Opera Great Frederica von Stade to Appear in Titus Recital!

by Celeste Hart

The Dallas Opera Proudly Presents

LEGENDARY MEZZO-SOPRANO FREDERICA VON STADE

IN AN EXCLUSIVE RECITAL

WITH ACCLAIMED COMPOSER AND PIANIST JAKE HEGGIE

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016, 2:00 P.M. AT CITY PERFORMANCE HALL

~~~~

THE ROBERT E. AND JEAN ANN TITUS ART SONG RECITAL SERIES

TICKETS START AT $20

            DALLAS, TX, December 8, 2015 – The Dallas Opera will present opera legend Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano, for another magnificent performance in The Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital Series. The one-time-only recital will be presented Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at City Performance Hall (a 749-seat venue located at 2520 Flora Street in the Arts District, Dallas, TX 75201). Also featured at the exclusive event will be Jake Heggie, composer (Great Scott, Moby-Dick) and accomplished pianist, who has had a long-standing artistic collaboration with Miss von Stade.

             The program titled “A Life In Song” is a compilation of autobiographical pieces personally chosen by Miss von Stade. It will feature art songs (works composed for a single voice with piano accompaniment) by composers; William Bolcom, Aaron Copland, Jake Heggie, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Ned Rorem, Virgil Thomson and others. The recital series was created about three years ago to showcase well-established artists in programs dedicated to preserving the fine art of art song. Frederica von Stade - Portraits - Sept. 28, 2005

            Described by the New York Times as “one of America’s finest artists and singers,” Miss von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world’s most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname “Flicka,” the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for four decades. She has created the roles of Winnie Flato, to critical acclaim in the world premiere production of Heggie’s Great Scott, and Tina in The Aspern Papers (a work written for her) both for The Dallas Opera, and Mrs. Patrick De Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking for San Francisco Opera.

            Jake Heggie is one of the most in-demand American composers in classical music today who recently premiered Great Scott at The Dallas Opera (Terrence McNally, librettist) and will premiere It’s a Wonderful Life for the Houston Grand Opera in 2016. He is the composer of the operas Moby-Dick (The Dallas Opera premiere 2010), Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, The End of the Affair and more. He has also composed more than 250 art songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. He frequently collaborates with some of the world’s most loved singers including Ms. von Stade and sopranos Renée Fleming, Ailyn Pérez, and Kiri Te Kanawa.

            “Jake Heggie’s extraordinary new opera Great Scott that premiered in October in Dallas made an extremely positive impression on our patrons, and Miss von Stade dazzled all of us with her creation of the role of Winnie Flato. This Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Art Song Recital is a spectacular opportunity to experience Flicka’s vocal artistry and Jake’s sensitive accompanying in an intimate setting,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.

            We are extremely grateful to the Titus family for its incredible generosity in continuing to bring these magnificent recitals to North Texas. This the third in the series that began with tenor Ian Bostridge in 2014, and Matthew Polenzani last January.”           

            Seating is limited, but through the generosity of the Titus Family, the ticket prices are $20 or $40 each. Seating is reserved and all tickets will be held at Will Call.  Student tickets are available at $10 each.

            “Heading into our third year, The Dallas Opera has exceeded our expectations. This year’s recital brings together two exceptionally gifted artists, Frederica von Stade and Jake Heggie, who could not illustrate the uniqueness of art song better. The intimacy of a singer and pianist on stage is unlike any other art form. We look forward to many more recitals and the growing Dallas audience to share these experiences with. As a way to celebrate and honor our parents, my sister Amy and I continue to look forward to the future of this series with The Dallas Opera,” says Dallas Opera Executive Committee Member Sarah Titus.

            Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased either online at www.dallasopera.org or by contacting the friendly professionals in The Dallas Opera Ticket/Patron Services Office at 214.443.1000.

 FREDERICA VON STADE BIOGRAPHY

Miss von Stade’s career has taken her to the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. She began at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolf Bing during the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In January 2000, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut with a new production of The Merry Widow specifically for her, and in 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary, the Metropolitan Opera created for her a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande. In addition, Miss von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Opera. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the finest conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony, and the Orchestra of La Scala. 

With impressive versatility, she has effortlessly traversed an ever-broadening spectrum of musical styles and dramatic characterizations. A noted bel canto specialist, she excelled as the heroines of Rossini’s La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Bellini’s La sonnambula. She is an unmatched stylist in the French repertoire: a delectable Mignon or Périchole, a regal Marguerite in Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust, and, in one critic’s words, “the Mélisande of one’s dreams.” Her elegant figure and keen imagination have made her the world’s favorite interpreter of the great trouser roles, from Strauss’ Octavian and Composer to Mozart’s Sesto, Idamante and -- magically, indelibly -- Cherubino. Miss von Stade’s artistry has inspired the revival of neglected works such as Massenet’s Cherubin, Thomas’ Mignon, Rameau’s Dardanus, and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. Her ability as a singing actress has allowed her to portray wonderful works in operetta and musical theater including the title role in The Merry Widow and Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. Her repertoire is continually expanding with the works of contemporary composers. She also created the role of Madame de Merteuil in the Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons for San Francisco Opera.

Frederica von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (which holds a Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice), the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and her alma mater, the Mannes School of Music. In 1998 Miss von Stade was awarded France’s highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.

JAKE HEGGIE BIOGRAPHY

Mr. Heggie’s operas, most created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer, have been produced on five continents. Dead Man Walking has received more than 40 productions worldwide since its San Francisco Opera premiere in 2000 and has been recorded live twice (Erato Records in 2000 and Virgin Classics in 2011). Moby-Dick has received six international productions since its 2010 premiere at The Dallas Opera and was telecast nationally in 2014 as part of Great Performances’ 40th Anniversary Season. Moby-Dick received its East Coast premiere at the Kennedy Center in February 2014 with the Washington National Opera; a production from the San Francisco Opera has been released on DVD (EuroArts). It is also the subject of a book by Robert Wallace titled Heggie & Scheer’s Moby-Dicka Grand Opera for the 21st Century (UNT Press).

Mr. Heggie was recently awarded the prestigious Eddie Medora King prize from the UT Austin Butler School of Music. A Guggenheim Fellow, he served for three years as a mentor for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. He is also a frequent guest artist and master teacher at universities and conservatories including Boston University, Bucknell, Cornell, The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, University of Northern Iowa, University of North Texas, University of Colorado, USC’s Thornton School, Vanderbilt University, and at festivals such as SongFest at the Colburn School, Ravinia Festival, and VISI in Vancouver.

Mr. Heggie frequently collaborates as composer and pianist with some of the world’s most loved singers including the afore mentioned sopranos, mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, and Jamie Barton; Broadway stars Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald; tenors William Burden, Stephen Costello and Jay Hunter Morris; and baritones Nathan Gunn, Morgan Smith and Bryn Terfel. Directors who have championed his work include Leonard Foglia, Joe Mantello and Jack O’Brien. All of Mr. Heggie’s major opera premieres have been led by conductor Patrick Summers; he has also worked closely with John DeMain, Joseph Mechavich and Nicole Paiement.

In addition to two new operas, upcoming works include The Work at Hand: Symphonic Songs for mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and cellist Anne Martindale Williams (Carnegie Hall and the Pittsburgh Symphony); new songs for Susan Graham (Vocal Arts DC); a new orchestration of the song cycle Camille Claudel: Into the Fire for mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and the Berkeley Symphony led by Joana Carneiro; and Stop This Day and Night With Me for The King’s Singers, the 2015 Brock Commission for the American Choral Directors Association Conference.

For more information please visit www.jakeheggie.com

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

 

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org.

 

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

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

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

THE DALLAS OPERA 2015-2016 FALL SEASON INFORMATION

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

 

BECOMING SANTA CLAUS by Mark Adamo

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

An Eagerly Awaited Dallas Opera World Premiere!

Libretto by the composer, Mark Adamo.

Time: Now

Place: An Elven kingdom in the far, far north; also, the stable of the first Christmas

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Stage Director and Choreographer: Paul Curran

Set and Costume Designer: Gary McCann*

Lighting Designer: Paul Hackenmueller*

Projections Designer: Driscoll Otto*

Wig & make-up Designer: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Jennifer Rivera* (Queen Sophine), Jonathan Blalock* (Prince Claus) (Charron and Peter Denker Rising Star), Matt Boehler* (Donkey), Hila Plitmann* (Yan), Lucy Schaufer* (Ib), Keith Jameson (Yab), Kevin Burdette (Ob).

Another New Dallas Opera Production!

 

 

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

 

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

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

IWC Receives Mellon Foundation Grant

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

A $500,000 Grant from

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

