Mark Twain’s Wagnerian Adventures

by Suzanne Calvin

What did American literary icon Mark Twain and German music titan Richard Wagner have in common? If you said “Wavy hair,” you are correct! If you said anything else, you’re probably mistaken. Desite the lack of common ground, Twain’s deeply personal impressions of the Bayreuth experience form the basis for this month’s “Off the Cuff” column by General Director and CEO Keith Cerny for “Theater Jones.” You can enjoy it all right here.

Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

Keith’s latest “Off the Cuff”

by Suzanne Calvin

Why do I have the distinct feeling that eighteenth-century artist William Hogarth was a “glass half-empty” kinda guy? Even so, nobody served up social commentary like this influential Brit and he’s the subject--no, more like the catalyst--of General Director and CEO Keith Cerny’s latest “Off the Cuff” for Theater Jones.

Enjoy it right here.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director of Media and PR

Managing the Opera Company of the Future

by Suzanne Calvin

Keith & Jennifer

 

There’s a lot of talk these days about how arts organizations are going to survive the impact of staggering economies, government cuts, and a lack of consumer confidence. But, frankly, if survival is the ultimate goal--why bother? Arts organizations need to think beyond the immediate pressures we face and begin implementing ways to make the performing arts smart, relevant and thriving rather than focused on surviving. Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny shares his thoughts on the direction opera may be headed in his latest installment of “Off the Cuff” from Theater Jones.

Read it right here.  (Photo of Keith and Jennifer Cerny on opening night of the 2012-13 Season outside the Winspear Opera House)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Even Three-Dimensional Chess Needs a Red Queen

by Suzanne Calvin

The latest installment of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny’s “Off the Cuff” feature for “Theater Jones” explores the strategy behind the push for subscriptions and renewals, and how twenty-first century marketers may be able to stem the tide that propels us towards what some are already calling “the post-subscription era.”

Read Keith’s analysis right here, courtesy of “Theater Jones.”

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

14,000 Attend 2nd Dallas Opera Cowboys Stadium Simulcast

by Suzanne Calvin

Even when you’ve seen as much opera as we have, there’s no doubt that an event like the one held last Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium is extraordinary--by any yardstick you measure it with. The release below contains the attendance/request numbers which, although impressive, barely begin to tell the tale of this night’s impact on the people of North Texas. Read on!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, April 19, 2013
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014  suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071  megan.meister@dallasopera.org

