Nation’s Finest Young Singers Selected for Competition

by Celeste Hart

The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild

Present the Newly Expanded

“Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition”

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Free Admission!

Audience Members Vote on “People’s Choice”

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Semi-Finals: Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Finals: Sunday, April 19, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

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The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

At the AT&T Performing Arts Center

2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201

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Honoring Enika and Richard Schulze

DALLAS, APRIL 7, 2015 –Nineteen of the best young opera singers in the country will be competing in The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition presented by The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild. The talented performers are competing for thousands of dollars in prize money and prestigious honors including the “People’s Choice” award selected by audience ballot.

In the newly expanded competition, nineteen semi-finalists were selected from 362 applicants from 49 states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The FREE spring music event will take place over two days starting with the Semi-Finals Saturday, April 18, 2015 starting at 11:00 a.m.in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Six finalists chosen from the first round will then compete in the Finals on Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.

In another new development, the finalists will be accompanied by the full Dallas Opera Orchestra conducted by internationally acclaimed Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience some fabulous young artists, incredible music and thrill-packed competition in the beautiful setting of the Winspear Opera House!

“I am extremely proud to collaborate with our Guild to introduce the best of the new generation of opera artists to music lovers from throughout North Texas,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “This is an outstanding opportunity for our community to experience the next great singing stars and help further the careers of these deserving artists.” 

THE 2015 SEMI-FINALISTS

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

John Brancy, baritone, graduate of The Juilliard School

J’nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano, Ryan Opera Center (Lyric Opera of Chicago)

Jungwon Choi, soprano, Chambre Professionnelle des Directeurs d’Opera Special Prize

Tracy Cox, soprano, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Finalist

Anthony Clark Evans, baritone, winner, Metropolitan Opera Nat. Council Auditions Ben Gulley, tenor, member of “The American Tenors,” Sony/BMG Masterworks

Michelle Johnson, soprano, Grand Prize, 2011 Met Opera National Council Auditions

Nicole Joseph, soprano, Masters and Specialist Degree in Voice, Univ. of Michigan

James Edgar Knight, tenor, The Juilliard School

Theo Lebow, tenor, Seattle, St. Louis, Santa Fe, Merola Young Artist Program

D’Ana Lombard, soprano, Houston Grand Opera Studio

Sarah Mesko, mezzo-soprano, graduate, Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

Thomas Richards, bass-baritone, Houston Grand Opera Studio

Ethan Simpson, baritone, Northwestern University

Adrian Smith, bass-baritone, Virginia Opera Young Artist Program

Elizabeth Sutphen, soprano, The Juilliard School

Zanda Šv?de, mezzo-soprano, Adler Fellow, San Francisco Opera

Maria Valdes, soprano, Adler Fellow, San Francisco Opera

Elizabeth Zharoff, soprano, graduate, Semperoper Dresden Young Artist Program

There is no charge for admission for attending any part of the 27th annual competition (although donations are definitely welcome), and Lexus Red Garage parking is available for just $5 for either the Semi-Final Round, from 11:00 AM until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18th and the Finals Round the following evening at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s competition honors former Dallas Opera Guild Presidents Enika and Richard H. Schulze for their significant leadership contributions to the Guild, The Dallas Opera Board, and those served by The Dallas Opera – both onstage and off.

Besides significant cash prizes, the event provides an extraordinary opportunity for young artists to perform before an influential world-class panel of judges, chaired by Dr. Brian Zeger, of the Juilliard School.

The judges for the upcoming 2015 competition reads like an American Opera “Who’s Who.”