~~~~

In Support of a New Initiative:

“The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for

Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 IWC FELLOWS:

JENNIFER CONDON (Australia/Germany)

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

JESSICA GETHIN (Australia)

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

NATALIE MURRAY BEALE (UK)

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

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

STEPHANIE RHODES (USA)

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

ANNA SKRYLEVA (Russia/Germany)

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

LIDIYA YANKOVSKAYA (USA)

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

2015 IWC OBSERVERS:

ARIANNE ABELA (USA)

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

LUÇIK APRAHÄMIAN (USA)

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

AVLANA EISENBERG (USA)

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

CO BOI NGUYEN (USA)

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

 ~~~~

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

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

Thrilling Inaugural Concert – Women Conductors!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PROUD TO PRESENT

The Inaugural Concert of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors

~~~~

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015

7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX

Single Tickets $10

~~~~

IWC Underwriting Support from

Linda and Mitch Hart

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

And the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

~~~~

Concert Support from Baker Botts and Cindy Feld

PHOTO CREDIT: Lidiya Yankovskaya Conducts at Harvard; Photo by Scott Bump

            DALLAS, NOVEMBER 30, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is thrilled to present six women conductors of international stature making music with The Dallas Opera Orchestra and a host of outstanding young artists in one great evening designed to showcase the work of the inaugural Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera.

            This extraordinary concert will take place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center located in the Dallas Arts District.  Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance at 214.443.1000 or at dallasopera.org (under “Upcoming Events” on the home page).

LIDIYA YANKOVSKAYA Lowell Opera House - photo by Scott Bump

            The on-stage concert will feature music by a wide variety of composers including Giacomo Puccini, Maurice Ravel, Georg.Friedrich Händel, Gian Carlo Menotti, Jake Heggie, W.A. Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Mark Adamo, Giuseppe Verdi, Carlisle Floyd, Gaetano Donizetti, Jules Massenet, and Johann Strauss II.

            Conducting these selections will be the 2015 Institute Fellows Jennifer Condon (Australia/Germany), Jessica Gethin (Australia), Natalie Murray Beale (United Kingdom), Stephanie Rhodes (USA), Anna Skryleva (Russia/Germany), and Lidiya Yankovskaya (USA).

            Seven accomplished singers will share the spotlight with the conductors that evening.  They are: baritone Theador Carlson, mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, tenor Alasdair Kent, bass Adam Lau, tenor Don O’Neal LeBlanc, soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, and soprano Stacey Tappan.

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            Crucial underwriting support for the institute comes from Linda and Mitch Hart and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Catalyst funding for the Women Conductors Institute comes from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

            Concert support is from Baker Botts and Cindy Feld.

            Conductor sponsors for the 2015 Institute are Patti Cody, Susan Geyer, Joy Mankoff, Joyce Mitchell, Lynn Mock and a sponsor who prefers to remain anonymous.