THE DALLAS OPERA’S
2nd SUCCESSFUL COWBOYS STADIUM SIMULCAST DRAWS MORE THAN

29,000 RSVPs
~~~~
A Diverse Crowd of 14,000
Experiences Puccini’s Turandot Live
Last Saturday Evening – Free of Charge
~~~~
With Lee Hoiby’s Julia Child One-Act Opera as an Appetizer
And the World’s Largest Cartoon Screening of the Hilarious
1957 Chuck Jones Masterpiece, “WHAT’S OPERA, DOC?”
~~~~
PRESENTED BY THE DALLAS FOUNDATION

DALLAS, TX, APRIL 19, 2013 – The Dallas Opera, in partnership with Cowboys Stadium, conducted its second successful simulcast at the sports venue on Saturday, April 13th, attracting a crowd of approximately 14,000 from across North Texas and beyond. The simulcast of Giacomo Puccini’s final twentieth-century masterpiece, Turandot, presented by The Dallas Foundation live from the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, earned rave reviews from both attending critics and an extraordinarily diverse crowd of patrons.

Punch Shaw of the Star-Telegram wrote, “The quality was excellent, conveying the grandeur of the opera production well in its wide shots and made good choices about when close-ups were needed….The sound, however, was far better than one might expect.”

Those who attended enjoyed a free unabridged performance on the world’s largest high-definition video board structure, consisting of four massive viewing screens (the largest, 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide) suspended directly above the playing field.

Prior to the live performance, the Dallas Opera presented the world’s largest cartoon screening (based on screen size): Warner Brothers Classics 1957 masterpiece, “What’s Opera, Doc?” starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd and voted the #1 cartoon ever produced (in 1994, by a thousand working animators). Directed by animation legend Chuck Jones, the cartoon pokes fun at opera’s most persistent stereotypes, Wagnerian heft, and Elmer Fudd’s never-ending pursuit of that “wascally wabbit!”

The Dallas Opera also set the tone for a fun-filled evening with a recording of the Dallas Opera’s recent live presentation of composer Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! starring acclaimed mezzo-soprano Susan Nicely as Julia Child, the chef-who-became-an-international culinary icon.

Based on segments of Julia Child’s popular cooking show, The French Chef (winner of the first Emmy Award given to an educational program), and incorporating Child’s actual dialogue as shaped by librettist Mark Shulgasser, who attended the stadium simulcast, this laugh-out-loud modern opera was originally performed in English at the Dallas Farmer’s Market Demonstration Kitchen.

Miss Nicely was accompanied by pianist Mary Dibbern, Music Director for Education and Family Programs at the Dallas Opera in performances supported by The Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs.

“In 2012, The Dallas Foundation helped the Dallas Opera bridge the distance between two very different cultures: the world of professional opera and the world of professional football,” explained Mary Jalonick, President of The Dallas Foundation. “The Dallas Foundation was proud to again be the presenting sponsor of the Dallas Opera’s 2013 simulcast of Turandot.”

“We were excited to partner with the Dallas Opera for a second Cowboys Stadium Simulcast,” said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President of Brand Management Charlotte Anderson. “Our organization greatly admires and respects The Dallas Opera’s original thinking and stewardship in making ground-breaking events like these a reality because we truly value the importance of the arts in our community.”

“It’s been a personal goal of mine to bring tremendous artists and unforgettable entertainment to the widest possible audience here in North Texas,” commented Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “and nothing does that better than opera, as shown by the many thousands who attended last spring’s Cowboys Stadium Simulcast of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, as well as this year’s spectacular production of Turandot.

“The Dallas Opera is extremely honored that The Dallas Foundation chose to support this event for a second 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 can hardly imagine a smoother, more compelling simulcast than the one we experienced together on Saturday night and it has fired my conviction that this is the kind of audience outreach that redefines the art form—in reality, as well as perception—for a new generation of audiences.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones expounded: “Lise Lindstrom as Turandot sent out laser-like high Cs that rang the rafters. Antonello Palombi as Calaf reminded us why we liked him in Aida earlier in the season. Hei-Kyung Hong, as Liù, produced a shimmering sound that entranced a stadium and surely a hushed opera house as well. Christian Van Horn, as Timur, impressed all over again with his rich and resonant bass voice… It was wonderful to hear this Turandot performance sparkle and crackle with electricity.

“The audience in the stadium behaved as if they were in the opera house. No one got up and walked around during the performance and, to these eyes at least, few if any left until the curtain calls were finished. There was as big an ovation in the stadium as we heard in the opera house.”

However, the greatest reviews of all came from the families, friends, and young couples who attended the simulcast and experienced the excitement of opera – many, for the very first time. A selection of typical comments includes:

• “I would just like to thank the people that made the Turandot Simulcast available at the Cowboys Stadium and to applaud the actor/singers. This was the first time for me and my children to be exposed to opera, and our only regret was not be at the real presentation and live the whole experience! We were impressed how “opera” could have so much impact, how we were drawn to experience the characters emotions. It is hard to believe how clearly music can communicate. Thank you for making art available to everybody” – Raúl Morales

• “I attended the simulcast and was very impressed. Such a great venue for a family event. There were children all around and they were really paying attention. Thank you so much for doing this. I am unemployed and would never have been able to go to something so great at this time. I thank you so much.”

From Facebook:

• Wow! I loved every minute of my time at Cowboys Stadium simulcast last night. Do it again!
• Fantastic simulcast production at Cowboys Stadium. Congratulations to the Dallas Opera and the performers. It was just splendid! -- And thanks for making this a truly family friendly event! I would have never thought we could make it through Turandot with our 5 youngest kids (age 4-14). But at the Cowboys Stadium it worked great!
• I had never seen an opera before tonight. I was at the stadium enjoying Turandot on the big screen. I do wish I could have been at the Winspear to watch this live. It was absolutely beautiful. I was completely captivated from the beginning. The lighting, the set design (LOVED the massive dragon and the elements of the pearls everywhere), the elaborate costumes and makeup, not the mention the wonderful array of talent. Thank you for making my first operatic experience magical. Be blessed!
• Unofficial poll from the seats around me, Pang wins for best moves and facial expression.
• wow!!! what an experience Turandot at the Cowboys Stadium…backstage action and all!! kids love it!! thank u Dallas Foundation!!!! and Dallas Opera!!

• Brought my children for their first opera! They loved seeing the “pit” with all the instruments and have been glued to the show. Thank you!
• This is great! Date night with my hubby. This is our first opera. Thank you!
• I am enthralled in my first opera experience via the simulcast! Watching opera on the “big screen” as the sun sets around the stadium was a great start!
• Amazing experience at the simulcast!!! Thank you Gene and Jerry Jones!!!!

Twitter:

• Great performance at Cowboy Stadium; get to see close-up details you miss in opera house.
• Having a great time. First time seeing the opera.
• STUNNING!!!!! COULD NOT BE HAPPIER w/ the performance thus far!! ?
• It is fun to experience @thedallasopera #turandot @cowboysstadium with @kevinroberts07 …and for free!
• enjoying Turandot at Cowboy Stadium. Thanks to the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Foundation
• @TheDallasOpera @CowboysStadium simulcast of Puccini Turandot, fantastic Act1 #HeikYungHong has an amazing voice Wow!
• Watching @thedallasopera Turandot Simulcast! This cast is fabulous
• Thanks for the dramatic evening, @thedallsopera @dallasfound and @dallascowboys ! Spectacular!
• Such a magnificent production of Turandot, @TheDallasOpera! Simply majestic and gorgeous.
• wrt #Turandot, I told my daughter that she should pick riddles s.t. she’ll want to marry whoever can solve them. @TheDallasOpera
~~~~
Single tickets for the remaining mainstage performances of the Dallas Opera’s “Pursuits of Passion” Season 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 $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.
~~~~

EVENTS AND GUEST ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE “PURSUITS OF PASSION” SEASON
IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

For high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print
To arrange an interview
Or for additional information
Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR
214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera’s 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion Season”
Is Presented by Texas Instruments Foundation

THE DALLAS OPERA WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITUDE TO OUR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERS:

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

All performances are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Single Tickets for TURANDOT, THE ASPERN PAPERS and family performances are on sale now. Tickets for the mainstage productions start for a new low price of $19! For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Sixth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance. Assistance is available for the hearing impaired.

TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini
April 5, 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m), 2013
Puccini’s Last Masterpiece—Riddled with Passionate Romance and Unforgettable Music!
An opera in three acts first performed in Milan at La Scala, April 25, 1926
Text by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi’s fable, Turandot.
Time: Legendary times
Place: Peking, China
Conductor: Marco Zambelli
Stage Director: Garnett Bruce
Production Design: Allen Charles Klein
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Lise Lindstrom* (Princess Turandot), Antonello Palombi (Calaf), Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu), Christian Van Horn* (Timur), Jonathan Beyer (Ping), Joseph Hu (Pang), Daniel Montenegrio* (Pong), Ryan Kuster* (A Mandarin), Steven Haal (Emperor Altoum).

THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento
April 12, 14(m), 17, 20, 28(m), 2013
The Games People Play—Both Young and Old—To Achieve Their Twisted Desires!
An opera in two acts first performed in Dallas, November 19, 1988.
Text by Dominick Argento, based on a Henry James novella.
Time: Legendary
Place: Lake Como, Italy
