THE DALLAS OPERA HONORED WITH A $250,000 GRANT FROM THE TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION

by Megan Meister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Contact: Suzanne Calvin (214.443.1014/suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org)

Or Megan Meister (214.443.1071/megan.meister@dallasopera.org)

 

THE DALLAS OPERA HONORED WITH A

$250,000 GRANT FROM THE

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION

~~~~

TI FOUNDATION CITES EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP, ARTISTRY AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AT TDO

             DALLAS, JULY 2, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce that the company has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Texas Instruments Foundation, which recently approved grants totaling $1.5 million to a dozen diverse North Texas arts and cultural organizations.  According to the foundation, the purpose of these awards is to “enrich the quality of life in TI’s headquarters community.”

            In making this unprecedented gift to the company, Texas Instruments Foundation cited TDO’s outstanding leadership and the new direction taken by the company under the guidance of General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  In awarding the grant, the foundation also cited a proven commitment to artistic excellence and the positive impact of a successful, carefully crafted financial plan designed to restore community confidence in the Dallas Opera, as well as putting the company on the path to genuine fiscal responsibility and balance—and keeping it there.

“Texas Instruments has been a stalwart supporter of The Dallas Opera for more than 50 of its illustrious 55 years,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.

“For the second consecutive season, the Texas Instruments Foundation is providing an unprecedented level of financial support.  As we strive to create new productions, showcase revivals, and secure commissions reflecting the highest artistic and technical standards for this art form, Texas Instruments Foundation must be credited for its starring role as a partner in the success of this company.  It’s a role for which all of us at The Dallas Opera are deeply and sincerely grateful.”

In addition to supporting the highest standards of excellence in each of our critically acclaimed mainstage productions, these newly awarded funds will advance the educational and community outreach initiatives of the Dallas Opera throughout the 2012-2013 Season.  This includes—but is not limited to—live performances and opera recitals in schools, libraries, museums, and cultural centers destined to reach more than 20,000 young people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area alone.

This season, the Dallas Opera—supported by the generosity of the Texas Instruments Foundation—reached nearly 25,000 students and their families in performances of a new production of Georges Bizet’s Doctor Miracle, special family concerts and other well-received outreach initiatives.  Now the company has added a new children’s production of John Davies’ Jack and the Beanstalk (featuring the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan) introduced at campTDO just last month.

Sam Self, Chairman of the Texas Instruments Foundation explained the rationale behind the foundation’s decision: “The Dallas Opera is one of the cornerstones of the Dallas arts community, and we’re proud to be a partner in their continuing success.”

Besides the Dallas Opera, this year’s arts grant recipients include the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Nasher Sculpture Center, Richardson Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare Dallas, and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

“It’s both an exciting and challenging time for the arts in Dallas,” said Ann Pomykal, executive director of the TI Foundation. “We believe that an entire community benefits when its arts thrive.  So by helping the arts in North Texas reach and sustain a high level of operational and artistic excellence, we can positively impact our community’s economy and quality of life.”

The TI Foundation has accomplished its mission well, providing direct operational support to a variety of nonprofit arts organizations in the Greater Dallas Area.  The 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season will mark the second consecutive year that the foundation’s generosity and long-term relationship with the Dallas Opera has resulted in it being named the sole season sponsor.

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About Texas Instruments Foundation:

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. While its primary focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve science, technology, engineering and math education, the Texas Instruments Foundation also invests in health and human services programs that meet the greatest community needs.

About Texas Instruments:

Texas Instruments semiconductor innovations help 90,000 customers unlock the possibilities of the world as it could be – smarter, safer, greener, healthier and more fun.  Our commitment to building a better future is ingrained in everything we do – from the responsible manufacturing of our semiconductors, to caring for our employees, to giving back inside our communities.  This is just the beginning of our story.  Learn more at www.ti.com.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JULY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”

IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7

VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS

For high-resolution, digital photographs suitable for print

To arrange an interview

Or for additional information

Please contact Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

214.443.1014 or suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org

 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION

SPONSOR OF THE 2012-2013 DALLAS OPERA SEASON

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

 

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA

CARTIER – OFFICIAL JEWELER & WATCHMAKER OF THE DALLAS OPERA

ROSEWOOD CRESCENT HOTEL – OFFICIAL HOTEL OF THE DALLAS OPERA

Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

  

All performances for the “Pursuits of Passion” Season are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Subscriptions start at just $75 and are on sale now.  For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 SEASON INFORMATION

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

AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi

October 26, 28(m), 31, November 3, 9, 11(m), 2012

Verdi’s Complex and Intimate Love Story Set in Spectacular Ancient Egypt!

An opera in four acts first performed at Khedivial Opera House, Cairo on December 24, 1871.

Text by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette.

Time: Old Kingdom

Place: Egypt

Conductor: Graeme Jenkins

Stage Director: John Copley

Costume Design: Peter J. Hall

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Latonia Moore (Aida), Antonello Palombi (Radames), Nadia Krasteva* (Amneris), Lester Lynch (Amonasro), Orlin Anastassov* (Ramfis), Ben Wager (The King of Egypt), Jonathan Yarrington* (Messenger), and NaGuanda Nobles* (Priestess).

TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini

April 5, 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m), 2013

Puccini’s Last Masterpiece—Riddled with Passionate Romance and Unforgettable Music!

An opera in three acts first performed in Milan at La Scala, April 25, 1926

Text by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on Carlo Gozzi’s fable, Turandot.

Time: Legendary times

Place: Peking, China

Conductor: Marco Zambelli

Stage Director: Garnett Bruce

Production Design: Allen Charles Klein

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Lise Lindstrom* (Princess Turandot), Antonello Palombi (Calaf), Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu), Christian Van Horn* (Timur), Jonathan Beyer (Ping), Joseph Hu (Pang), Daniel Montenegrio* (Pong), Ryan Kuster* (A Mandarin), Steven Haal (Emperor Altoum).

THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento

April 12, 14(m), 17, 20, 28(m), 2013

The Games People Play—Both Young and Old—To Achieve Their Twisted Desires!

An opera in two acts first performed in Dallas, November 19, 1988.

Text by Dominick Argento, based on Henry James novel.

Time: Legendary

Place: Venice, Italy

Conductor: Graeme Jenkins

Stage Director: Tim Albery

Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman*

Costume Design: Constance Hoffman*

Lighting Design: Thomas Hase

Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman

Assistant Director: Michael Mori

Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

*DallasOpera Debut

** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from:  City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera.  Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera.  Cartier is the official jeweler and watchmaker of The Dallas Opera.  Rosewood Crescent Hotel is the official hotel of The Dallas Opera.  Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.  The T. Boone Pickens YMCA, Smartwater and Stephen Pyles Restaurant--supporting partners.  A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

 

 

TDO’s Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, San Francisco I

by Megan Meister

I arrived in San Francisco on Thursday just in time to make a 7:30 curtain of Verdi’s rarely produced opera ATTILA.

The cast was headed up by veteran bass Ferruccio Furlanetto in the title role and conducted by Nicola Luisotti, San Francisco Opera’s music director.

I know the piece is problematic, having seen a few other stagings of it over the years, none of which made a compelling case for the work as being stage worthy, but this production was very static.

Italian director Gabriele Lavia tried to liven up the last act by projecting battle scenes from a 1950’s “B” movie about Attila the Hun, starring Jack Palance, but it didn’t help much.

Some of the singing was quite good, though, particularly baritone Quinn Kelsey as “Ezio” and of course, Ferruccio Furlanetto sounded magnificent, if not quite the magnetic, charismatic personality the part ideally requires.

I prefer him in more introspective roles, like “Filippo” in DON CARLO, in which he is unsurpassed today.

Friday afternoon I heard nine current and former Adler Fellows in audition.  The Adler Fellows (named in memory of former San Francisco Opera general director Kurt Adler) is the highly regarded young artists’ program of the opera company, which has been run brilliantly for a number of years by Sheri Greenawald, who, of course, had a major singing career herself.