Judges for the 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition:

Brian Zeger, Chair
Artistic Director of Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and Executive Director for the  Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera

Keith Cerny
General Director and CEO of The Dallas Opera

Emmanuel Villaume
Music Director, The Dallas Opera

Ian Derrer
Artistic Administrator, The Dallas Opera

Jonathan Friend
Artistic Administrator, The Metropolitan Opera

Gregory Henkel
Director of Artistic and Music Planning, San Francisco Opera 

Andreas Melinat
Director of Artistic Administration, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Joshua Winograde
Senior Director of Artistic Planning, Los Angeles Opera

However, the judging isn’t left entirely to the professionals; “amateur” music lovers will have the opportunity to express their views, too. Audience participation is part of the fun at each year’s Dallas Opera Vocal Competition. For the sixteenth consecutive year, attendees will be given the chance to sit down with a ballot and vote on their personal favorites for the “People’s Choice” award.

“The Guild is very proud to sponsor this prestigious competition and present these fine young performers to the community. Not only it is a wonderful opportunity to hear these young singers who are already versatile and experienced performers but also to enjoy some of the most incredible music ever written. These events make for a delightful afternoon and evening of entertainment!” said Dallas Opera Guild President Susan Fleming.

Dallas Opera Guild 2015 Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald added, “Building on the foundation of all those who came before us, we are really pleased to have expanded the competition from Texas to across the country, and provide the added professional element of accompaniment by The Dallas Opera Orchestra. Both of these improvements will help advance the careers of some of the best young singers in opera, which is our ultimate goal in taking this event to the next level.”

“The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition offered much-needed career and financial support at a crucial time in my life,” says Jennifer Black (First Prize, People’s Choice award, 2001).  “I had just completed my studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, as well as my first summer with San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, and was on my way to The Yale School of Music.

“The chance to participate in this competition was a real ‘vote of confidence’ that encouraged me to continue on this path I had chosen.  I feel blessed to have been a recipient of the Guild’s generous support.”

For additional information about the 27th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, please contact The Dallas Opera Guild at 214-443-1040 or visit us online at http://dallasopera.org/vocal.

SPECIAL THANKS

TO THE AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AND STAFF

FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THE

2015 DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

 

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

OnStage Dinner Sponsored by Northern Trust – March 2015

by Celeste Hart

The Dallas Opera’s Annual OnStage Dinner hosted by Northern Trust Bank, a sponsor since 1992, was held March 24, 2015 at the Winspear Opera House. This event honors Platinum Level donors and above with an exclusive dinner on the set of an opera that is currently in production. 

La bohème created the ambiance for the evening that began in the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby with a fun cocktail hour featuring a colorful specialty drink and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. The wall of windows were opened to enjoy the beautiful spring evening and Sammons Park. Once on stage, guests were transported to an 1800’s cityscape of Paris with French store fronts and charming street lanterns. The unique table décor featured blue gingham tablecloths and purposefully unmatched, ornate antique chairs, dishes, and collected cut glass stemware with red roses wrapped in burlap to give the just-purchased flea market allure. Two of the opera’s stars Steven LaBrie (Schaunard) and Stefan Szkafarowsky (Benoit), and acclaimed soprano Kelly Kaduce (who flew in especially for the performance) entertained the dinner guests with French songs and popular opera arias. A French bohemian café themed feast by Wolfgang Puck brought “Café Momus” to life.

The wine flowed, the food was fabulous and the evening was a huge success.  Next year’s OnStage Dinner will be on the set of Manon, March 7, 2016.  

Please click here for a Flickr photo album. 

 

 

New Appointment – Guest Concertmaster and Guest Conductor

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

THE APPOINTMENT OF A BRITISH INSTITUTION:

REVERED CONDUCTOR AND VIOLINIST

Peter Manning

TO ASSUME THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF

GUEST CONCERTMASTER AND GUEST CONDUCTOR

FOR TDO’S 2015-2016 SEASON

CONCERTMASTER OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR OF THE MANNING CAMERATA

            DALLAS, MARCH 24, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is delighted to announce the appointment of one of the most esteemed artists on the British classical music scene, Peter Manning, to serve as Guest Concertmaster and Guest Conductor for the company’s landmark 2015-2016 Season.