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: Tim Albery
Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman*
Costume Design: Constance Hoffman*
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Assistant Director: Michael Mori
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Alexandra Deshorties (Julianna Bordereau), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut
______________________________________________________________________________________
The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; 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 Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

A “Dangerous” Experiment

by Suzanne Calvin


KA2_4098

(So easy, a child could do it!  Photo by Karen Almond, Dallas Opera, at Cowboys Stadium Simulcast of The Magic Flute

Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. I’m referring to supertitles, of course. The once fiery controversy has largely faded, as supertitled or subtitled opera has become the norm rather than the exception in American opera houses and arts venues. Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny weighed in on the impact and possible future of this technical innovation in this month’s “Off the Cuff” from Theater Jones.

Enjoy it right here.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Original or Familiar – It’s all art and it’s all new

by Suzanne Calvin

Il Postino

(Image from LA Opera’s world premiere production of “Il Postino”)

Decisions, Decisions. How do the chief executives of major performing arts organizations grapple with the task of advancing the art form and attracting audiences at the same time? Find out what goes on behind the scenes on Tuesday March 5th in a free “Conversation with Keith,” as in Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks, and Heather Kitchen, Managing Director of the Dallas Theater Center. More details follow:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 25, 2013

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
Suzanne.Calvin@dallasopera.org
Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071
Megan.Meister@dallasopera.org

THE DALLAS OPERA AND KERA’s ART&SEEK
ARE PLEASED TO PRESENT
“CONVERSATIONS WITH KEITH”
~~~~
Moderated by Art&Seek Reporter/Producer
JEROME WEEKS
~~~~
“Accessible versus Avant-Garde Productions of
Music and Theater.” -- With Live Audience Q&A!

Featuring Dallas Opera General Director & CEO Keith Cerny
& Dallas Theater Center Managing Director Heather Kitchen

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Hamon Hall, Winspear Opera House
AT&T Performing Arts Center

DALLAS, FEBRUARY 25, 2013 – The Dallas Opera, in partnership with KERA’s “Art&Seek,” is happy to announce the next edition of “Conversations with Keith” taking place on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in Nancy B. Hamon Hall (located in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Downtown Dallas), featuring special guest Heather Kitchen, Managing Director of the Dallas Theater Center.
The hot topic is “Accessible versus Avant-Garde Productions of Music and Theater” and if you have ever wondered how performing arts organizations select an artistic team and commission a brand-new work for the stage—this is the event for you!
The conversation will be moderated by the award-winning KERA/Art&Seek Producer-Reporter Jerome Weeks, who also moderated the Dallas Opera’s highly acclaimed “Page to Stage” weekend with composer Jake Heggie, librettist Gene Scheer, and other special guests, in preparation for the company’s enormously successful 2010 world premiere of Moby-Dick.
Mr. Weeks also occupies the moderator’s chair for our continuing series of “Composing Conversations” designed to bring the world’s most intriguing composers and librettists to Dallas for conversations about their craft, their careers, and their current and future projects.

“Conversations with Keith” are always FREE and open to the public. However, seating is limited and RSVPs are strongly recommended.
To secure your seat for this extraordinary inside look at creating and commissioning new twenty-first century works, call 214.443.1044 or reserve your seat online at rsvp@dallasopera.org.
Paid parking ($5 to $15) is available underneath the Winspear Opera House and throughout the Arts District.

KEY BIOS:

HEATHER M. KITCHEN joined Dallas Theater Center in 2011 as managing director. She was honored to be appointed managing director, and was inspired by the outstanding artists, Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers that she met here. Before joining DTC she served as executive director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco for 14 seasons where she oversaw the growth of the budget from $11 million to more than $19 million. Heather led A.C.T.’s first endowment campaign, which surpassed its $25 million goal by more than $6 million. She served as general manager of The Citadel Theatre in Alberta, Canada, production manager at Theatre New Brunswick, and worked as a stage manager at many major regional theaters across Canada including The Stratford Shakespearean Festival, The Neptune Theatre and Canadian Stage Company. Heather holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Western Ontario’s reknowned Richard Ivey School of Business. She was ranked among the San Francisco Business Times’ top 100 “Most Important Women in Business in the Bay Area” five times. Heather is also an avid amateur musician who plays piano, flute and classical guitar.

JEROME WEEKS is a producer-reporter for KERA’s Art & Seek. His arts reporting and criticism have appeared on KERA FM, KERA TV, and online at ArtandSeek.org.