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2015 IWC FELLOWS:

JENNIFER CONDON (Australia/Germany)

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

 JESSICA GETHIN (Australia)

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

NATALIE MURRAY BEALE (UK)

Conductor Natalie Murray Beale is a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow and is being mentored by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has performed with the Welsh National Opera, Opera Holland Park, Spitalfields Festival, Chamber Orchestra of London and the City of London Sinfonia.  Ms. Murray Beale has also gained valuable experience as Assistant Conductor for the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Festival d’Aix, Wiener Festwochen and Den Nye Opera with the Philharmonia, Bergen Philharmonic, B’Rock Orchestra, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie and the Freiburger Barockorchester.  Previous positions include serving on the music staff of Welsh National Opera; as coach at the Royal Opera House, Young Artist Programme; and as Guest Chorus Director of London Symphony Chorus.  Ms. Murray Beale enjoys collaborating with composers and recently conducted the soundtracks to the video game Alien:Isolation (BAFTA nominated) and the British film Robot Overlords. Her performances of the new opera, We are Shadows, received a Royal Philharmonic Society award.  This year she will make her debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

STEPHANIE RHODES (USA)

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

ANNA SKRYLEVA (Russia/Germany)

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

LIDIYA YANKOVSKAYA (USA)

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

 

SINGERS, IWC INAUGURAL CONCERT

Theodor Carlson, baritone

Theodor Carlson sings operas of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Richard Strauss. Rigoletto, and The Flying Dutchman are among roles he’s sung in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden, and Baden Baden, He earned a University of Michigan Bachelor in Music, studied at Juilliard, and earned a diploma from the Rome-Accademia-Musicale Ottorino Respighi. He took First Prize in Verviers and New York competitions and earned MET and Puccini Foundation prizes. He toured Germany with Schubert’s Die Winterreise. He was Soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Carlson gave a Liceu Opera recital and presented lectures on Franz Schubert for the German-College in Barcelona. Carlson is featured in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Thüringen Philharmonic in December and Galas with the Frankfurt Symphony in the coming year.

Heather Johnson, mezzo-soprano

Heather Johnson made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013 as the Flower Maiden in the new production of Parsifal. She has sung with Sarasota Opera as Cenerentola, and in The Crucible, L’Amico Fritz, Rigoletto and Hansel and Gretel. With Boston Lyric Opera she has sung Don Giovanni, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and title role of Lizzie Borden in her Tanglewood Festival debut in 2014. Past and future engagements are Carmen with Volkstheater Rostock, Madama Butterfly and Hansel with PORT Opera, The Long Walk with Opera Saratoga, Little Women in Madison Opera, Salome and Becoming Santa Claus at The Dallas Opera. She has also been a regular with Opera Orchestra of New York and New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall and with New York City Opera.

Alasdair Kent, tenor

 Tenor Alasdair Kent is a Resident Artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where his performances have included L’italiana in Algeri, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. Mr. Kent made his professional debut as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola for Opera Queensland in his native Australia. As an Emerging Artist with Opera Philadelphia, he has performed in recital and will make his company debut in Cold Mountain in 2016. Mr. Kent has been part of the prestigious Merola Opera Program and the Martina Arroyo Foundation. In 2015, Mr. Kent won First Prize in the Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition. In 2016, Mr. Kent will perform Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with The Academy of Vocal Arts and as a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera.

Adam Lau, bass

In the 2015-2016 season Adam Lau will debut with the San Francisco Symphony as the bass soloist in Händel’s Messiah. On the opera stage Mr. Lau will return to North Carolina Opera in il Barbiere di Siviglia and the Dallas Opera’s World Premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus. In the 2014-15 season, Mr. Lau made debuts with the Dallas Opera, and Opera Theater of St. Louis as Berardo in the American Premiere of Handel’s Riccardo Primo. In summer 2015, he created the role of Papa San in the World Premiere of Jack Perla’s opera, An American Dream with Seattle Opera. Mr. Lau has appeared with some of the nation’s leading festivals including The Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Merola Opera Center, Aspen Opera Theater Center and Santa Fe Opera.

Don O’Neal LeBlanc, tenor

 After a twenty-year hiatus, tenor Don O’Neal LeBlanc has returned to his life-long passion for singing. The San Benito, Texas native studied Vocal Performance at The University of North Texas. A 1990 regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Don performed leading roles in Gianni Schicchi, L’elisir d’Amore, Carmina Burana and numerous oratorios. Since returning to the stage, Don has been a frequent featured soloist with the UNT orchestra and chorus, Arlington-based Timeless Concerts, and various churches and arts organizations around the DFW area, including Opera on Tap, a non-profit of which he is co-manager. In 2015, in addition to joining The Dallas Opera chorus, Don was selected as a semi-finalist in the Professional Men’s Division of The American Prize in Vocal Performance.

Sarah Jane McMahon, soprano

Hailed by Opera News for her “golden sound,” Sarah Jane McMahon has sung on opera and concert stages throughout the U.S. and abroad, recently performing opposite Plácido Domingo, who selected her to join the Los Angeles Opera. A Masters graduate of Yale University, the many companies and orchestras she has performed with include the San Francisco Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Washington Concert Opera, and New York City Opera. Her performances have also taken her to Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Vienna Concert House, and the Santo Domingo Festival. Her recent and upcoming engagements include performances with New Orleans Opera, Portland Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Cleveland Pops, Dallas Opera, and Tulsa Opera.

Stacey Tappan, soprano

Stacey Tappan has distinguished herself as an exceptional musical artist in the United States and abroad. Recent engagements include the world premiere of Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene with San Francisco Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera; Clorinda in Cinderella and Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring with LA Opera; the Charmeuse in Thaïs at the Edinburgh Festival; and The Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Current engagements include Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and Florestine in The Ghosts of Versailles with LA Opera; Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro with Jacksonville Symphony. In addition, she will be heard in Carmina Burana with Los Angeles Master Chorale and Omaha Symphony.

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

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

 

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

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

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

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

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The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by

Texas Instruments and the Betty and Steve Suellentrop

Educational Outreach Fund.

TDO Family Performances are a part of the

Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs

Ticket Information for the 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 indicated.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275.  Full Subscriptions start at $99, Flex Subscriptions (three-performances of your choice) begin at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

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

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE 

CONTRACT EXTENSIONS TO JUNE 30, 2022

FOR KEITH CERNY AND EMMANUEL VILLAUME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIOGRAPHIES

Keith Cerny, General Director and CEO

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

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

Emmanuel Villaume, Music Director

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

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

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

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

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

APPLLICATION DEADLINE NOVEMBER 21 FOR THE 2016 DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

by Celeste Hart

Still Bigger Than the Lone Star State!