The most outstanding audition was from a remarkable young soprano named Nadine Sierra.   I first heard a few years ago (I don’t think that she had yet turned twenty at the time) and she just keeps getting better and better.

Another wonderful audition was from mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm, in her first season as an Adler Fellow.  She was a winner of the Winspear Scholarship at the University of North Texas, where she just received her master’s degree in vocal performance.

Last night was a highly anticipated new production of Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE, designed by Japanese ceramic artist Jun Kaneko, who now lives in Omaha.  The production was directed by Harry Silverstein, who has staged many productions for The Dallas Opera, and featured Nathan Gunn as “Papageno” and Kristinn Sigmundsson as “Sarastro” both of whom have sung recently in Dallas.

The production was essentially an abstract light show projected on flat panels that flew in and out.  While it was very colorful and effective, I can’t help feeling that our recent FLUTE was a much better show.

I know, I know, I can’t really be objective about this, but that was how I felt.

Tonight is NIXON IN CHINA, and I am really excited about seeing this production, which originated in Vancouver.  I have seen the original Peter Sellars production both in Houston and at the Met, and the James Robinson production in Saint Louis and Denver, so this will be very interesting for me to see and compare.

UNSCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

by Suzanne Calvin

In this star-spangled month of July, the question that comes to mind is “What are the defining characteristics of an American Opera?”  Should it be opera on identifiable American themes?  Operas merely set in one of the fifty states?  Or exhibiting a particularly American musical idiom?  Operas composed by men and women who claimed the Americas as their “home” – either North or South?

For simplicity’s sake, I opted for the last definition when I contacted some of my favorite critics and opera writers, asking them to weigh-in on the three greatest “American” operas.  The critics were allowed to rank them—one, two and three—or present them as a trio of equals, and their choices were assigned a numerical value based upon those decisions.  Some critics asked to keep their participation or comments unattributed, others did not.

Although close to the same numbers of votes were actually cast for the first and second place picks, due to the arbitrary weighting system I established, the winner by a country mile was George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.  Gershwin’s 1935 masterpiece garnered more first place rankings than any other opera in our informal poll, prompting D Magazine’s Wayne Lee Gay to write, “It’s the great American story—the departure from our old, simple communities to the world of commerce and urbanization—with all the good and bad of our national character, set to a score any composer should envy and emulate.  Gershwin’s limitless musical imagination and boundless inventiveness, as well as his ability to absorb influences and make them his own, is always astounding.  On top of that, every moment is just plain beautiful and engaging.”

Scott Cantrell, Classical Music Critic for The Dallas Morning News essentially agreed: “The attempt at black dialect may make us a bit uncomfortable, but it remains a powerful story—and an all-too-persistent one of an underclass victimized by substance abuse.  And nobody ever composed greater tunes.  Even Gershwin’s sense of timing and proportion is first-rate—right up there with Puccini’s.  If my hand were held to the fire, I’d say this is THE great American opera.”

David Shengold, who regularly covers opera for a variety of publications from Opernwelt to Opera News, created his own mathematical equation to express his admiration for the piece: “Mussorgsky + African-American jazz artistry + Jerome Kern = Gershwin’s genius opera, surely the most generative of great melodies of any American opera.”

Coming in at number two in our poll was Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah about which Katherine Baltrush, the managing editor of Opera America magazine wrote: “In this work, Floyd explores the struggle between religion and desire.  When the Puritans began to colonize this part of the world, they often wrote of having found a Garden of Eden where Man might begin his relationship with God and himself anew.  When we meet Susannah, her innocence and blissful ignorance allow her to occupy her own small paradise…this story of a community’s fear and subsequent warping of religion in Appalachia resonates strongly.  Supported by Floyd’s lush scoring and lyrical vocal writing, the loss of yet another Eden becomes about individual struggles as well as those of a religion.”

Number three was Samuel Barber’s Vanessa.  “It showed Europe that American composers could beat them at their own game,” wrote Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones, “and its Pulitzer Prize was well-deserved.”  David Shengold admitted there’s “nothing ‘American’ about its subject matter, but it’s wonderfully orchestrated and scored for the voice (and) creates characters who live on in your mind.”