A professional critic for more than two decades, he was the book columnist for The Dallas Morning News for ten years and the paper’s theater critic for ten years before that. His writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, American Theatre and Men’s Vogue magazines. He has won five Katie Awards from the Dallas Press Club, a graduate journalism fellowship from Columbia University and a Knight Digital Media Fellowship to the University of California-Berkeley. In 2012, he received first place for specialty reporting from Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the John G. Flowers Award for Excellence from The Texas Society of Architects. Jerome has appeared on Studio 360, C-SPAN’s Booknotes and KERA’s national documentary Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater. He is a member of both the National Book Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association, and is a fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

Biographical information about DALLAS OPERA GENERAL DIRECTOR AND CEO KEITH CERNY is available online at http://www.dallasopera.org/about/staff/general-director/

ABOUT ART&SEEK

Art&Seek brings North Texans news about arts, music and culture. The team’s arts journalists produce reports, interviews, criticism and video for KERA FM, KERA TV and online at ArtandSeek.org. Art&Seek’s calendar hosts profiles and events from more than 3,000 arts groups and venues. Highlights can also be heard on KERA FM and KXT 91.7 FM. Art&Seek is a service provided by KERA/North Texas Public Broadcasting.

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “FEBRUARY 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, Manager/Director Media & PR
214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

The Dallas Opera’s 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion Season”
Is Presented by Texas Instruments Foundation

THE DALLAS OPERA WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITUDE TO OUR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERS:

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

All performances are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Single Tickets for TURANDOT, THE ASPERN PAPERS and family performances are on sale now. Family performances are $5, mainstage operas start at a new low price of just $19! For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-Sixth International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance. Assistance is available for the hearing impaired.

TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini
April 5, 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m), 2013
Puccini’s Last Masterpiece—Riddled with Passionate Romance and Unforgettable Music!
An opera in three acts first performed in Milan at La Scala, April 25, 1926
Text by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi’s fable, Turandot.
Time: Legendary times
Place: Peking, China
Conductor: Marco Zambelli
Stage Director: Garnett Bruce
Production Design: Allen Charles Klein
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Lise Lindstrom* (Princess Turandot), Antonello Palombi (Calaf), Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu), Christian Van Horn* (Timur), Jonathan Beyer (Ping), Joseph Hu (Pang), Daniel Montenegrio* (Pong), Ryan Kuster* (A Mandarin), Steven Haal (Emperor Altoum).

THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento
April 12, 14(m), 17, 20, 28(m), 2013
The Games People Play—Both Young and Old—To Achieve Their Twisted Desires!
An opera in two acts first performed in Dallas, November 19, 1988.
Text by Dominick Argento, based on a Henry James novella.
Time: Legendary
Place: Lake Como, Italy
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: Tim Albery
Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman*
Costume Design: Constance Hoffman*
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Assistant Director: Michael Mori
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Alexandra Deshorties (Julianna Bordereau), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut
_____________________________________________________________________________________
The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; 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 Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

It Was the Best of Times

by Suzanne Calvin

…and the Best of Times.

In fact, the always fascinating TACA Silver Cup Awards was especially gratifying for representatives of the Dallas Opera this year, who heard first-hand the plaudits of Dallas media icon Lee Cullum. However, reading about it on Jeanne Prejean’s MY SWEET CHARITY comes pretty darn close; we’re very proud!

(photo of TACA honorees Peggy Sewell and Roger Nanney courtesy of Jeanne Prejean, “My Sweet Charity”)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

TDO Proudly Presents “Composing Conversations” with American Composer Dominick Argento

by Megan Meister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, January 11, 2013
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014                            Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071
suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org                                    megan.meister@dallasopera.org

                                                               
THE DALLAS OPERA PROUDLY PRESENTS
Composing Conversations” with
American Composer Dominick Argento
In Partnership with Art&Seek
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
HAMON HALL, THE WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE
AT&T PERFORMNG ARTS CENTER
~~~~
The production of The Aspern Papers received funding from:
OPERA America’s Opera Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
And The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund

       DALLAS, JANUARY 11, 2013 – The Dallas Opera is particularly excited to bring Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Dominick Argento back to Dallas after a very long absence for a special “Composing Conversation,” conducted in partnership with Art&Seek, KERA’s arts initiative.  The visit is prompted, in part, by the Dallas Opera’s upcoming 25th Anniversary production of the world premiere of Argento’s masterful adaptation of Henry James’ THE ASPERN PAPERS.

This new production of The Aspern Papers received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Our one-night-only free public discussion will take place the evening of Tuesday, January 22nd beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Nancy B. Hamon Hall in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  Come and join the conversation with this Grammy Award™ winner on his prestigious career, as well as his insights into the forces at work in opera and contemporary music today, hosted by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny and moderated by award-winning Art&Seek Producer-Reporter Jerome Weeks,a longtime observer of the North Texas arts scene, from the visual to theatrical.

No relevant topic is off-limits and audience questions are highly encouraged.

The Aspern Papers was given its world premiere by the Dallas Opera in November 1988 to great critical acclaim, a production telecast on the PBS series Great Performances.  The opera was again presented in a well-received revival by the Washington Opera in 1990. It since has been heard in both Germany and in Sweden; June 1998 brought a performance at the Barbican Centre in London.

Dominick Argento examined fame and the immigrant experience in his opera, The Dream of Valentino, set in the early days of Hollywood. Washington Opera gave this work its premiere under the baton of Christopher Keene in January 1994, followed by its co-commissioning company, the Dallas Opera, in 1995. The production featured special multi-media sets by John Conklin and costumes by the couturier Valentino. Writing of the premiere, Peter G. Davis of New York magazine stated, “What a pleasure to encounter a real opera composer, one who has studied and learned from his predecessors, loves the form, understands its conventions, has mastered them, and then lets his imagination take wing.”

The Dream of Valentino received its European premiere in February 1999 in Kassel, Germany.

Among his numerous honors and awards, Dominick Argento received the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1979 and in 1997, was honored with the title of Composer Laureate to the Minnesota Orchestra, a lifetime appointment.

