Audition Announcement – Role of “Miles” (Boy) in The Turn of the Screw!

by Celeste Hart


Performer to Appear in the Haunting Benjamin Britten Opera
The Turn of the Screw 
at the Winspear Opera House

Auditions in NYC: Friday, June 10, 2016, 6:00-9:00 p.m. and

Saturday, June 11, 2016, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Auditions to take place at The National Opera America Center, New York, NY


DALLAS, May 11, 2016 -- The Dallas Opera is holding auditions for the role of “Miles” in the acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw opening on March 17, 2017. It is a rare opportunity to perform on stage with world-class artists Emma Bell, William Burden and Dolora Zajick, as well as Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement.

The Turn of the Screw is a dark and gripping tale based on the novella by Henry James. “Miles” is approximately 10-years old and characterized as small, smart and savvy for his age, well-mannered yet possessing a wicked streak.           

Rehearsals begin in Dallas, Texas on February 20, 2017 culminating in four performances on March 17, 19 (matinee), 22, and 25, 2017 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Though no union affiliation is required, the performer will be offered an American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Contract and compensated accordingly.

The audition will take place at The National Opera America Center (The Rehearsal Hall) located at 330 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001. Local auditions will be coordinated on a per-case basis. (Local boy sopranos are encouraged to submit their materials and specifically request an audition time in Dallas).


  • Perform an excerpt from The Turn of the Screw, which will be provided upon audition confirmation
  • An additional prepared song that demonstrates range and ability may be offered.
  • Copy of headshot and resume (including height, weight, and age).

To schedule an audition, send a resume and headshot to Ahne Schield at  Audition times will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Please reference “Miles Auditions” in the subject field.

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



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.




Winners Announced at the 28th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

by Suzanne Calvin


Talented Young Singers Awarded

$18,500 in Cash Prizes

At the 28th Annual

“Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition”


Mezzo-Soprano Virginie Verrez

Takes Top Prize and $10,000 Cash!


Second Place ($5,000) Goes to Tenor Kang Wang


Third Place ($2,500) Awarded to Baritone Sol Jin


The “People’s Choice Award” (An Additional $1,000)

Goes to Kang Wang


Honorees John and Linda Gage Recognized for their Dedication and Support of The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild

DALLAS, APRIL 30, 2016 – After two days of intense competition by some of the most talented young singers in the country, the winners of the 28th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition were announced late this evening from the stage of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center:

  • The $10,00 First Prize, presented by Dallas Opera Guild 2016 Co-Presidents Jana and Mac Irwin in memory of Bessylee Penland, went to French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez
  • The $5,000 Second Place Prize, presented by 2015 and 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald, went to Australian-Chinese tenor Kang Wang
  • The Third Place Prize of $2,500 was presented by Patsy and Bob Brooks, the Chairs-Elect for the 2017 Vocal Competition, to Korean baritone Sol Jin
  • The $1,000 “People’s Choice Award,” presented by Katherine and Michael Phillips (underwriters of the popular award) to tenor Kang Wang

A total of 336 applicants from 39 states applied to compete in this year’s competition, from which 20 semi-finalists were chosen.  These singers competed yesterday, Friday, April 29 for the coveted position of finalist.  That group consisted of Polish bass Daniel Miroslaw, soprano Alexandra Loutsion and bass Adam Lau, in addition to Mr. Jin, Mr. Wang, and Ms. Verrez.

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L-R: Virginie Verrez, Alexandra Loutsion, Sol Jin, Kang Wang, Adam Lau, Daniel Miroslaw (Photo by: Karen Almond)


“What stood out to me from the beginning of this competition,” explained Kern Wildenthal Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny (a member of the judges panel), “was the extraordinarily high level of candidates we attracted this year, and the phenomenal singing and acting talent each of these young men and women brought to the Winspear Stage.  These are polished performers with great futures in their chosen field.”

The six finalists performed earlier this evening in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center with The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the baton of acclaimed Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

 As Co-Presidents of the Dallas Opera Guild, Jana and I count it such a privilege to participate in this nationally significant competition and are ecstatic for today’s winners,” said Dallas Opera Guild Co-President Mac Irwin. “We congratulate all of those who took part in this highly competitive event.  The talent exhibited this weekend was truly remarkable. Our hope is that the prize money, accolades and awards will greatly assist these young, dedicated singers as they continue to strive for successful careers as performers.”

 Third Place winner Sol Jin was recently selected by Opera News as one of the magazine’s “25 Rising Stars.”  He made his opera debut two years ago with Long Island Opera Company, singing the role of Germont in their production of La traviata.  He has a degree from Yonsei University and earned his Master’s from The Manhattan School of Music.  He is a 2016 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will join Houston Grand Opera as a Studio Artist next season.

In the Finals Round, Mr. Jin performed “Avant de quitter ces lieux” from Gounod’s Faust, followed by “Sacra la scelta” from Verdi’s Luisa Miller.

Second Place winner (and winner of the 2016 “People’s Choice Award”) Kang Wang is in his first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.  Previously, he was a member of the opera studio at Theater Basel in Switzerland and performed at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia; the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England; and the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Australia where he earned a Master of Music Studies in Opera.

In tonight’s Finals Round, Mr. Wang charmed the audience with renditions of “Fra poco a me ricovero” from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and “Che gelida manina” from Puccini’s La bohème.

First Place winner Virginie Verrez, a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut as the Madrigalist in a new production of Manon Lescaut and will return to the Met as Stéphano in a new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Emmanuel Villaume.  Last season, Ms. Verrez portrayed Clytemnestre in the Met/Juilliard production of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide, as well as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; she was also a 2015 prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  In 2014, Virginie Verrez sang Lola in Cavalleria rusticana with Avignon Opera and Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen for Wolf Trap Opera.

During yesterday’s Semi-Finals, accompanied by pianist Adam Nielsen, Ms. Verrez performed “Deh, per questo istante solo” from Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and “Dieux puissants…Jupiter lance la foudre” (a selection repeated during tonight’s Finals Round with The Dallas Opera Orchestra) from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide.  She also thrilled the Winspear Opera House audience this evening with her rendition of Handel’s “Stà nell’Ircana pietrosa tana” from Alcina.



Sol Jin, baritone, 29, winner, Licia Albanese, Gerda Lissner, Merola, HGO Studio

Adam Lau, bass, age 31, winner of George London Competition, Merola Opera Program

Alexandra Loutsion, soprano, age 32, AZ Opera, Wolf Trap, Central City, Pittsburgh Opera

Daniel Miroslaw, bass, age 29, Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School

Virginie Verrez, mezzo-soprano, 26, winner, Met Opera Nat. Council Auditions

Kang Wang, tenor, age 27, Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program

The event also featured special guest, Show Boat’s Alyson Cambridge (Julie La Verne) as Mistress of Ceremonies. Later, she dazzled patrons at the Post-Competition Celebration by performing selections from her recording Until Now, a new release of jazz and crossover hits.

Judges for the 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition:

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

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

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

Ian Derrer
Artistic Administrator, The Dallas Opera

Alain Lanceron
President, Warner Classics

Aidan Lang
General Director, Seattle Opera 

David Lomeli
Assistant Artistic Administrator and Special Projects, The Dallas Opera

Lenore Rosenberg
Associate Artistic Administrator, The Metropolitan Opera

Diane Zola
Director of Artistic Administration, Houston Grand Opera

The “People’s Choice” award was determined by the audience, a category now in its seventeenth consecutive year that allows for participation by attendees who vote for their favorite singer.



























For additional information about the 28th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition or any upcoming Dallas Opera Guild programs and special events, please contact The Dallas Opera Guild at 214-443-1040.


For interviews or high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or

Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager

214-443-1071 or


Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275.  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

SMU’s Barbara Hill-Moore leads a public conversation about “Race, the Arts and Performance” this Saturday

by Suzanne Calvin

Ensemble-SmallerSMU Meadows School of the Arts, in partnership with ignite/artsdallas, is presenting an important conversation tomorrow (Saturday, April 30th) regarding “Race, the Arts and Performance,” moderated by Professor Barbara Hill-Moore. Guests will include several of the stars of The Dallas Opera’s current production of SHOW BOAT, Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, and a representative of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. This very special event is free and begins at 12:30 p.m. in Choral Hall, Room 1180 at the Meadows School on the SMU campus.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page:

Finalists for Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition Announced!

by Celeste Hart

The Finalists for The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition are: Baritone Sol Jin, Bass Adam Lau, Mezzo-Soprano Virginie Verrez, Bass Daniel Miroslaw, Soprano Alexandra Loutsion and Tenor Kang Wang! They will be competing Saturday, April 30, 2016 beginning at 7:30pm at the Winspear Opera House! Congratulations to all the Finalists and to all who competed! You’re all extremely talented!


L-R: Sol Jin, Adam Lau, Virginie Verrez, Daniel Miroslaw, Alexandra Loutsion, Kang Wang

Cast Change for Eugene Onegin

by Celeste Hart



DALLAS, TX, APRIL 29, 2016 – Acclaimed American soprano Ailyn Pérez, winner of the Richard Tucker Award and the 2016 Beverly Sills Artist Award, is withdrawing from her scheduled starring role in The Dallas Opera’s 2016 Season Opener, Eugene Onegin.

Citing concerns that her voice may not yet be right for the demands of “Tatyana” in Tchaikovsky’s late-nineteenth-century masterpiece, Ms. Pérez has requested and received permission to delay this role debut.

Ms. Pérez thrilled Dallas Opera audiences earlier this season in the title role of Manon and in her scene-stealing role of “Tatyana Bakst” in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Great Scott.  Willard Spiegelman of Opera News noted, “…with dazzling vocal coloratura and a commanding dramatic presence she lit up the stage.”

“We knew how lucky we were to be able to enjoy Ailyn’s incredible artistry twice in the same season,” says The Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, Keith Cerny.  “Her voice, her beauty, her captivating stage presence and acting abilities have catapulted her into the top echelon of stars working onstage today.  We look forward to casting her again soon at The Dallas Opera, and we hope our audiences will applaud Ailyn’s courage, in making this carefully considered decision.”

The role of Tatyana in The Dallas Opera’s Eugene Onegin will be recast immediately.  The upcoming production, from Tel Aviv Opera, stars the electrifying Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko and marks the American debut of Estonian mezzo-soprano Kai Rüütel as “Olga.”  



by Celeste Hart

Finals Round Scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Remarks at 7:20 p.m.

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

The AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, Texas

General Admission Seating $5 / Lexus Red Parking $5

DALLAS, TX, APRIL 26, 2016 -- The Dallas Opera wishes to remind music lovers that the expanded and revised 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition will take place on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. (Semi-Final Round) and Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. (Finals Round).

Competitors in the critically acclaimed 2015 Competition took home prize monies totaling $18,500.  As the competition sought to gain even greater prominence and significance, The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild made two significant changes last year, prompting Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell to write that the competition had “considerably upped its ante”:

  • In order to attract the most talented applicant pool with the greatest potential, the eligibility criteria for applicants changed. Today, it is open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories (including residents with a valid Green Card or H-1, H-2, H-3, I-20, K-1, O-1, P-2 and P-3 visas). 
  • The Finals Round, taking place on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House, will be accompanied by The Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by TDO’s acclaimed Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume. Up to six finalists will participate.

The impact of these changes was immediately perceived.  Senior Classical Music Critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of wrote: “The results surely exceeded expectations for this newly re-envisioned competition…It won’t take long to situate itself at the top of such events and become an important gold star on any young artist’s résumé.” 

Judges for the expanded 28th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition have been drawn from distinguished performers and opera administrators and will also include General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and TDO Artistic Administrator Ian Derrer.

Commented General Director & CEO Keith Cerny: “The Guild Competition took a bold step forward last year and the result was electrifying!  Emmanuel Villaume and The Dallas Opera Orchestra brought a tangible level of excitement to these performances and clearly inspired the finalists to do their absolute best. 

“I’m quite certain that this year’s competition will bring a whole new set of challenges and give us new opportunities to build on our previous success.  Working closely with Dr. Brian Zeger, our esteemed adjudicators, and the Guild, we are well on our way to creating an event that attracts the very finest young singers of this generation.”

Judges for the 2016 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, The Dallas Opera

Emmanuel Villaume, Music Director, The Dallas Opera

Ian Derrer, Artistic Administrator, The Dallas Opera

Aidan Lang, General Director, Seattle Opera

Leonore Rosenberg, Associate Artistic Administrator, The Metropolitan Opera

Joshua Winograde, Senior Director of Artistic Planning, Los Angeles Opera

Diane Zola, Director of Artistic Administration, Houston Grand Opera

Dallas Opera Guild Co-President Jana Irwin explained that “the life of The Dallas Opera Guild revolves around this annual competition, because all of us feel so strongly about the need to support the future of opera.  Greater prominence within the music industry can only translate into greater benefits for those lucky enough to be selected to participate, making this a win-win situation for all concerned.”

Admission for the Semi-Final Round is free, general admission tickets for the Finals Round are $5 – Lexus Red Parking for either round of the competition is just $5, as well.

Purchase now at





Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at

Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at


The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by

Texas Instruments and the Betty and Steve Suellentrop Educational Outreach Fund.


TDO Family Performances are a part of the

Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs

The Dallas Opera Orchestra Performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13

by Celeste Hart

Presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center 

Sunday, April 24, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

Dallas –The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center announced tickets are on sale for The Dallas Opera Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13  Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 which will be performed by The Dallas Opera Orchestra at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2016 at the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District.  The Dallas Opera Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 is part of The Classical Criterion 2015/2016 season.

The afternoon will feature a rare opportunity to experience The Dallas Opera Orchestra on stage as they perform Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 “Babi Yar” by Dmitri Shostakovich.

A ravine outside the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, a chasm that no amount of tears can ever heal, became one of the most notorious “killing fields” on the eastern front of World War II: Babi Yar.  It was here that a series of brutal massacres was carried out, that took the lives of an estimated 70 to 150 thousand people—most of them Jews. 

Two decades after this infamous slaughter, renowned Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich turned his attention to the “loathsome” problem of anti-Semitism, inspired by Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s searing 1961 poem, “Babi Yar.”  The controversial project, which skewered many aspects of Soviet life in addition to the horrors committed during the Nazi occupation, overcame every obstacle to premiere in Moscow in December 1962.  Described as “a symphonic cantata” and “orchestral song cycle,” this highly original work is a symphony in both structure and in scope, and today is regarded as one of the composer’s most deeply personal works of art. 

The afternoon will begin with a performance of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, composed for the 1806 Viennese revival of his only opera, Fidelio, another work forged in the fires of suffering and oppression, yet, ultimately triumphant.

Center Members get access to the best available seats. Call Membership Services at 214-978-2888 or go to to join.

Ticket prices for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 range from $125 to $20 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 214-880-0202 or in person at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Information Center at 2353 Flora Street (Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday starting at 10 a.m.).

Note: Photos and logos for media use are available at:

Please use the provided photo credits when publishing photos. 

#      #      #

ATTPAC Media Contact:      
Cindy Evans 214-978-2882


A rare opportunity! Pre-Opera Talk with Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Performance of Babi Yar!

by Celeste Hart

The Russian Nobel Prize-nominated poet and author of the acclaimed poem, Babi Yar, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, will participate in a Pre-Opera Talk prior to The Dallas Opera Orchestra’s performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113, based on the poem. 

The lecture will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm at Hamon Hall in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. The Dallas Opera Orchestra Concert, part of ATTPAC’s “The Classical Criterion” series will take place at 2:00 pm. Also performed will be the Beethoven Overture No. 3 Lenore. 

The Dallas Opera Orchestra
Emmanuel Villaume, Conductor

Mikhail Kazakov, Soloist
Members of The Dallas Opera Chorus
Guest Concertmaster, Peter Manning

For tickets please call the ATTPAC Box Office at 214-880-0202.

Please click for more details.

Deadline for 2016 Institute for Women Conductors – April 22!

by Celeste Hart

The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera


2016 Program: Nov. 26 – Dec. 11 in Dallas, TX
Deadline to Apply: April 22, 2016


Initial Support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the

TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund


This Year’s Master Classes Will Be Led By:

 Nicole Paiement

The Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor

Carlo Montanaro

International Opera Conductor

And Marin Alsop

Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra


 DALLAS, APRIL 13, 2016 – Working to address a long-standing career issue in the opera world, The Dallas Opera is accepting applications through 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Friday, April 22, 2016 for a unique residential program designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors: The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera

Female conductors, 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 for the expanded institute, now in its second year.  Although the emphasis is on women conductors on the cusp of major careers in opera, more seasoned applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors will reconvene for the second time November 26, 2016 through December 11, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  This year’s institute will include two public concerts (December 4th and 10th) in addition to intensive one-on-one’s, master classes, career advancement curriculum, and opportunities to conduct superb young singers and the highly regarded Dallas Opera Orchestra.

The institute, conceived by Dallas Opera Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, was created a year ago with initial support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.  Since that time, it has garnered additional generous support from Linda and Mitch Hart, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the TACA Bowden & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund.


Stated Mr. 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, generously supported by benefactors here in Dallas and elsewhere,” Mr. Cerny adds, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and insights to our collective understanding of this incredible art form.”


The 2016 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors will provide a host of career-building opportunities:

  • To rehearse and conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra, a full-sized professional ensemble, with outstanding young opera artists
  • Participate in master classes with Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement, renowned Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro, and special guest Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra
  • Attend seminars and discussions, guided by a variety of experts, on how women conductors can make a greater impact on their field and advance their conducting careers
  • Network with peers and take part in a media “refresher” course


Six women will be selected from among those applying, along with four additional American observers.

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


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




The Dallas Opera’s Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement, who also serves as 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.”  This contemporary music specialist has conducted numerous new productions and world premieres to great critical acclaim.

As the subject of a 2015 article in Opera News (“The Mountain Climber” by Matthew Sigman), Paiement was described as “one of opera’s most adventurous spirits.”  She also serves as Artistic Director of BluePrint, a contemporary music series at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she holds the Deléage Chair, and has broken important new ground in Dallas, where she was invited to conduct critically acclaimed performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, Death and the Powers by Tod Machover, and the recent successful world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer’s Everest.  She returns in 2017 to conduct Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.  Next season’s engagements for Paiement include conducting at Glimmerglass Summer Festival, The Atlanta Opera, Washington National Opera, Other Minds (an annual new music festival in San Francisco) and the Monterrey Jazz Festival.

About the 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 and to help guide each carefully selected group through this still-evolving Dallas Opera program.

“I sincerely hope my work with the women in this institute can serve as a source of both valuable insights and inspiration.”


Maestro Carlo Montanaro, music director of Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Poland from 2011 through 2014, has conducted both opera and concert repertoire on many of the world’s leading stages including La Scala, the Bastille Opera in Paris, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Seattle Opera, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Verona’s Arena, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Communale in Florence, Vienna State Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Australia, the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Munich Opera, Seattle Symphony, Monte Carlo Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Teatro Verdi in Trieste (a collaboration which led to a Japanese tour with the orchestra).

Future opera engagements (already announced) include Madama Butterfly in Seattle, La bohème in Sydney, Carmen for San Francisco Opera, and Rigoletto in Frankfurt.


Maestra Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a Music Director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives”. She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages.

Her outstanding success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007 has been recognized by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership in Baltimore, Marin Alsop has created bold initiatives that have contributed to the wider community and reached new audiences. Alsop took up the post of Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) in 2012 and became Music Director in July 2013.

In September 2013, Marin Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. She returned to the Proms in 2015 to conduct the Last Night and an all-Brahms program with the OAE. 2015/16 highlights include a historic return for an American musician to Cuba, conducting Lang Lang and the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. In March 2016, Alsop celebrated Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary conducting Bernstein’s West Side Story in the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens.

Marin Alsop is the recipient of numerous awards and is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given to US residents in recognition of exceptional creative work. She was only classical musician to be included in the Guardian’s “Top 100 women”, celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day in 2011. Alsop is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Royal Philharmonic Society and was recently appointed Director of Graduate Conducting Program at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.



Those chosen to participate in the institute will receive travel and housing benefits.


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



The tremendous success of the inaugural institute became apparent by the evening of the concluding public concert attended by music lovers, opera VIPs and media.

Scott Cantrell, Classical Music Critic for The Dallas Morning News lavished praise on individual performances and wrote: “Some fine conducting talents were displayed; one hopes to see and hear more from them.”

The Senior Classical Music Critic for Theater Jones, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, agreed: “They all did a fine job and got most of the details correct. Every one of them delivered involving performances and was, for the most part, right with the singers and clear in their stick technique.  Most importantly, the orchestra responded to one and all with good ensemble playing and responsiveness to each conductor’s desires.”


The Institute experience continues to resonate with participants, many months later. 

American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya wrote: “The opportunity to get to know a group of accomplished, talented women conductors was invigorating and inspiring.  We all gained a group of colleagues from across the world and mentors to whom we can always turn for support and advice.”

Since the conclusion of the 2015 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute last fall, Ms. Yankovskaya became a finalist for the position of Music Director of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, where she will work as a guest conductor next season.  She will also tour a production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and scenes from Boris Godunov with New Opera NYC before conducting the world premiere of The Body Politic by Leo Hurley and Charles Osborne.  Yankovskaya will also be launching her Refugee Orchestra Project in the very near future.


British conductor Natalie Murray Beale added, “The Institute was a fantastic opportunity to meet and work with a wide range of music professionals.  The level of support given was truly amazing.”

In the months since the Institute, Ms. Murray Beale has conducted a new production of Le nozze di Figaro for the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb, and served as Music Director for The Return at London’s Barbican, which earned five stars from The Guardian.  This month, she will conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, begin rehearsals on a new opera by composer John Barber, and then serve as assistant conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen for the series, Myths & Rituals, exploring the music of Igor Stravinsky.


Noted German conductor Anna Skryleva, “The most important point I learned at the Institute for Women Conductors is the necessity of networking with others in our field.  It’s not enough to improve your professional skills, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman—you must also build your professional community.  Even today, in the 21st century, women tend to fight on alone. 

“Recently, a great Russian maestro created controversy by comparing female conductors with weightlifters!  Clearly, there is more work to be done, to change social attitudes towards women in positions of artistic leadership. The Dallas Opera Institute has taken a leading role in addressing these ongoing issues.”

Upcoming engagements for the Russian-born conductor include concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the UNAM, Mexico, as well as Verdi & Company in Dallas.  Skryleva is also preparing her second CLASSIC FOR PEACE event next August, supporting multicultural dialogue through classical music.


Conductor Jessica Gethin acknowledges, “There have been several aspects of the IWC that I have brought home to Australia with me.  I have been able to try out some of the technical suggestions made by Emmanuel and Nicole, and am now incorporating them into my work on the podium.  Just as valuable, however, were the discussions around the seminars we attended and the viewpoints of other female conductors of my generation working in all parts of the world.  The Institute opened my eyes to see things from a wider global perspective.  I arrived home inspired, empowered and with a new regard for my cultural identity, responsibility and opportunity.”

Since the Institute last December, Ms. Gethin has conducted several concerts for Perth Symphony and Perth Chamber Orchestra (Australia), including a tremendously well-received concert commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Irish uprising—for which she arranged half the orchestral works and appeared as a soloist!  Currently, Gethin is rehearsing her first fully staged opera as a conductor, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for OperaBox, which will tour to Albany in West Australia in mid-April.


American conductor Stephanie Rhodes, currently serving as an assistant conductor on Washington National Opera’s Ring Cycle, summed up the experience this way: “While the initial residency as an IWC Fellow was invaluable, the follow up and support from the company and program faculty have been an immense asset in evaluating my career and determining the best path of progress.

“Months later, I continue to benefit from the Institute.”

Ms. Rhodes will return to Dallas in the 2016-2017 Season as an assistant conductor after working on the San Francisco Opera world premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber this fall.








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Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

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



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

A Symphonic Memorial to Babi Yar

by Celeste Hart
Keith Cerny

General Director and CEO Keith Cerny

Mark your calendar for a powerful and poignant presentation by The Dallas Opera Orchestra as it performs Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 “Babi Yar” and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3. The performance, April 24, at 2 p.m. memorializes the 75th anniversary of the tragic massacre at “Babi Yar.” 

This month’s “Off the Cuff” by Keith Cerny in Theater Jones describes the unique and special program. Please click the link for the story.