The poll respondents voted Douglas Moore’s 1956 opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe, into fourth place.  One critic wrote: “Ballad of Baby Doe, Susannah and A View from the Bridge—Each has a quintessential Americanness, which is to say that the ‘operatic’ qualities of these works are relatively low-key.  And I think that’s a hallmark of American opera.”

Coming in at number five was the work that had its 2010 world premiere right here in Dallas: Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick which, wrote William H. Burnett of Opera Warhorses, “points the way to the future of opera: 1) an infusion of melody, so beautifully constructed that it might be themes from the great franchise movie scores, and 2) an intelligent, focused libretto….Jake Heggie may be the one who writes the great American operas (and the first additions to the core operatic repertory in over 85 years).”

After that, it’s a free-for-all, with critical votes cast for Adams’ Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic; Virgil Thomson’s suffragette opera, The Mother of Us All; John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles; Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass; William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge with a libretto by the late, great Arthur Miller; Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree which struck a chord with critic Maria Nockin for “an aria that speaks to me directly.  It has to do with an unmarried female renting rooms and what the landlord thinks is his to trifle with,” Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land.

A bit further off the beaten path were selections that included Daniel Catan’s Florencia en al Amazonas (“It blew me away when Houston did it,” wrote Scott Cantrell, “another powerful story, with bits of fantasy, bathed in gorgeous music.  I keep hoping either Dallas or FW Opera will revive it!”); the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night by Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell (“I was completely transfixed at its world premiere,” wrote New York-based critic Olivia Giovetti [Gramophone, Classical Singer].  “It’s big, bold, comprised of four languages and manifold musical styles, and in that way epitomizes the melting pot of American music,” adding, “its viewpoints on war, I find, come from a distinctly American perspective…and the music is just a wonder.”); and Jule Styne’s Gypsy: A Musical Fable about stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.  Critic Wayne Lee Gay found himself “falling more deeply in love with the story and music….It’s not Puccini, but Rose’s final aria exploits traditional harmony and the capabilities and potential of the human voice to express an emotional state right up there with the best of ‘em.”

Critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs—like several of his peers—agonized over his final choice: “I am in a quandary.  I would like to pick something on an American theme, such as Copland’s Tender Land or Moore’s Ballad of Baby Doe or an opera that requires a big Strauss-sized production like Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles.  However, I have long been a champion of (Lee) Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke (I recommend it to every opera company director I meet) and must go with that opera again this time.  Besides,” Isaacs adds, “it tosses in two of America’s greatest writers, with a play by Tennessee Williams and a libretto by Lanford Wilson.”

So, how would you go about defining “American opera”?  And if we ran them up a flagpole—which three would you salute?

UPDATE: You can declare and defend your personal favorites online at theaterjones.com, as well.

-Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Professional Chameleons

by Suzanne Calvin

I’m trying to make the mental leap from Papageno to Henry Kissinger and finding it downright difficult. However, it appears that baritone Patrick Carfizzi (our scene-stealing Papageno in “The Magic Flute”) has now inhabited the character of the former Secretary of State for San Francisco Opera’s new production of John Adams’ “Nixon in China” and earning critical plaudits. Here’s the “Wall Street Journal” review by David Littlejohn, which also covers SFO’s “The Magic Flute” (with Kristinn Sigmundsson -- who made an incredible impression as King Marke in our “Tristan” singing the role of Sarastro) and Verdi’s “Attila.”

(Photo by Corey Weaver, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

August at the Dallas Opera

by Suzanne Calvin

 

By August, even those who love the summer heat are getting a bit weary.  We understand and have put together a series of casual, don’t even think about dressing up, indoor events designed to perk you up and get your blood pumping in anticipation of the upcoming “Pursuits of Passion” Season.  Details in the release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Contact: Suzanne Calvin (214.443.1014/suzanne.calvin@dallasopera.org)
Or Megan Meister (214.443.1071/megan.meister@dallasopera.org)

TDO’S CASUAL SUMMER EVENTS SERIES
“BARITONES & BEACHBALLS” PRESENTED BY
THE FRIENDS OF THE DALLAS OPERA

AUGUST INSPIRES
(MOSTLY) INDOOR FUN
AT THE DALLAS OPERA!
~~~~

DALLAS, JUNE 28, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is offering you a break from the relentless summer heat through TDO’s BARITONES & BEACHBALLS program, brought to you by The Friends of the Dallas Opera. All B & B events are either no-cost or low-cost, and the mostly indoor casual events series includes timely discussions designed to heighten your enjoyment and understanding of our upcoming 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season, presented for the second consecutive year by Texas Instruments Foundation.
During the month of August, we will focus our attention on the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Opera world premiere of Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS. The month will kick off with an edge-of-your-seat discussion, in partnership with WRR 101.1 FM and featuring the popular Dr. Stephen Dubberly, head of the University of North Texas Opera Program, and TDO’s General Director & CEO Keith Cerny hosted by WRR 101.1 FM’s Kurt Rongey. The conversation will take place on Tuesday, August 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the Nancy B. Hamon Hall of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center; it’s free, and the public is encouraged to attend.
Other highlights for the month of August include a “Wine Wednesday” in partnership with Komali Contemporary Mexican Cuisine and “Cooking@theOpera” at Central Market Plano where Executive Chef Abraham Salum of Komali Contemporary Mexican Cuisine and Salum will take us on a culinary journey inspired by Argento’s gripping and darkly atmospheric opera, THE ASPERN PAPERS, set in Lake Como, Italy.
Most of these events are free (as in “absolutely, positively free!”). However, tastings require a nominal fee to cover our costs. View more details in the calendar below or visit us, 24/7, at dallasopera.org/summer.
Please note that RSVPs are recommended for all events. Go to dallasopera.org/rsvp or call the RSVP hotline at 214.443.1000 to reserve your seat now.

2012 Calendar of Events
“Baritones & Beachballs”
The Dallas Opera’s Summer Events Series
Brought to you by Friends of the Dallas Opera

1.) Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Lecture Series in partnership with WRR 101.1 FM. “THE ASPERN PAPERS.”
Join the Dallas Opera’s General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Artistic Director Jonathan Pell and Dr. Stephen Dubberly for a lively, in-depth discussion of THE ASPERN PAPERS and the music of Dominick Argento. Get a better understanding of this riveting American Opera as we approach the 25th Anniversary of its Dallas Opera world premiere.
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Cost: FREE. RSVPs recommended, 214.443.1000.

2.) Saturday, August 11, 2012
“Inside the Dallas Opera” is our monthly program that takes you, the listener, backstage and behind-the-scenes for a look at timely issues and upcoming productions, hosted by Suzanne Calvin. This month, explore our final opera of the “Pursuits of Passion” Season: Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS, getting an all-new production next season!
Time: TBD
Location: WRR 101.1 FM

3.) Monday, August 13, 2012
The movie “The Aspern Papers” released in 2010 is a modern adaptation of the gripping novella by Henry James. Be transported into the secretive world and the compelling personalities that captured the imagination of composer Dominick Argento and inspired his 1988 opera, THE ASPERN PAPERS. Screening in partnership with Dallas Film Society:
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Studio Movie Grill (Royal Ln. Location)
11170 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75243
Cost: FREE. RSVPs required seating is limited, 214.443.1000.

4.) Tuesday, August 14, 2012
“Cheesy Opera Happy Hour” in partnership with Scardello Artisan Cheese: Savor fine wine and nosh on superb cheese selections hand-picked by Cheese Monger and owner Rich Rogers to pair with Dominick Argento’s opera, THE ASPERN PAPERS.
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Scardello Artisan Cheese Shop
3511 Oak Lawn
Dallas, TX 75219
Cost: $15. Reservations recommended, tasting is limited to 40 people, 214.443.1000.

5.) Wednesday, August 15, 2012
“Wine Wednesday” in partnership with Komali: “THE ASPERN PAPERS-Themed Wine Tasting.” Join us on the patio -- weather permitting -- for a casual glass or two. Chef/Owner Abraham Salum will hand-pick wines using Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS as his inspiration. Sip, swirl, Savor! Small bites will be provided to complement the wines.
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Komali Contemporary Mexican Cuisine
4152 Cole Ave, Suite 106
Dallas, TX 75204
Cost: $20 per person. Reservations recommended, tasting is limited, 214.443.1000.

6.) Friday, August 17, 2012
“’Til Midnight at the Nasher” Nasher Sculpture Center: Dominick Argento’s 1988 opera THE ASPERN PAPERS. Join TDO for a lively lecture by Dr. Stephen Dubberly and a performance of excerpts from THE ASPERN PAPERS, followed by a special tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center. A rare cultural opportunity at an unbeatable price! Museum open until midnight.
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Cost: FREE

7.) Tuesday, August 19, 2012
“Brownbags@theopera” Join us in Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for a free noontime recital featuring a rising star of the opera world in a variety of musical selections. Bring lunch or purchase from one of the many food trucks, tables and chairs provided.
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Sammons Park
2403 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Cost: Free

8.) Thursday, August 23, 2012
“Cooking@theOpera” Join the Dallas Opera at Central Market Plano for an interactive cooking demonstration based on the 20th century American opera, THE ASPERN PAPERS. Get a sense of the food that creates the cultural backdrop for this Argento masterpiece and enjoy delectable creations by a very special guest: Executive Chef Abraham Salum of Salum & Komali Contemporary Mexican Cuisine.
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Central Market Plano
320 Coit Rd.
Plano, TX 75075
Featured Chef: Abraham Salum
Cost: $25. RSVPs Advanced Purchase Required, 214.443.1000.

EVENTS AND GUESTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
~~~~

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

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

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

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

AMERICAN AIRLINES – OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
LEXUS – OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THE DALLAS OPERA
CARTIER – OFFICIAL JEWELER & WATCHMAKER OF THE DALLAS OPERA
ROSEWOOD CRESCENT HOTEL – OFFICIAL HOTEL OF THE DALLAS OPERA

Ticket Information for the 2012-2013 Dallas Opera Season

All performances are in the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Subscriptions start at just $75 and are on sale now. For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

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

AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi
October 26, 28(m), 31, November 3, 9, 11(m), 2012
Verdi’s Complex and Intimate Love Story Set in Spectacular Ancient Egypt!
An opera in four acts first performed at Khedivial Opera House, Cairo on December 24, 1871.
Text by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette.
Time: Old Kingdom
Place: Egypt
Conductor: Graeme Jenkins
Stage Director: John Copley
Costume Design: Peter J. Hall
Wig & make-up Design: David Zimmerman
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Latonia Moore (Aida), Antonello Palombi (Radames), Nadia Krasteva* (Amneris), Lester Lynch (Amonasro), Orlin Anastassov* (Ramfis), Ben Wager (The King of Egypt), Jonathan Yarrington* (Messenger), and NaGuanda Nobles* (Priestess).

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

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

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut

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The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera. Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera. Cartier is the official jeweler and watchmaker of The Dallas Opera. Rosewood Crescent Hotel is the official hotel of The Dallas Opera. Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News. The T. Boone Pickens YMCA, Smartwater and Stephen Pyles Restaurant--supporting partners. A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

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Lean, Green, Cycling Machine

by Suzanne Calvin

 

Meet the new generation of opera divas -- making big inroads for the arts with a teensy, tiny carbon footprint, Canadian style! They’re taking the art form on the road to battle outdated stereotypes and convert skeptical naysayers.

Read on in this politically correct report from canada.com and please note my favorite bit: “Brun Hilda.”

Is that a first and middle name, like Mary Anne? Or a first and last name?

That’s rather snarky of me. I blame the heat myself.  They’re outside bicycling, without so much as breaking a sweat.  I’m watching eggs fry on our balcony before they get laid.

(Photo courtesy of Alice Irene and Teiya Kasahara for canada.com)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

The SSNT Casts a Spell of Its Own

by Suzanne Calvin

It’s definitely the little newspaper “that could,” and I mean that in the nicest possible way. The “Sulphur Springs News-Telegram” and its intrepid, award-winning arts editor Terry Mathews continue to defy the odds with detailed, in-depth interviews and articles that have kept the spotlight on the Dallas Opera all season long -- and beyond! Or so it seems with this excellent three part, post-season series entitled, “Making Magic.”

Part One deals with the background of the key characters in this story. Read it all here.

Part Two recaps the amazing Dallas Opera season just ended -- including the Cowboys Stadium Simulcast.  Get it here.

And Part Three looks ahead to the upcoming “Pursuits of Passion” Season…we’ll update shortly to include.

Read the first two parts and thank your lucky stars that small town journalism is alive and well, and holding it’s head high -- with good reason -- in places like Sulphur Springs, Texas.

UPDATE: Part Three in the series, right here.

(Photo of Michael Heaston and composer Jake Heggie by Karen Almond)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

B-I-G, Big Berlioz

by Suzanne Calvin

For the first time in forty years, Berlioz’ grand five-and-a-half hour masterpiece, LES TROYENS, is trodding the boards in a complete staging at London’s Royal Opera House.  Critic Andrew Clements at “The Guardian” gave the new David McVicar production four out of five stars in this review.  Perhaps he knocked off a star for the questionable use of a flying saucer…perhaps not.  Details on that in this Associated Press article in the “Washington Post.”

Question: How much is too much?  Would you welcome a five-and-a-half-hour world-class production at the Winspear Opera House -- or would you rather wait for the DVD, with or without extraterrestrial beings, to be enjoyed at leisure in your den?  Just curious… 

(Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

by Megan Meister

A shot of the interior of Berlin’s Komische Oper with a sold out house for Handel’s XERXES

I am heading for the airport in a few minutes for my flight back to Dallas, but I wanted to report on yesterday while it was still fresh in my mind.

Yesterday afternoon I met with a colleague I hadn’t seen in several years who is a casting consultant for several opera houses in Europe, including Munich and Glyndebourne.  It was great to catch up and compare notes on singers and productions each of us had seen and share “war” stories.

I then spent some time with soprano Katie Bolding, the former Dallas Opera chorister who moved to Berlin last year to pursue a singing career.

She sang the role of Countess Ceprano in RIGOLETTO in her solo debut with TDO in 2011, and has now been engaged as a principal singer at the opera house in Gera, near Leipzig, starting in the fall.  She is off to China next week for some big gala concert, so things seem to be going very well for her.  I am very proud of her and admire her resourcefulness in launching her European career.

Last night I attended a performance of a new production of Handel’s XERXES at the Komische Oper.  It just opened last week to rave reviews, and contrary to the performance of IDOMENEO I had attended the night before, it was completely sold out.

The production was staged by Norwegian Stefan Herheim, who is now one of Europe’s most important directors.

It was dazzling!

The set, by Heike Scheele, was an enormous turntable that when spun around showed both backstage and onstage of an eighteenth century theatre.  This allowed the audience to see all sorts of theatrical machinery of the period utilized in imaginative ways, as well as all sorts of backstage shenanigans.

There was, of course, some overt sexuality that would make American audiences uncomfortable, including a graphic scene with a randy sheep, which was played for laughs, and a gang rape of one of the sopranos, that most certainly was not.

The singing ranged from acceptable to outstanding, but the most arresting timbre was the dark chocolate tones coming from the mezzo playing the supporting role of “Amastris”— Katarina Bradic.

The plot of XERXES is very convoluted, with everyone in love with the “wrong” person.  The two sisters “Romilda” and “Atalanta” were dressed identically, as were most of the men (mostly sung by mezzos in “travesty”) which didn’t help clarify who was who.

It took a while to figure it all out, but I think that this confusion was part of what Mr. Herheim intended.

I didn’t quite “get” why the chorus all came on at the end in their street clothes, though.  I have seen this in a number of European productions, and it must MEAN something.

I just keep thinking that it is done so the chorus can get out of their make-up and costumes and go home earlier.  I would hate to think that this is done so the theatre doesn’t have to pay an increment of overtime, but that surely can’t be the reason!

The sets and the rest of the costumes must have cost a fortune, though.

This opera house is almost completely subsidized by the government, so I suppose I shouldn’t worry…

It was a lovely way to spend my last night in Berlin, but now I am eager to get home.

Jonathan Pell, Artistic Director, Berlin Part IV

by Megan Meister

End of Act I of Mozart’s IDOMENEO at Berlin’s Komische Oper

Last night was a performance of Mozart’s IDOMENEO at Berlin’s Komische Oper.  It was sad to see so few people in the audience—I would guess that there were only around 250 people in attendance.

It was a stark, modern production with a unit set consisting of a steep curved rake of black planks with a small irregularly shaped pool of water in the center.  At the end of the opera, somewhat predictably, the character of “Elettra” drowned herself in this shallow pond.

The chorus, in street clothes, stormed on and off carrying metal chairs that were strewn around the stage from time to time while other choristers crawled around the set throughout the evening.

Veteran tenor Rainer Trost sang very well in a touching performance of the title role.   In this production, “Idomeneo” is a doddering, broken old man, clutching a model sail boat and muttering to himself all night long.  The rest of the cast was solid, with a standout performance by mezzo-soprano Susanne Kreusch as “Idamante.”

As odd as this production might sound, it was very effective and really told the story clearly and affectingly.

 

Curtain call from a production of IDOMENEO at Berlin’s Komische Oper