The program will also feature a live taste of Argento’s The Aspern Papers as soprano Jennifer Youngs, an emerging artist and UNT graduate student working closely with the Dallas Opera, performs the two “Tina” arias from the work, accompanied by pianist Elvia Puccinelli.

~~~~

Seating is limited and RSVPs are required.  To secure your seat for this extraordinary inside look at contemporary composition and opera-making, go to dallasopera.org/rsvp or call the RSVP hotline at 214.443.1000 to reserve your seat now!

BIOS:

DOMINICK ARGENTO
 
Dominick Argento, considered to be America’s preeminent composer of lyric opera, was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1927. At the Peabody Conservatory, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, his teachers included Nicholas Nabokov, Henry Cowell, and Hugo Weisgall. Argento received his Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Alan Hovhaness and Howard Hanson. Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships allowed him to study in Italy with Luigi Dallapiccola and to complete his first opera, Colonel Jonathan the Saint. Following his Fulbright, Argento became music director of Hilltop Opera in Baltimore, and taught theory and composition at the Eastman School. In 1958, he joined the faculty of the Department of Music at the University of Minnesota, where he taught until 1997. He now holds the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Although Argento’s instrumental works have received consistent praise, the great majority of his music is vocal, whether in operatic, choral, or solo context. This emphasis on the human voice is a facet of the powerful dramatic impulse that drives nearly all of his music, both instrumental and vocal. Music critic Heidi Waleson has described Argento’s work as “richly melodic… [his] pieces are built with wit and passion, and always with the dramatic shape and color that make them theater. They speak to the heart.”

During his years at Eastman, Argento composed his opera, The Boor (1957), which has remained in the repertoire; John Rockwell of The New York Times, writing of a 1985 production, stated that “[it] taps deep currents of sentiment and passion.” Following his arrival in Minnesota, the composer accepted a number of commissions from significant organizations in his adopted state. Among these were the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, who commissioned his suite Royal Invitation (1964); and the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, who commissioned Variations for Orchestra [The Mask of Night] (1965). Argento’s close association with Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Douglas Campbell, directors of the Minnesota Theatre Company, led to his composing incidental music for several Guthrie productions, as well as a ballad opera, The Shoemaker’s Holiday (1967).

The 1970’s and 1980’s saw the composer working increasingly in the song cycle form, while still writing operas and orchestral music. Among his major song cycles are: Letters from Composers (1968); To Be Sung Upon the Water (1973); From the Diary of Virginia Woolf (1975); the choral I Hate and I Love (1982); The Andree Expedition (1983); and Casa Guidi (1983). His most recent song cycles, both premiered in 1996, are A Few Words About Chekhov (mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano), given its premiere by Frederica von Stade, Håkan Hagegård, and accompanist Martin Katz at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul;Walden Pond (mixed chorus, harp, and three cellos), commissioned and premiered by the Dale Warland Singers; and Miss Manners on Music, to texts by the noted advice columnist.

Since the early 1970’s the composer’s operas, which have always found success in the U.S., have been heard with increasing frequency abroad. Nearly all of them, beginning with Postcard from Morocco (1971), have had at least one European production. Among these are The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe (1976), Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night (1981), and Casanova’s Homecoming (1984); Robert Jacobson of Opera News described the latter work as “a masterpiece.” The Aspern Papers was given its premiere by Dallas Opera in November 1988 to great acclaim, was telecast on the PBS series Great Performances, and was again presented, to critical praise, by the Washington Opera in 1990. It since has been heard in Germany and in Sweden; June 1998 brought a performance at the Barbican Centre in London.

Dominick Argento has examined fame and the immigrant experience in his newest opera, The Dream of Valentino, set in the early days of Hollywood. Washington Opera gave the work its premiere under the baton of Christopher Keene in January 1994, followed by its co-commissioning company, Dallas Opera, in 1995. The production featured special multi-media sets by John Conklin and costumes by the couturier Valentino. Writing of the premiere, Peter G. Davis of New York magazine stated, “What a pleasure to encounter a real opera composer, one who has studied and learned from his predecessors, loves the form, understands its conventions, has mastered them, and then lets his imagination take wing.” The Dream of Valentino received its European premiere in February 1999 in Kassel, Germany.

Among other honors and awards, Dominick Argento received the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1975 for his song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1979, and in 1997 was honored with the title of Composer Laureate to the Minnesota Orchestra, a lifetime appointment. In honor of his 85th birthday, the University of Maryland presented a special career retrospective that included Miss Havisham’s FirePostcard from Morocco, and Miss Manners on Music, as well as other recitals and lectures.

Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes

JENNIFER YOUNGS

American soprano Jennifer Youngs is an exciting emerging artist who is equally at home on both the opera and concert stage. During the 2011-2012 Season she performed the role of Laurette in Doctor Miracle for TDO2go and Student Performances @ the Winspear.  Last season she served as a soloist artist for the Dallas Opera Concert Series, and was featured in a family concert with the Dallas Opera Orchestra.  This season at the University of North Texas she will perform the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor.   Her 2010-2011 season at the University of North Texas has consisted of the roles of Vitellia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and Birdie in Blizstein’s Regina. Throughout the year she has worked closely with composer Jake Heggie, and has been featured in a masterclass and several concerts with the composer.  While at the University of the Pacific, Jennifer performed the roles ofCasilda in The Gondoliers, Mrs. Roby in the west coast premier of The Power of Xingu, and Clorinda in La Cenerentola. The production of La Cenerentola went on to be a winner in the National Opera Association competition and a finalist in The American College Theatre Festival, with performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington. While at Pacific she served as soloist for the Bach Cantata #110, Haydn’s Creation, and was featured in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s Brockes Passion for the Stockton Symphony. Jennifer also had the unique opportunity to solo with jazz legend Dave Brubeck. Jennifer has recently placed 1st and voted the audience favorite in the 6th Annual Lois Alba Aria Competition in Houston, TX. She has also been a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in Kansas City. In 2009 she was nominated to be a finalist for a Richard Tucker Award. Jennifer is currently pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance at The University of North Texas, where she studies with Lynn Eustis. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of the Pacific, in Stockton, CA. While at Pacific she studied with John David DeHaan.