          Mr. Manning will assume the responsibilities of concertmaster for the fall 2015 revival of one of The Dallas Opera’s most beautiful productions: Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, designed by Ulisse Santicchi and conducted by TDO’s acclaimed Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.  This inaugural engagement will be followed by a symphonic concert in the spring of 2016 (dates and program to be announced) designed to include both soloist and chorus—also to be conducted by Maestro Villaume.  Additionally, Mr. Manning will personally conduct performances in TDO’s extremely popular family subscription series. 

          Said Dallas Opera General Director and CEO, Keith Cerny: “In keeping with our mission to bring the world’s most talented artists and performers to North Texas, it is a special thrill to invite Mr. Manning to add his legendary talents as a concertmaster and conductor to the upcoming season.  It will be a delight to bring him to Dallas to be part of the opera ‘family’, and we are already making special plans for his residency.”

            Mr. Manning’s extraordinary career as both a conductor and concertmaster (he is currently concertmaster of the Royal Opera House, while continuing to conduct orchestras across Europe) make him a uniquely qualified asset to The Dallas Opera.  The Manchester-born Peter Manning is widely regarded as one of the U.K.’s finest, and most multi-talented, musicians; with an entrepreneurial approach to artistic direction and curation.

            His conducting career also includes work with the Royal Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Edsberg Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Soloists of The Royal Opera House.  Mr. Manning was appointed Professor of New Work at Edinburgh University in 2013; he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Northern College of Music, as well as an honorary member of the Royal College of Music.

            Noted Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume: “I have worked with Peter a number of times over the years, most recently when I conducted the 2014 production of Massenet’s Manon in Covent Garden.  His incredible depth of knowledge of the operatic repertoire, his personal leadership skills, his knowledge of opera singers, and his truly remarkable violin playing make him someone I relish working with.  It will be a very special experience for me to be able to collaborate with him on this side of the Atlantic—to the delight of Dallas Opera patrons, as well as those of us dedicated to making every TDO performance an event to be celebrated.”

            In response to his appointment, Peter Manning observed, “I have admired the transformation of The Dallas Opera over the last five years, and its commitment to the highest possible artistic standards under the leadership of Keith Cerny and Emmanuel Villaume.  They have begun creating something exceptional, looking beyond the walls of the opera house.

            “With our collective potential, we have the opportunity to deliver artistic programs that could transform the perception of classical music in Dallas.  From Bilbao to Berlin, Edinburgh to Sydney, cities throughout the world are being changed—for the better—by the power of great music and art.  Cultural institutions can become economic dynamos.  I eagerly await next fall, when I can begin to work closely with the TDO music staff and talented musicians of The Dallas Opera Orchestra as a member of this extraordinary artistic team.”

            Mr. Manning is scheduled to arrive in Texas to begin work with the orchestra and opera administration in October.

For more information watch ‘Peter Manning’ a video biography,
with credits from Sir Colin Davis, Barry Wordsworth and David Groves of EMI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX7haYxoD6A

 

For an example of Peter Manning conducting, watch Dedicate zephyr to The Garden,
a work by by Amir Sadeghi Konjani, conducted by Peter Manning, broadcast by the BBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzD1ERIImk8 

PETER MANNING, FULL BIOGRAPHY:

British conductor and violinist Peter Manning is Guest Conductor and Concertmaster with The Dallas Opera, Concertmaster of the Royal Opera House and Artistic Director & Conductor of the Manning Camerata.

Peter’s conducting career also includes work with the Royal Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Edsberg Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and the Soloists of The Royal Opera House.

He was appointed Professor of New Work at Edinburgh University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Northern College of Music as well as an honorary member of the Royal College of Music.

Peter is internationally known as one of Britain’s finest musicians. His schedule includes tours to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Scandinavia, the Far East, the USA, South America and Russia and appearances in many major venues. Peter is the recipient of the German Recording Industry’s Schallplattenpreis.

Peter attended Chetham’s School of Music and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Yossi Zivoni and with Josef Gingold and Nathan Milstein at Indiana University. In 1983 he was appointed leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra by Georg Solti. He was leader of the internationally renowned Britten Quartet 1986–96 and led the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1997–99. His repertory includes all the major works, and he is active in the commissioning of new works.

Peter was born in Manchester. He was taught the violin as a 5 year old by the leader of Sir John Barbirolli’s Halle Orchestra.  From the earliest age he began playing string quartets.

Growing up in Manchester, Peter made his debut at the Free Trade Hall while still a child and won all the national junior competitions available to a string player; he also appeared on television .

He went on to study at Chethams and the Royal Northern College of Music where he won all the string prizes.  After becoming a prize winner on the North West Young Artist platform, Peter was selected for Granada TV’s young artist broadcast program and gained acceptance onto Yehudi Menhuin’s Live Music Now program. 

He was a founding member of the Britten–Pears Orchestra and performed for Benjamin Britten. Mr. Manning developed solo performances with Hans Werner-Henze as a student.

Whilst still a student himself, he gave performances and recital broadcasts and performed as a soloist with the Halle Orchestra.  Major scholarships from the Royal Society of Arts, the National Federation of Music Societies and Indiana University made it possible for Manning to pursue further studies in Bloomington with Josef Gingold, the concertmaster of both George Szell’s Cleveland Orchestra and Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to leaving for the US he won awards in the Emily Anderson International violin competition and was 1st prize winner and gold medalist in the Royal Over-Seas League competition, an annual competition won some years previously by Jaqueline du Pre.  Overseas, he completed his studies with Nathan Milstein.

Upon his return to England, Manning was appointed as the youngest-ever professor of violin at the RNCM and went on to make his official debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in a live broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall. His regular radio broadcasts of the violin repertoire were a major programming feature on Radio 3 in these years and he embarked upon solo concerts with the major orchestras: the Halle, CBSO, Philharmonia, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Academy of St Martins, BBC Scottish, Ulster Orchestra, LPO, RPO, Gothenberg Symphony and many more.

In 1983 he was appointed as Leader of the LPO by Sir Georg Solti going on to found the Britten String Quartet in 1986, which for ten years as an EMI string quartet performed in all the major concert halls and international festivals, touring the world with the works of eminent composers (Lutoslawski, Schnittke, Gubadalina, Elaisson, Henze, Sven Erick Beck, Sir Michael Tippett, Cristobel Halfter Martland, Kurtag) and inviting leading instrumentalists (Lynn Harrell, John Ogdon, Jean-Yves Tibaudet, Amanda Roocroft, Willard White, Leif Ove Andsnes, Julian Lloyd Webber, Gervaise de Peyer Lars Vogt  etc.) and singers to join with the quartet for enlarged chamber music experiences.

The Quartet was one of the most recorded quartets of its generation with an award-winning discography of some 23 discs.

Peter has always worked with living composers and his broadcast career on radio and television has encompassed all their major works.

He was asked to become Leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997 with Danielle Gatti and helped to reposition the orchestra and left the RPO when he was appointed as Concertmaster of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

In 2005 he set up his own arts think-tank/ orchestra called, Manning Camerata, in an effort to create a wider dialogue around the arts in the UK and Europe. From its first concert event, his orchestra has worked throughout Europe delivering a catalogue of firsts: producing and giving the first opera in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in association with Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney to the first ever performance under the Pyramid of the Louvre in Paris. Manning also brought opera, chamber music, film realizations and the fusing of the creative arts—with music at the center—to the Chapel of Knights Hospitaller in Rome. 

The orchestra has been involved in Climate Change 500, an initiative for governments, and was invited to create soundscapes for MASTER PIECE, the UK’s largest arts fair, attracting 40,000 patrons to the Chelsea Royal Hospital before opening a new residency series for development in Oxford.

Peter Manning accepted an invitation to serve as Music Director for St. Paul’s annual charity event with Maggies Centres where he will conduct Dame Ann Murray and Pumeza with Helena Bonham Carter, Rory Bremner and Adele in front of an audience of 2500 people, including royalty, in December.

Peter is now well known as a conductor and has guided The BBCSO, The Odense Symphony Orchestra, The RPO, and The Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic from the podium.  He served as artistic director of Sweden’s oldest established chamber orchestra, Musica Vitae, for three successful seasons, winning back for them a national radio contract.  Sir Colin Davis and Sir Charles Mackerras were mentors to Peter in his conducting development.

Closer to home, Peter has experience in developing national companies and was asked to become the first Joint Professor between Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh; the idea being to populate the Edinburgh fringe with new work based on arts collaborations including dance, improvisation, film and technology while simultaneously evolving new media platforms.

His festival called “Oxygen” experienced a second successful year in Edinburgh and currently is developing strong partnerships in Scotland and elsewhere to promote Scottish arts.

Peter Manning has recently recorded Mahler’s Fourth Symphony in the Glasgow concert hall with students from the RCS, due to be released on the Nimbus label next fall.  He was also the subject of an award-winning 2010 documentary entitled, Manning the Baton, an intimate look at his work with the musicians of Musica Vitae.

This season has seen Peter conduct for the ‘Concerto for the Commonwealth’ with Nicola Benedetti alongside invitations to conduct at Sadlers Wells for Sergei Polunin and other stars at a major Gala.  Peter also was invited by the City of Antwerp to conduct an official commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of composer Richard Strauss. 

He is passionate advocate for UK Arts and is a board member of the National Campaign for the Arts.  Peter Manning has led projects to bring younger people to opera with his ground-breaking format approach to delivering German Opera to the state school sector; collaborating with theatre director Rachel Grunwald to great acclaim. Peter is also working with the Mayor of London’s open space called, The Scoop, to widen access.

He is published by Universal Edition in Vienna and Schott in London.  His arrangement of the Tippett Quartets for Orchestra will be published next fall by Schott, in accordance with the wishes of the Tippett Estate.

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For high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print

Or to arrange an interview in connection with this announcement

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.  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 begins one hour prior to curtain, at most performances excluding FIRST NIGHT of the season.

 

Tchaikovsky’s Charmer IOLANTA Opens April 10th!

by Celeste Hart

The Final Production in The Dallas Opera’s

2014-2015 “Heights of Passion” Season

IOLANTA

A ROMANTIC FAIRY TALE

BY PYOTR I. TCHAIKOVSKY

Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky

OPENING FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015, 7:30 P.M.

The First of Four Performances

In This Exclusive Engagement

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The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

At the AT&T Performing Arts Center

SINGLE TICKETS START AT $19

           DALLAS, TX, MARCH 19, 2015 – The Dallas Opera 2014-2015 “Heights of Passion” Season closes with a charming and poignant—but rarely performed work—by Russia’s greatest composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1892 “gem,” IOLANTA (Y?-LAWN-tah), a fairy tale romance with deeply serious undertones set in Medieval France.

          Opening night will take place on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Additional performances are Sunday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. The Winspear Opera House is located at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas, 75201.

          IOLANTA is a lyric opera in one act, where love and duty, deception and faith collide. Iolanta is a kind-hearted princess—blind since infancy—who has been sheltered from the world and, literally, “kept in the dark” about her condition by her over-protective father. When a young man enters her private garden, a love story begins, new insights and perspectives develop and lives are changed forever. 

          In an example of impeccable casting, IOLANTA stars Russian soprano Ekaterina Scherbachenko in the title role. Critic Santiago Martin Bermudez of ConcertoNet described her portrayal: “Ekaterina Scherbachenko interprets a princess full of tormented sweetness and delivers intense lyricism thanks to elegant phrasing, natural high notes and remarkable vibrato. All in all, her Iolanta is an absolute success.” Iolanta’s love interest, Count Vaudémont, will be performed by Sergey Skorokhodov, a highly regarded Russian tenor who has toured Europe performing this role in concert with the internationally renowned Anna Netrebko.

          Making two American debuts in this production are Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko as Robert, the Duke of Burgundy, and baritone Vladislav Sulimsky from Belarus who will portray the role of the Moorish physician. This production also marks the returns of bass Mikhail Kolelishvili (Boris Godunov) as Iolanta’s father—King Renè, tenor Andrew Bidlack (Everest, Die tote Stadt and The Lighthouse), and bass Jordan Bisch (Lucia di Lammermoor), a “Maria Callas Award” nominee.

          Soprano, Joanna Mongiardo makes her TDO debut as Brigitta; mezzo-soprano, Lauren McNeese as Laura; and mezzo-soprano, Tamara Mumford in another company debut, stars as Marta.

          IOLANTA will be staged by German director Christian Räth (Fidelio, Tristan & Isolde) and conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume (Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro).

          “While IOLANTA is rarely performed in the U.S., it has a significant following in Europe and has been a particular favorite of TDO’s Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume, who recently conducted a critically acclaimed recording of the work with Anna Netrebko for Deutsche Grammophon,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “We know that this exquisite opera will delight patrons with the lush music of Tchaikovsky, and the fairy tale love story set in southern France.  We are excited to be featuring the magnificent talent of several outstanding performers, including the brilliant Ekaterina Scherbachenko – a Bolshoi Theatre sensation – in the title role, and Sergey Skorokhodov, as her adoring love interest.

          “Our superb design team is working to create a new production that will transport opera-goers to a special place and time that will beautifully enhance this enchanting story.  This dazzling production is sure to bring our “Heights of Passion” Season to a thrilling close; leaving audiences eagerly anticipating next season!” added Mr. Cerny.

          Classical music critic Catherine Womack of D Magazine had this to say about a recent performance conducted by Maestro Villaume. “TDO music director Emmanuel Villaume was spirited and alert, keeping everything and everyone on track with great success. It’s clear that Villaume spent time going beyond the basics of rehearsing entrances with this orchestra and cast; the group as a whole seemed to have a clear understanding of exactly when and where phrases should lift or fall, swell or sigh, push or pull. It was great to hear such musicality from the pit and to hear it so thoughtfully mirrored in singer’s voices.”

          IOLANTA is the last opera composed by the revered Russian genius, with a libretto written by his brother, Modest. Based on the Danish play King Renè’s Daughter by Henrik Hertz, the work premiered on December 18, 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia on a double bill with Tchaikovsky’s new ballet, The Nutcracker.  It is a romanticized account of the life of Yolanda de Bar, a fifteenth-century Duchess of Lorraine.  The work was performed outside Russia for the first time less than a month later, when conductor Gustav Mahler brought Iolanta to Hamburg.  Mahler later conducted the work in Vienna as well.  This opera was performed for the very first time at New York’s Metropolitan Opera earlier this season.

            “Tchaikovsky’s final opera deserves to be known and performed more widely than it is,” says Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, “and not merely because it represents his final work in this much-loved art form.  In it, the composer reveals the depth and breadth of his musicality as well as his tremendous compassion for the wounded, the broken-hearted, and the lost souls walking among us.

            “The most intriguing aspect of IOLANTA is the way in which the music and drama in this opera reveal the complexity of human relationships, the danger of lies, and the enlightening power of love.  Like the title character herself,” Maestro Villaume adds, “we find ourselves seeking the light of truth at the heart of this tale.”

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            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 Saturday afternoon prior to opening. 

            IOLANTA will be performed in the original Russian with English translations (supertitles) projected above the stage.

            Tickets start at just $19 and may be purchased conveniently online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org or by contacting the friendly professionals in The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000.

            For additional details, visit dallasopera.org.

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IOLANTA KEY BIOS:

EMMANUEL VILLAUME (Conductor)
(Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director in honor of Graeme Jenkins)

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

Christian Räth (Stage Director and Scenic Designer) A native of Hamburg, director Christian Räth is renowned throughout the USA, Europe and Japan. His appearances at The Dallas Opera include Beethoven’s Fidelio and Verdi’s Luisa Miller. In 2012 Räth designed and directed the critically acclaimed production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. He returns in 2015 to direct Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Other recent work elsewhere includes: Un Giorno di Regno (King for a Day) for the 2013 Glimmerglass Festival, Falstaff in Washington, Roméo et Juliette in Houston, Die Zauberflöte in Cairo and Carmen in Geneva. Future plans include projects with the Wiener Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Portland Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra national du Rhin and Teatro Real, Madrid.

Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Iolanta) was the winner of the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and member of the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. At the Bolshoi, her roles have included Natasha Rostova in War and Peace, Mimi in La bohème, Liù in Turandot, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Micaela in Carmen and the title role of Iolanta. Outside her native Russia, Ms. Scherbachenko has appeared on tour with the Bolshoi at the Opéra de Paris (Palais Garnier) and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. She has also performed at the Opéra de Lyon, the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and Teatro Real in Madrid. In 2014 she returned to the Glyndebourne Festival as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, as well as to the Metropolitan Opera for La Bohème.

Sergey Skorokhodov (Count Vaudémont), tenor, makes his house debut at The Dallas Opera in this production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. The Russian native has sung this part many times at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and all over the world, often alongside soprano Anna Netrebko. Recent engagements include Ivan in The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera, Alfredo in La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Berlin State Opera, Grigorij in Boris Godonov at the Bavarian State Opera Munich and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos in Taipei. In 2015 Mr. Skorokhodov appears with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Muti in a concert series and then goes on tour for Iolanta, again alongside Ms. Netrebko, in Monte Carlo and at the Royal Albert Hall London.

Joanna Mongiardo (Brigitta) is making her Dallas Opera debut with this role in Iolanta.  Her 2014-2015 season includes a role debut in the title role of Rossini’s Semiramide with Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur and a return to the Back Bay Chorale for Mozart’s Mass in C minor. Ms. Mongiardo’s signature roles include Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress and Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which she has performed more than 30 times at companies including Grande Théâtre de Genève, Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur and Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Her signature concert work is Carmina Burana, which she has performed at orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Oratorio Society of New York.

Andrei Bondarenko (Robert, Duke of Burgundy) In the 2014-2015 season, engagements for this baritone include Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Real Madrid, Robert in Iolanta with the Gürzenich Orchestra, Marcello in La bohème at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and the Opernhaus Zürich, Rachmaninov’s Spring Cantata with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Belcore in The Elixir of Love for Israeli Opera, Eugene Onegin in Sao Paolo and the title role of Billy Budd at the Cologne Opera. He will also record the title role in Don Giovanni for Sony Classics. Recent highlights include Eugene Onegin for Oper Köln, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Glyndebourne Festival, Andrei in War and Peace for the Mariinsky Theater and his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall accompanied by Gary Matthewman.

Mikhail Kolelishvili (King Renè), bass, returns to The Dallas Opera for this role in Iolanta. He previously sang Varlaam in Dallas Opera’s production of Boris Godunov. In the fall of 2014, Mr. Kolelishvili made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Priest in Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk. In May 2015, he will sing the bass solo in Babi Yar with Maestro James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony.  In 2015-2016, Mr. Kolelishvili makes his Paris Opera debut as Bonze in Madame Butterfly and Monterone in Rigoletto. He was a finalist of the BBC Cardiff voice competition and the winner of the World Voice Masters competition in Monte Carlo. Mr. Kolelishvili has sung principal guest roles at Opera Nacional de México, Opera Toulouse, Opéra Comique Paris, Opera Toulon and Israeli Opera among others.

Andrew Bidlack (Alméric), tenor, recently starred as Rob Hall in The Dallas Opera world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s Everest and as Albert in last season’s Die Tote Stadt. He has also portrayed the roles of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Florida Grand Opera and as Tonio in La fille du régiment at Palm Beach Opera. Mr. Bidlack recently had his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as The Young Collector in A Streetcar Named Desire, which he also performed alongside Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall. Among his roles in contemporary music are Ishmael in Moby-Dick and Tancredi in The Inspector at Wolf Trap. Future appearances include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi for Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and joining Cincinnati Opera’s Morning Star.

Vladislav Sulimsky (Ibn-Hakia), baritone, makes his Dallas Opera debut in Iolanta. Last season, Mr. Sulimsky toured with Anna Netrebko in a series of Iolanta concerts in Europe. The same tour with Ms. Netrebko will be reprised in 2015. Also in 2014, Mr. Sulimsky made his Theater an der Wien debut as Prince Nikita in Tchaikovsky’s The Enchantress. Mr. Sulimsky has appeared at Opera de Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Real Madrid and Teatro Regio Torino in the title role of Eugene Onegin. In 2009, Mr. Sulimsky was a Grammy Nominee for the Mariinsky Theatre recording of Shostakovich’s The Nose. Mr. Sulimsky has been a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre since 2004 and is also regularly invited to sing leading roles at the Bolshoi Theatre.

 

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG

 

The Dallas Opera 2014-2015 Season presented by

Texas Instruments

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.  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.

Artists Draw Inspiration from La boheme

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA PARTNERS WITH

“ART CONSPIRACY” ON UPCOMING PRODUCTION, LA BOHÈME, TO CREATE ARTWORK INSPIRED BY THE OPERA, DURING EVERY PERFORMANCE

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

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

LA BOHÈME UNDERWRITING SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

TACA

~~~~

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSOR,

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION

 

            DALLAS, MARCH 4, 2015 – A Dallas non-profit organization, Art Conspiracy, that conspires to bring artists and musicians together, has been invited to partner with The Dallas Opera to create original art inspired by the upcoming production of Giacomo Puccini’s immortal LA BOHÈME.  Art Conspiracy will contribute to the overall audience experience by permitting patrons to watch local artists at work: painting and sculpting in the lobby of the Winspear Opera House throughout the run of the production, activities that closely reflect the storyline of this popular opera.

            Finished pieces will be available for purchase on site.  Artwork by other area artists affiliated with the organization, also created in the theme of LA BOHÈME, will be available for sale, as well. The unusual partnership is designed to evoke an atmosphere similar to Montmartre in Paris, where working artists, writers and musicians mingle on the streets with neighborhood shopkeepers, students and tourists.

            The plot of LA BOHÈME centers 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 shy seamstress; and the love ignited by the touch of a “cold little hand” has far-reaching repercussions for them all.

           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 & 29(m), 2015 for a total of six performances in all.  The Winspear Opera House is centrally located in the Dallas Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201.  Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets start at just $19.

            Underwriting support for the production is provided by TACA.

            “All of us at Art Conspiracy are excited to be working alongside The Dallas Opera for this production of La bohème,” says Erica Felicella, Executive Director, Art Conspiracy, “and thrilled to have the chance to bring some of our alumni artists into the experience as well. 

            “Giving the arts a chance to collide in order to create fresh and unexpected moments of inspiration and the opportunity to change lives—that’s what Art Conspiracy is all about; it’s something we love to see happening in our city.”

            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.

            LA BOHÈME will performed in its original language, Italian.  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 current or upcoming season, call The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

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 SPRING 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 begins 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: TBD

Costume Design: TBD

Lighting Design: TBD

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Williams (Wally), Rodrigo Garciarroyo* (Giuseppe Hagenbach) and Jennifer Chung (WalterA Brand-New Dallas Opera Production!

 

 EVEREST by Joby Talbot

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

A New Production and 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: TBD

Video Design: Elaine J. McCarthy

Lighting Design: TBD

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: TBD

Costume Design: TBD

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.

 

###

 

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

~~~~

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. 

~~~~

 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)
~~~~
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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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

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SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2015

Stadium Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Live Opera Performance at 7:30 PM

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Free Seating, Free Parking, Paid Concessions

Free Tickets Available Now Through TDO Website:

www.dallasopera.org/simulcast

 

            DALLAS, TX – 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.”

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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.

 

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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