Finals Round Scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

The AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, Texas

DALLAS, TX, NOVEMBER 20, 2015 -- The Dallas Opera wishes to remind potential candidates that applications for the expanded and revised Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, scheduled to take place on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. (Semi-Final Round) and Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. (Finals Round) will be accepted through tomorrow – Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

Applications MUST be submitted via YAP Tracker, along with a $35 entry fee: https://www.yaptracker.com/applications/dallas-opera-guild-2016.

Those chosen by preliminary round judges to advance to the Semifinals Round in the acoustically acclaimed Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center will be notified on February 2, 2016. 

Competitors in the critically acclaimed 2015 Competition took home prize monies totaling $18,500.  Although this competition has as its primary focus, artists in the 18 to 34 age range, singers of any age may apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 6:30 pm 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, singing two arias each.

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

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.

The Dallas Opera is very pleased to announce the return of renowned arts administrator, educator and adjudicator Dr. Brian Zeger as Chair of the Judges Panel for the 2016 Vocal Competition. 

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.”

Dallas Opera Guild 2016 Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald explains that “the ultimate goal – now and always – is to serve the artists and this art form by creating a showcase for their talents that will help to advance their careers.  We are equally dedicated to providing financial assistance (with no strings attached) allowing the singer to determine exactly how that money should be spent.  In short, we give them room to breathe.”

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

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

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

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

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

~~~~

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

The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by

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

TDO Family Performances are a part of the

Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs

Ticket Information for the 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 indicated.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275.  Full Subscriptions start at $99, Flex Subscriptions (three-performances of your choice) begin at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

Just One Month Left for 12 MONTHS of Kindness Activities!

by Celeste Hart

All Proceeds Benefit BECOMING SANTA CLAUS In Memory of Chloe Shea

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“PHOTOS WITH SANTA”

November 21, 2015 in the Winspear Opera House

12:30-1:30 p.m. and 3:00-4:00 p.m.

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“FASHION FOR KINDNESS”

November 29, 2015 in the Ritz Residences, Dallas

1:00-2:00 p.m. Fashion Show & Reception

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“READING FOR KINDNESS”

December 19, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Bookmarks Branch of Dallas Pub. Library at NorthPark

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BECOMING SANTA CLAUS Coloring Book Available at All

“12 Months of Kindness” events and world premiere performances

DALLAS, NOVEMBSC Coloring Book coverBER 16, 2015 – The Dallas Opera wants to remind you that we are approaching the final month of the “12 Months of Kindness” campaign, designed to support the upcoming world premiere production of Mark Adamo’s BECOMING SANTA CLAUS, opening on Friday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Both the new holiday-themed opera and the campaign are dedicated to Chloe Shea, who passed away before her fourth birthday, following a ten-month struggle with brain cancer.

The 12 Months of Kindness Committee has focused on sharing opportunities to give back to other families, all year long, while raising awareness and support for BECOMING SANTA CLAUS.

Coat drives, sock drives, toy drives, and other philanthropic efforts have been key components of each “12 Months of Kindness” event.  These events have involved the whole family, from two-year-olds to teenagers, instilling an understanding and appreciation for philanthropy and kindness.

To date, the Committee has raised $79,000 for BECOMING SANTA CLAUS in memory of Chloe Shea, and is on track to meet its $100,000 goal.

To learn more or register for an upcoming event, visit:

www.dallasopera.org/kindness

“PHOTOS WITH SANTA”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

12:30-1:30 p.m. and 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Winspear Opera House, 2nd Floor Lounge

$20 donation for a photo with Santa to take home

Act of Kindness: A non-perishable food pantry item for the North Texas Food Bank

“FASHION FOR KINDNESS”

Sunday, November 29, 2015

1:00-2:00 p.m. Fashion Show and Reception

The Ritz Residences

$20 donation for children under 12 to participate in fashion show

(Child must arrive in favorite holiday outfit at 12:30 p.m.)

$10 donation per person to attend fashion show

Act of Kindness: An unwrapped, new toy for “Toys for Tots”

All proceeds benefit Becoming Santa Claus in memory of Chloe Shea.

“READING FOR KINDNESS: BECOMING SANTA CLAUS Coloring Book Reading”

Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

The Bookmarks Branch of the Dallas Public Library, NorthPark

A Celebrity Guest Reads this 22-page Coloring Book, Attendance is FREE

 
The Dallas Opera has created a special coloring book, Becoming Santa Claus, to be distributed to children’s hospitals in advance of the December 6th simulcast. Dallas-area high school art students submitted designs earlier this year, to be incorporated into this unique coloring book.  Their original creations will be exhibited in the Winspear Lobby throughout these performances.  The Becoming Santa Claus coloring book will also be available at every performance of this world premiere production – and at all “12 Months of Kindness” events – for a donation of $20 per book.

THE 12 MONTHS OF KINDNESS COMMITTEE

Maile Shea, Chair

Carrie Ellen Adamian

Yasmin Bhatia

Jennifer Blankenship

Milene Carvalho

Alise Cortez

Ashley Crump

Veronica Diaz

Mimi Edmonds

Jennifer Franklin

Belinda Hancock

Molly Lang

Patricia de Leon

Sarah Little

Rhonda Marcus

Catherine Nettune

Melanie Schoenvogel

Sarah Shaw

Shenley Smith

Stacie Whitley

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org 

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

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

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

The Dallas Opera Gives Back with 12 Days of Kindness!

by Celeste Hart

“12 DAYS OF KINDNESS CAMPAIGN”

TDO’S NEW AMERICAN OPERA BECOMING SANTA CLAUS

INSPIRES INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT LOCAL NON-PROFITS

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EFFORTS PROMOTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO ENCOURAGE FOLLOWER PARTICIPATION

DALLAS, NOVEMBER 16, 2015 -- The Dallas Opera is taking inspiration from the message in its world premiere of the holiday opera BECOMING SANTA CLAUS and partnering with area non-profits in a “12 DAYS OF KINDNESS CAMPAIGN” promoted through its social media outlets. The company has identified several non-profit organizations for which it will encourage support through creating exposure, coordinating donations, and other special activities in the spirit of giving back. The campaign will begin on November 21, 2015 with efforts occurring through December 4, 2015. The applicable social media outlets are The Dallas Opera’s facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites.

BECOMING SANTA CLAUS is an original new work by American composer Mark Adamo (Little Women), brimming with the true spirit of the holidays! It’s the third production of the “Seeking the Human Element” Season, opening on Friday, December 4, 2015 at
7:30 p.m. in the Winspear Opera House, with additional performances December 6, 9, and 12, 2015. 
BECOMING SANTA CLAUS promises to be a visually spectacular, musically unforgettable world premiere that tells the tale of a young spoiled Prince who learns the lesson of the most treasured gift of all.

Elf Photos - Kindness  11-10 458 SM (800x793)

The first day will benefit the North Texas Food Bank for which The Dallas Opera staff is asking readers to bring three canned items or one jar of peanut butter to the Family Performance at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on Saturday, November 21, 2015. A free ticket will be provided for the donation to that day’s production of Rossini and Company at 2:00 p.m. Donations will also be accepted at the Winspear Opera House lobby on November 21, 22 and 23, 2015. The North Texas Food Bank provides access to 170,000 meals for hungry children, seniors and families through a network of more than 1,000 programs and 262 partner agencies. For more information please visit www.ntfb.org.

The second day, November 23, The Dallas Opera Guild and staff will be baking cookies for the SoupMobile for distribution to the homeless. The organization is a faith-based non-profit that serves the homeless by providing more than 20,000 sandwiches and 30,000 cookies every month, and shelter for those in need. For more information please visit www.soupmobile.org.

The third day, November 24, will benefit the Children’s Heath and Children’s Medical Center, Plano and Dallas campuses. The Dallas Opera has created a unique coloring book with a BECOMING SANTA CLAUS theme. Children at the hospitals will be given a free Becoming Santa Claus Coloring Book and crayons with the hope that spirits will be brightened as they enjoy their gift. The coloring book was designed by students from six different area high schools and printed by The Dallas Opera to be donated to the children. The coloring book was made possible by The Moody Foundation, with additional support from Q Roberts Trucking and Childrens Medical Center Foundation.

The fourth day, November 25 is a drive for the SPCA of Texas for which The Dallas Opera will collect dog and cat treats and toys for the organization. A box will be set up in the Winspear Opera House lobby where donations may be dropped off. The mission of the SPCA of Texas is to provide every animal exceptional care and a loving home. For more information please visit www.spca.org.

The fifth day, November 26, Thanksgiving Day, is a day The Dallas Opera is accepting tags for its social media sites for followers to post for what they are thankful. It will be a wonderful opportunity to express thanks for the many blessings our participants would like to share with the hopes of creating an inspiring day of gratefulness. The Dallas Opera’s facebook, twitter and Instagram sites will be dedicated to this initiative.

The sixth day, November 27, is a drive benefiting the Genesis Women’s Shelter led by The Women’s Board of The Dallas Opera. A collection box will be located in the Winspear Opera House lobby for donations of toiletries, new socks and undergarments for boys, girls and women. Genesis Women’s Shelter is committed to preventing violence by raising the level of community awareness regarding the pervasiveness and effects of domestic violence. For more information please visit www.genesisshelter.org.

 The seventh day, November 28 is a designated Hug Drive Day. The Dallas Opera will encourage readers to give someone or a favorite furry friend a hug as an act of kindness. Participants can photograph their special hug and tag us on their post.

 The eighth day, November 30, is a “Shop for Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center” day. Commonly known as “Cyber Monday”, our Day of Kindness encourages donors to shop online through Dallas Animal Services Amazon Wish List. To participate please visit
www.amazon.com/gp/registry/giftlist/1X05HA4VYRQT7/ref=topnav_lists_2. Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center encourages responsible pet ownership through adoption, spay/neuter, public education and outreach, and ordinance enforcement. For more information please visit www.dallasanimalservices.org.

 The ninth day, December 1, is a coat and new sock drive for Crossroads Community Services whereby donors may bring the garments to a collection box in the Winspear Opera House lobby. Donations will be accepted December 1-6, 2015. Crossroads Community Services physically and economically nurtures our community’s low-income families by providing tangible support through nutritious food, clothing and supportive education.

The tenth day, December 2, The Dallas Opera staff will visit C. C. Young Senior Living • Senior Care to spread some cheer by singing holiday carols to residents. Our social media followers are encouraged to partake in a volunteer activity in which they believe.

The Dallas Opera will post photos of the caroling on its sites. C.C. Young is dedicated to helping seniors enjoy an active, fulfilling lifestyle and providing personalized care and support.  

The eleventh day, December 3, The Dallas Opera staff will strive to help the environment by having a trash and recycle pick-up day at White Rock Lake coordinated through the organization For the Love of the Lake. Staff and interested patrons will meet at the Pavilion at Flagpole Hill, then divide into groups to clean up five key areas around the lake. Followers are invited to join the activity by meeting at 3:00 p.m. For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) is dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of White Rock Lake Park as an urban oasis. FTLOTL accomplishes this through spruce-up activities, tree planting events, and raising money for an “all-inclusive” playground. For the Love of the Lake needs your help to make this dream come true. The world has Mother Nature, children need you. For more information please visit www.WhiteRockLake.org.

The twelfth day, December 4, begins a Toys for Tots drive. The Dallas Opera will collect toys in the Winspear Opera House lobby December 4-12, 2015. The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Patrons who have purchased tickets to Becoming Santa Claus and donate a toy for the drive will receive a free cup of hot chocolate donated by Wolfgang Puck Catering, while supplies last. For more information please visit www.dfwtoysfortots.org.

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

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA

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

EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

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

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

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

 

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise indicated.  Single Tickets range from $19 to $275.  Full Subscriptions start at $99, Flex Subscriptions (three-performances of your choice) begin at $75.  Family performance tickets are just $5.  For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.

A New Holiday Treasure!

by Celeste Hart

THE DALLAS OPERA PROUDLY PRESENTS AN EAGERLY ANTICIPATED WORLD PREMIERE:

BECOMING SANTA CLAUS

By Mark Adamo

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CONDUCTED BY MUSIC DIRECTOR EMMANUEL VILLAUME

STARRING JENNIFER RIVERA, JONATHAN BLALOCK AND MATT BOEHLER

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PRESENTING SPONSOR, THE MOODY FOUNDATION 

PERFORMANCES: December 4, 6(m), 9 & 12, 2015

In the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas

 

HOSPITAL SIMULCAST ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 at 2:00

CHILDREN’S HEALTH (Dallas and Plano), SCOTTISH RITE

And UT MEDICAL BRANCH AT GALVESTON

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Additional Support for this Dallas Opera Commission from Dr. and Mrs. Tom Mayer, and Maile and Charles Shea, 
and The Twelve Months of Kindness Committee

 
DALLAS, NOVEMBER 11, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is delighted to present an original, musically compelling and visually stunning world premiere: Mark Adamo’s BECOMING SANTA CLAUS, opening on Friday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. 

Additional performances in this exclusive engagement will take place on Sunday, Dec. 6th (2:00 p.m. matinee); Wednesday, Dec. 9th and Saturday, December 12, 2015 with support from the presenting sponsor, The Moody Foundation.

This new opera, from the composer of Little Women, is about the imagined origins of that holiday icon, Santa Claus.  Both music and book for this family-friendly opera were created by Mark Adamo and commissioned by The Dallas Opera.

BECOMING SANTA CLAUS stars mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as Queen Sophine in her Dallas Opera debut, tenor Jonathan Blalock (the Charron and Peter Denker Rising Star for the 2015-2016 Season) portrays the troubled Prince Claus, bass Matt Boehler sings the dual roles of Donkey/Messenger, while the elves are portrayed by Grammy winning soprano Hila Plitmann (Yan), mezzo-soprano Lucy Schaufer (Ib), tenor Keith Jameson (Yab) and bass Kevin Burdette (Ob). 

Juan José de Leon, originally cast in the role of Prince Claus, withdrew from the production as rehearsals got underway, due to a severe illness in the family.

“As the final of three world premieres this calendar year,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “I’ve been looking forward to Becoming Santa Claus with particular pleasure. The opportunity to hear our highly esteemed music director, Emmanuel Villaume, conduct a Dallas Opera world premiere makes this a noteworthy occasion—as does Paul Curran’s staging and choreography, Gary McCann’s set and costume designs, and the outstanding singers who will be creating these memorable characters for the very first time.

“Lucky for us, we won’t have to wait until Christmas morning!” 

In addition to Winspear Opera House performances, The Dallas Opera, with key support from The Moody Foundation, will take an active role in bringing a touch of the holiday spirit into children’s hospitals and pediatric care units in Dallas, Plano and Galveston: TDO will simulcast the December 6th Sunday matinee, beginning at 2:00 p.m., to several remote locations: Children’s Health (Dallas and Plano), Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (Dallas), and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where hospitalized children will be able to experience this touching and magical tale with their families and care-givers.

The Dallas Opera has created a special coloring book, Becoming Santa Claus, to be distributed to children’s hospitals in advance of the simulcast. Dallas-area high school art students submitted designs earlier this year, to be incorporated into this unique coloring book.  Their original creations will be exhibited in the Winspear Lobby throughout these performances.

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Set in an Elven kingdom in the far, far north, BECOMING SANTA CLAUS will be conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume (The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director), now in his third season with The Dallas Opera.  Maestro Villaume recently assumed the position of Music Director and Chief Conductor of the PKF -- Prague Philharmonia (in addition to his duties in Dallas), and he continues to conduct and record critically acclaimed performances with the most important artists of our day, from Anna Netrebko to Bryan Hymel.

Guest engagements in the U.S. this season include Roméo et Juliette at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as his return to Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2016. 

Following his triumph in Manon at London’s Royal Opera House in 2014, Villaume returns to Covent Garden for performances of ToscaManon was also the vehicle of Maestro Villaume’s return to the Metropolitan Opera in January 2015, about which the New York Times proclaimed, “It is the most vivid, exciting take on Manon at the Met in many years, and sets the bar high, early on, for the company’s spring season.”

Emmanuel Villaume returns to the Royal Opera House, Muscat in December 2015 for a concert with the PKF and guest soprano Sondra Radvanovsky.

“It’s a thrilling responsibility, at any time, to conduct a major world premiere,” explains Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.  “However, my excitement about Becoming Santa Claus stems from the piece itself, which contains Mark’s witty, glittering dialogue; heartfelt sentiment; and absolutely beautiful music.  It is my hope that audiences will find themselves utterly transported when they take their seats in the Winspear Opera House on opening night.”

Becoming Santa Claus—which has been an amazing experience for everyone involved,” Villaume added, “may prove to be an extraordinary experience for music lovers of all ages.”

The world premiere of Mark Adamo’s fourth full-length opera will be staged by Director Paul Curran, who also serves as the choreographer for this production, in his company debut.  Mr. Curran, the James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director in honor of John Gage, was the artistic director of the Norwegian National Opera for several years and has been instrumental in creating landmark opera productions including La donna del lago for the Metropolitan Opera and Santa Fe Opera, The Tsar’s Bride for Covent Garden, Tannhäuser for La Scala, Peter Grimes for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and many more. 

The Glasgow native has translated plays by Chekhov and Molière and works on opera, musicals and dramas around the world.

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

Tenor Jonathan Blalock, winner of the 2014 Agnes Varis Prize for Bel Canto from the Opera Orchestra of New York, made a lasting impression in Paul’s Case at The Prototype Festival, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker called one of the top ten musical events of the year.  Steve Smith of The New York Times wrote: “Blalock is riveting in the title role; his voice sweet and true, his thin smile telegraphing Paul’s honeyed contempt for his working class surroundings.” 

Mr. Blalock’s Dallas Opera debut is made possible with support from the Charron and Peter Denker Rising Stars Endowment Fund.

Bass Matt Boehler appears in the dual roles of Donkey/Messenger.  His voice, wrote Madison.com, “has fantastic dexterity and power.”

Set and Costume Designer Gary McCann is one of a phenomenal production team that includes Lighting Designer Paul Hackenmueller and Driscoll Otto, designing projections for this world premiere production. 

Mr. McCann, originally from Northern Ireland and now based in London has worked on Broadway, the West End, at the National Theatre (U.K.) and in major opera houses and theaters throughout the world.  His design work was on display last summer in the MAKE/BELIEVE exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Paul Hackenmueller has designed lighting for Broadway productions including Disgraced, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Superfly, Fela!, Desire Under the Elms, A Bronx Tale, Mauritius, The Frogs and Martin Guerre.  He has also designed concert lighting for the likes of Norah Jones, Beyoncé, John Legend, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan and many more.

Driscoll Otto’s projection projects include The Urban Dictionary Plays and The Netflix Plays with Arts Nova; The Steadfast with Slant Theater Project; Long Day’s Journey with York Shakespeare Company; numerous productions for the New York Musical Theatre Festival.  At the regional level, Otto has designed for Dallas Theater Center, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas and many more.

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The Becoming Santa Claus experience will begin the moment patrons enter the Winspear Opera House.  Lobby performances from hand-bell or children’s choirs will be enjoyed, along with hot chocolate and cookies offered at concession stands.

There are other wonderful surprises in store in The Dallas Opera’s Becoming Santa Claus but, just like Christmas, you’ll have to wait and see (although we can promise you the beautiful Moody Foundation Chandelier in the Winspear Opera House will join in the holiday fun!).

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

Additional support for The Dallas Opera’s BECOMING SANTA CLAUS is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Mayer and Maile and Charles Shea (in loving memory of Chloe Simone Shea), and The Twelve Months of Kindness Committee.

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Prince Claus is about to celebrate his thirteenth birthday with a party to end all parties.  If the evening proceeds without a hitch, a family curse will be lifted; and the working elves will get their first day off in a thousand days.  However, Queen Sophine’s best-laid plans for her son fall victim to a host of last-minute cancellations from royal relatives scattered around the world. 

A bright star has signaled a momentous birth.  Claus, who has filled the emotional gaps in his own life with possessions, decides to dazzle this newborn with an assortment of the very latest toys before discovering for himself that love is the most treasured gift of all.

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“I have had, largely, a brilliant time in opera, but already,” writes composer Mark Adamo, “working with this company—The Dallas Opera—has been, in a word, heaven. I hope you like the show; I love it here.  But, while a list of people to thank could span the state, I must single out the Mayer family.  Their support of this piece has been extraordinary.” 

Mark Adamo is the creator and driving force behind The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Lysistrata, and one of the most successful contemporary operas of our day: Little Women—a work which has had more than ninety international productions and been released on DVD and Blu-ray. 

In addition to his operas, Mr. Adamo is an acclaimed composer of new chamber and choral works.  These include Aristotle for Thomas Hampson and the Jupiter String Quartet, under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; The Racer’s Widow for New York Festival of Song; Four Angels: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as works commissioned and performed by Chanticleer, the Choral Arts Society in Washington and The New York Virtuoso Singers. 

More information is available at www.markadamo.com.

SYNOPSIS: BECOMING SANTA CLAUS

By Mark Adamo

Scene One. Evening: mere hours before the extravagant gala planned for the thirteenth birthday of Prince Claus. In the palace of the royal family of Nifland, an Elven realm in the very, very Far North, Ib, the no-nonsense leader of the palace staff, summons her staff: time to prepare the party!  But only nervous Yab and rebellious Ob appear; various disasters have beset the other scheduled servants. Ib despairs—so much remains to be done—when Yan appears; more inquisitive than experienced, true, but eager to help. Ib explains that Queen Sophine, regent, sorceress, and mother of Claus, has been planning this event so obsessively that she hasn’t permitted Ib or her team a much-desired day off for over three years. When Yan asks the obvious questions: why is this so important? And where is the King, vanished years ago under mysterious circumstances?—Ib stonewalls, until she is interrupted by the entrance of Queen Sophine herself, who inquires after the Prince.  None has seen him.

Alone, Queen Sophine tries to lure her recalcitrant son to the party; he balks until she reveals that his three treasured uncles (who happen to be Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the three kings of Christmas legend) have confirmed attending. Prince Claus joins the Queen in awaiting them, but uncle after uncle fails to show up, until at last a Donkey-Messenger arrives to read a letter explaining all three Kings’ absence; a star in the west has summoned them to attend the birth of a mysterious child, so to the Prince they have sent, instead, regrets and gifts. Claus, clearly stung, storms out. Yan, still full of questions, plies the Queen with Champagne until she explains the Prince’s current temperament. His father the King, like his uncles just now, had too often sent the boy presents as substitutes for the father’s presence, until the formerly open-hearted boy turned brittle and grasping; desperate to restore her family, the Queen decided to exile his father for three years, and did so by casting a spell which…did what? Yan doesn’t learn. Prince Claus returns, demanding to learn from the Kings’ letter what gifts his uncles have prepared for this mysterious child; when learning the gifts are symbolic medicines and ointments like myrrh and frankincense—hardly the stuff of a child’s dreams—Prince Claus proposes that the Elves devise, instead, a sleigh full of the most spectacular toys ever made, and then he and the Elves will join his uncles at the Child’s crib to pay tribute their way. The Elves are skeptical: but, lured by the renewed promise of time off, agree.  

Scene Two. Midmorning the next day: the Elves’ Toyshop, deep in the bowels of the royal palace. Prince Claus demands a review of the gifts each of the four Elves have drafted during the previous night: to his eye, none of them are special enough. “They need to be new!” he urges (threatens?) Back they go to work: the toys improve, but the time is slipping away. Ib warns the Prince that at their current pace, they will never finish the presents in time to reach the child by the predicted time of his birth; Claus brags that he can persuade his mother to use her magic to solve that problem, but Ib isn’t so sure.  Prince Claus wheedles his mother to attend the unveiling of the now-completed toys, confident that their glamour will persuade her to step in. The Elves give the presentation their all, but the Queen remains unconvinced of the Prince’s good faith: she decides she won’t stand in his way, but she won’t help, either. Stung, but undeterred, the Prince sets off.

Scene Three. Twilight, half the world away: a stable outside of a small, poor town in the desert. Prince Claus and the Elves appear, a trove of wonders in tow. The Elves ask the drowsing Donkey they find (the messenger from the party) to announce the Prince’s arrival. But the Donkey informs them they’re too late: the child and his mother left three days ago. Yan asks them to tell them what happened when the Kings arrived at the manger. Moving as the Donkey’s response is, it doesn’t solve the problem of what to do with a sleigh full of these toys when there’s no one to give them to. The Prince’s solution changes everything.

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Additional performances of BECOMING SANTA CLAUS sung in English, with English language supertitles projected above the stage will take place in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on December 6(m), 9 & 12, 2015.  This family-friendly world premiere is suitable for children old enough to read.  Don’t be surprised if Mark Adamo’s newest opera proves to be the surprise hit of the North Texas holiday season!

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

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EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview or obtain additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and Public Relations

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

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

Ticket Information for the 2015-2016 Dallas Opera Season

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

AUDITION NOTICE – AUXILIARY CHORUS – NOV. 12

by Celeste Hart

 THE DALLAS OPERA IS STILL LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN
And MEZZO-SOPRANOS TO SERVE AS MEMBERS OF
TDO’S 
AUXILIARY CHORUS FOR 2015-16

 AUDITION DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

DALLAS, TX, November 4, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is pleased to invite talented local singing artists to audition for the company’s Auxiliary Chorus for the 2015-2016 Season.  This a wonderful opportunity to perform onstage in a paid, professional ensemble before a live audience in the magnificent Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center!

Singers are needed for both a mainstage production as well as a unique concert stage opportunity:

SHOW BOAT

Open auditions for African-American singers in all voice categories—especially mezzo-sopranos and tenors—who seek positions in the company’s choral ensemble for the 2015-2016 season production of SHOW BOAT, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. TDO is presenting the Francesca Zambello production of SHOW BOAT, conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume with Alexander Rom, chorus master.

There are six performances of SHOW BOAT scheduled for April 15, 17, 20, 23, 29 & May 1, 2016. Music and staging rehearsals for the African-American choral ensemble will immediately precede the performance period and will begin in January 2016.

SYMPHONY NO. 13 in B flat minor, “BABI YAR” by Dmitri Shostakovich

Open auditions for baritones and basses seeking chorus positions in The Dallas Opera/AT&T Performing Arts Center presentation of SYMPHONY NO. 13 by Dmitri Shostakovich (sung in Russian) to be presented in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 24, 2016. Rehearsals will begin in January 2016. This one-time Classical Criterion Series performance will feature The Dallas Opera Orchestra conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume with Alexander Rom, chorus master.

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HOW TO AUDITION:

Please contact chorusauditions@dallasopera.org, or call 214-443-1087 to request an audition time on one of the following dates:

Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 6:00-9:00 PM.

Location:

Auditions will be held at the Karayanis Rehearsal Production Center in The Orchestra Room. Please arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled time. Warm-up rooms will be available to use on a first come, first served basis.

Karayanis Rehearsal Production Center

4301 South Fitzhugh Avenue

Dallas, TX 75210 

Audition Requirements for new or Auxiliary Choristers:

Applicants must have two memorized selections to offer, including one aria or art song in English and one in another language, preferably Italian, French, German, or Russian. You may also be asked to sight-read or perform a rhythm exercise. An accompanist will be provided, but will not be available to rehearse with you prior to your audition. Applicants must provide legible hard copies of their selections in the correct key for the pianist. Applicants are required to prove that they have legal permission to work in the United States of America.

Rehearsals:

Rehearsals begin on November 16, 2015 and continue through the end of The Dallas Opera season in the spring. There are occasional weekend-day rehearsals and matinee performances; however, rehearsals are generally conducted in the evening.

TDO is a signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with the American Guild of Musical Artists.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA IS ACCESSIBLE ONLINE,

24/7 – VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 2015-2016 SEASON SPONSOR

FOR THE DALLAS OPERA’S “SEEKING THE HUMAN ELEMENT” SEASON

 

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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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LEGENDARY PHILANTHROPIST PASSES AWAY IN DALLAS

by Celeste Hart

DALLAS, OCTOBER 21, 2015 – The Dallas Opera is sad to announce the death yesterday of Mrs. William W. Winspear at an assisted living facility in Dallas, Texas, following a long illness.  Margot Winspear was 83 years old.

“It was with profound sorrow that The Dallas Opera learned of the passing of Margot Winspear, the late Bill Winspear’s wife, partner and muse; the much-loved mother of five children and grandmother to many more.  Although these were the roles of which she was undoubtedly most proud, Margot was also a dedicated and passionate music lover, a longtime member of The Dallas Opera Board, and an extraordinary benefactor who, along with her husband, gave the history-making $42 million dollar gift that sparked the construction of their namesake opera house at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  It was a long-held dream come true.

“Besides crucial leadership roles in the arts in Dallas, Margot and Bill Winspear established an endowment for UNT’s College of Music and generously supported young, emerging talents, including the internationally renowned soprano Latonia Moore.  They were instrumental in the construction of UNT’s performance hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center and donated additional millions to UT Southwestern Medical Center for Alzheimer’s research.

“They were inspirational in other ways as well: they loved life, remembered where they came from, sought the best for their community, gave generously and wisely, and cherished each other always.

“Our hearts go out to Don and Ellen Winspear and to all the grieving friends and family members.  We will never forget Margot’s warmth, her quiet grace, or her ever-present smile. 

“She was, and is, irreplaceable.”

 

Steve Suellentrop, Chairman

The Dallas Opera

 

Funeral arrangements for Margot Winspear are pending.

A memorial service is being planned with details to be announced at a later date. 

 

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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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