~~~~

ABOUT ART&SEEK

Art&Seek brings North Texans news about arts, music and culture. The team’s arts journalists produce reports, interviews, criticism and video for KERA FM, KERA TV and online at ArtandSeek.org. Art&Seek’s calendar hosts profiles and events from more than 3,000 arts groups and venues. Highlights can also be heard on KERA FM and KXT 91.7 FM. Art&Seek is a service provided by KERA/North Texas Public Broadcasting.

~~~~

The Opera Fund, launched by The National Endowment for the Arts, is funded by the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Lee Day Gillespie, and Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach.

~~~~

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JANUARY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE

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, Manager/Director Media & PR
214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org
 

The Dallas Opera’s 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion Season”

Is Presented by Texas Instruments Foundation

 

THE DALLAS OPERA WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITUDE TO OUR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERS:

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

 Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

  

            All performances are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Single Tickets for TURANDOT, THE ASPERN PAPERS and family performances are on sale now.  For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.
 
 
THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 SPRING SEASON INFORMATION
The Dallas Opera celebrates its Fifty-SixthInternational Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:00 p.m.   English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance.  Assistance is available for the hearing impaired.

TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini
April 5, 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m), 2013
Puccini’s Last Masterpiece—Riddled with Passionate Romance and Unforgettable Music!
An opera in three acts first performed in Milan at La Scala, April 25, 1926
Text by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi’s fable, Turandot.
Time: Legendary times
Place: Peking, China
Conductor: Marco Zambelli
Stage Director: Garnett Bruce
Production Design: Allen Charles Klein
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Lise Lindstrom* (Princess Turandot), Antonello Palombi (Calaf), Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu), Christian Van Horn* (Timur), Jonathan Beyer (Ping), Joseph Hu (Pang), Daniel Montenegrio* (Pong), Ryan Kuster* (A Mandarin), Steven Haal (Emperor Altoum).
 
THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento
April 12, 14(m), 17, 20, 28(m), 2013
The Games People Play—Both Young and Old—To Achieve Their Twisted Desires!
An opera in two acts first performed in Dallas, November 19, 1988.
Text by Dominick Argento, based on a Henry James novella.
Time: Legendary
Place: Lake Como, Italy
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: Tim Albery
Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman*
Costume Design: Constance Hoffman*
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Assistant Director: Michael Mori
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Alexandra Deshorties (Julianna Bordereau), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

 

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from:  City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA;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.  Cartier is the official jeweler and watchmaker of The Dallas Opera.  Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.  A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

Puccini’s Hold on Opera

by Suzanne Calvin

Puccini

If you haven’t already caught it on “Theater Jones,” here’s the latest installment of General Director and CEO Keith Cerny’s “Off the Cuff.” This piece, on the extraordinary hold the works of Giacomo Puccini have on modern day opera audiences--really involves a great deal more. Read the article at your leisure…here.

(The guy with the moustache is Puccini, not to be confused with Keith Cerny)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR