations, nationwide, to be honored with an NEA Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

            The awards were announced earlier today in Washington by NEA Chairman Jane Chu, who explained that “the arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people.  These recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

            The Dallas Opera’s award will go to support the upcoming world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST, opening January 30, 2015 for the first of four performances in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

            “We are happy to be named a recipient of an NEA Art Works grant,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and happier still that the value of this project—the first of three Dallas Opera world premieres in calendar 2015— has been recognized at the national level.  TDO is committed to new works and dedicated to fostering new opportunities for the most talented composers, librettists, designers and directors of our time.  EVEREST allows us to pursue both these worthy goals, while creating timely and relevant entertainment options for music lovers from across North Texas.”

            Art Works grants also support public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the enhanced livability of communities through the arts.  The NEA received nearly 1,500 eligible applications this year and awarded grants totaling $26.6 million.

            For a complete listing of projects, visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

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            Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Heights of Passion” Season—including the world premiere production of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s EVEREST—are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org.  Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.        

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 EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “DECEMBER AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

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 for 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, 2014-2015 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “HEIGHTS OF PASSION” SEASON

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS