Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Santa Fe Opera Part II

by tdoadmin

The interior of the Santa Fe Opera House just before a performance of Bizet’s THE PEARL FISHERS.

Last night didn’t start off too well.

I had met one of my artist manager colleagues for an early dinner before the opera (his client, Eric Cutler was the tenor in the performance of PEARL FISHERS we were both going to hear) and after we had finished eating and said “See you later” we headed to our separate cars.

When I got into mine, it wouldn’t start.

I tried again, and once again heard this whirring sound but the engine wouldn’t “turn over.”

With visions of missing a performance for the first time in my life, I jumped out of the car and flagged my friend down before he drove off.  He kindly waited while I tried my car one more time, and then I simply gave up and abandoned the car in the restaurant parking lot and hitched a ride with my colleague!

I decided I would wait and worry about how I would get home until after the performance.

Was I glad I did!

The performance of PEARL FISHERS was surprisingly enjoyable.

I say “surprisingly” because it is not one of my favorite operas, in spite of some extraordinarily beautiful music.  If Bizet had written nothing else in his life but the first act tenor/baritone duet he would still be famous today.  There are other wonderful pages in the score, but it is saddled with a clunky, static libretto in which nothing much happens and there are three “cardboard” protagonists in a shallow love triangle that isn’t compelling in the least.

To his credit, British stage director Lee Blakely (who very early in his career assisted David McVicar in the staging of a memorable MANON in Dallas) found motivation for a lot of the action that isn’t really in the libretto.  Some of it may not have made logical sense, but somehow it all made theatrical sense.

The set was a “stage within a stage” surrounded by an enormous gilded picture frame which allowed the audience to observe the nineteenth century clichés from a twenty-first century perspective, and when in the height of the “action” (and I use that term loosely) it fell forward a bit, it created a momentary theatrical coup that may have been obvious and predictable, but was very effective nonetheless.

The singers all had their strengths and weaknesses (for which I both commend and blame the composer) but there were several really exquisite moments. Eric Cutler’s offstage serenade accompanied only by a harp) and Nicole Cabell’s beautifully nuanced singing of the other “hit tune” in the opera, Leila’s aria “Comme autre fois” were among the evening’s highlights.

One of the technical problems with the vocal writing is that Bizet makes demands on his singers that require contrasting vocal attributes, and so it is virtually impossible to find anyone who can encompass all the extremes each role requires.

The real star of the show however was French conductor Emmanuel Villaume, who conducted every note of the score as if it were a work of genius.

He inspired the orchestra and chorus (who have a lot to sing in this opera) as well as the four soloists to perform with style and great subtlety, which made this flawed rarity, seem a much better opera than it really is.

I don’t want any of you to feel that I have said all this because I simply don’t like French opera.  On the contrary, I really love a lot of this repertoire and corner me sometime and I’ll be happy to share with you a list of some of my favorites.

In case any of you were worried, I did get home safe and sound last night after the performance (although quite a bit later than I would have liked, being, as it were, at the mercy of my “chauffeur”) and now I have to figure out how to get back to the restaurant parking lot and have the car rental company trade out my car.

Maybe it is because I am superstitious, (most theater people are) but I should point out that yesterday WAS the 13th…

Single Tickets for AIDA on Sale September 10th

by Suzanne Calvin

Subscriptions to the upcoming season start for as little as $75 and single tickets this year will go for as little as $19. However, they won’t be available all at the same time. Singles for performances of Verdi’s AIDA, as well as a host of $5 Family Performances and outstanding special recitals, concerts and events, go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, September 10th.

You can consult with the super-friendly ticket office staff at 214.443.1000 or do it yourself online at dallasopera.org. Buy an extra for someone you admire…and keep scrolling.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, August 13, 2012

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

THE DALLAS OPERA IS PLEASED TO OFFER
SINGLE TICKETS
FOR THE FIRST PRODUCTION
OF THE GLORIOUS, GLOBE-TROTTING
2012-2013 “PURSUITS OF PASSION” SEASON
Presented by Texas Instruments Foundation
~~~~
Season Subscriptions are on Sale Now! Starting at Just $75!
Single Tickets for Verdi’s AÏDA as low as $19!
On Sale Sept. 10, 2012

DALLAS, AUGUST 13, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is very pleased to announce that single tickets for the tremendously popular AÏDA – our 2012-2013 Season Opener – will become available on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:00 am.
Single tickets, starting at the new low price of $19, may be purchased at your convenience online, 24/7, at dallasopera.org or by contacting the friendly staff at the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000.
The Dallas Opera, that same day, will also begin offering single tickets for “TDO Presents Laura Claycomb in Recital at the DMA” in which Dallas’ brightest star returns home the afternoon of October 7, 2012 to delight patrons in the DMA’s Horchow Auditorium with a selection of personal favorites (Tickets $25). And Maestro Evan Rogister will head to Dallas after triumphing in the current Sante Fe Opera production of King Roger for a special February 2, 2013 Dallas Opera Orchestra concert (7:30 p.m. in the Winspear), starring Italian tenor “Marcello Giordani and Friends” (Tickets start at $25).
Single tickets will also become available on September 10th for all scheduled 2012-2013 TDO Family Performances at $5 apiece, including:
• TDO Family Concerts on Sunday, November 4th and Saturday, February 2, 2013 with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and guest performers directed by Maestros Christian Capocaccia (Nov.) and Anthony Barrese (Feb.). Free family friendly activities start at noon, the performance is at 2:00 p.m.
• Georges Bizet’s Doctor Miracle in two performances with full orchestra on Saturday, November 10th followed by two additional performances on Saturday, April 27, 2013 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. Performances at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Come early for pre-performance fun in the lobby!
• And a brand-new adventure: TDOpage2stage which consists of fun, free activities (starting at noon) and a free Kids Book Club presented in the Winspear lobby at 12:30 p.m. followed by a performance of John Davies’ Jack and the Beanstalk at 2:00 p.m. (Saturday, October 27th and Saturday, January 26, 2013) in artistic collaboration with Dallas Children’s Theater.

Season subscriptions for our mainstage productions begin at the low, low price of $75. The trio of mainstage productions for the 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season presented by Texas Instruments Foundation consists of:

• AÏDA by Giuseppe Verdi, with Latonia Moore in the title role
(Oct. 26 – The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance, October 28m, 31, Nov. 3, 9 & 11m, 2012)
• TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini, with Lise Lindstrom making her Dallas Opera debut in the title role
(April 5, 7m, 10, 13, 19 & 21, 2013)
• THE ASPERN PAPERS by Dominick Argento, with Susan Graham in her Dallas Opera debut as Tina. With additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Opera America.
(April 12, 14m, 17, 20 & 28m, 2012)

“During this ‘Pursuits of Passion’ Season,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, “we will build on the extraordinary success of last season’s unbroken string of artistic triumphs (from Lucia di Lammermoor to The Lighthouse to Tristan & Isolde) to the unparalleled community interest in the first simulcast ever conducted in Cowboys Stadium. The Dallas Opera had well over thirty thousand ticket requests and, ultimately, around 15,000 trekked to the home of the Dallas Cowboys to experience a magical night of Mozart with a multi-generational crowd that spanned all ages, income and educational levels, and ethnic groups.”
Added Mr. Cerny: “It was powerful testimony to grassroots interest in the performing arts in North Texas. For me, it was opera at its most inspiring. I’d like to see that momentum continue to build through our upcoming productions of Aida, Turandot and The Aspern Papers.”

Attention-grabbing Dallas Opera debuts this season include:

• Orlin Anastassov, the offspring of two opera singers, this accomplished Bulgarian bass has been dazzling audiences since the age of 19 (He made his La Scala and Covent Garden debuts before his mid-20s). After singing the role of the high priest, Ramfis, in Dallas he will reprise the role next year at La Scala. Opera Britannia took note of his “handsome and firm basso cantabile tone” and energetic stage presence.
• Sasha Cooke, an American mezzo-soprano who caused a sensation as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. The New Yorker praised her “luminous tone…verbal nuance…and flair for seduction.” She makes her TDO debut as Sonia, a young aspiring singer in Argento’s The Aspern Papers.
• Susan Graham, the “peerless American mezzo” (New York Observer) and one of the world’s most acclaimed singers will make her eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut as Tina in our new 25th anniversary production of The Aspern Papers. “Sounding and looking fabulous,” writes the Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco), “Graham sings with such surety, tonal allure, and technical panache as to make you wonder if she is the same singer who reigns supreme in slow, sensual French repertoire.”
• Joseph Kaiser, an American tenor who starred in the Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of The Magic Flute (2007), will make his TDO debut as the composer, Aspern, in The Aspern Papers. Joshua Kosman of The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “Here is a singer of unnerving ability, blessed with a muscular but flexible sound, plenty of tonal color and technical proficiency—not to mention a full helping of charismatic good looks.”
• Nadia Krasteva, a native of Sofia, Bulgaria, now on the artistic roster of Vienna State Opera and in demand from Moscow to Chicago, will make her TDO debut as Amneris in our season opener, Aïda. Operagoers can’t get enough of this “pure stage animal” (Opera Today) “sexy, beguiling, fiercely independent” (Splash) with “a warm rich mezzo” (ArkivMusic).
• Lise Lindstrom, an American soprano “who made a notable splash in the opera world (debuts at La Scala and the Met) with her portrayals of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot” (Opera Today) will bring the princess to life in her Dallas Opera debut. “The elegant Lise Lindstrom is an imposing presence as the title character and commands our attention…capable of delicate shadings and unmitigated power” (Kansas City Star).
• Christian Van Horn, an American who performs regularly in many of the world’s great venues, has been praised for his “sonorous, rock-solid bass baritone” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune) as well as his “beautiful dark timbre” (Le Temps). His portrayal of Timur in Turandot will mark his TDO debut.

Among the notable artists returning to the Dallas Opera stage this year are:

• Alexandra Deshorties, a Canadian-born French soprano who made her TDO debut as Desdemona in the opera that opened the Winspear Opera House in October of 2009: Verdi’s Otello. Now she returns as Juliana Bordereau—a secretive opera singer—in the 25th anniversary production of The Aspern Papers. A phenomenal actress, during Ms. Deshorties’ “riveting…fearless” performances as Medea at last year’s Glimmerglass Festival, “she had the audience hanging on every word” (CNY Café Momus).
• Nathan Gunn, considered one of the most exciting baritones onstage today, has charmed TDO audiences as Malatesta and Guglielmo but returns in the much darker role of The Lodger in Argento’s The Aspern Papers. Most recently he triumphed in the Met’s revival of Billy Budd, earning Anthony Tommasini’s praise for his “robust, penetrating and warm (sound; Nathan Gunn is) a born actor, he sings as if speaking the words.”
• Hei-Kyung Hong, a Korean-American lyric soprano who has enchanted audiences in sympathetic roles, including Lìu in Turandot, brings her “fresh and radiant (singing) distinguished by beautiful phrasing and refined pianissimos” (The New York Times) to our upcoming production of Puccini’s final masterpiece.
• Lester Lynch, an African-American artist with a commanding stage presence and a “resounding baritone with…deep, resonant overtones and a hearty vibrato that bounces around the corners of a theater like a ball in a pinball machine” (musicalcriticism.com), makes a welcome return to TDO as the Ethiopian King, Amonasro, in our season opening production, Aïda.
• Latonia Moore, a Houston-born African-American soprano who recently triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera in her debut in the title role of Aïda, returns to Dallas in the same role this fall. She sang a memorable Micaela in our 2004 Carmen and won that season’s Maria Callas Award as the “debut artist of the year.” Of her Covent Garden debut, Hugh Canning wrote: “Moore’s creamy, lyric soprano could take her to the top of her profession.”
• Antonello Palombi, an Italian tenor who made an indelible impression as Canio in the Dallas Opera’s acclaimed 2005 production of Pagliacci, returns in two leading roles this season: Radames in Aïda and next spring as Calaf in Turandot. Several seasons ago, he was the talk of the opera world after stepping into the role of Radames in mid-performance at La Scala when Roberto Alagna walked-off. Frankfurter Neue Presse calls his tenor “firm (and) breathtaking.”
• Dean Peterson is a multifaceted American bass-baritone who will appear this season as Fafner in Siegfried at La Scala but will also portray the womanizing impresario, Barelli, in TDO’s The Aspern Papers. Possessing a voice and stage persona of “splendid gravity” (BravaDiva.com), Peterson’s chameleon-like ability to inhabit a wide variety of roles has fueled demand for his talents in opera houses around the world.

~~~~

The benefits of becoming a Dallas Opera subscriber are even more attractive this season. In addition to priority seating, lost ticket replacement, invitations to special events and a no-interest installment payment plan, the company is adding these great incentives for the 2012-2013 Season:

• The first 800 subscribers will receive FREE seats to Cabaret@TDO, this season featuring the incredibly appealing American baritone, Rod Gilfry (Billy Budd, South Pacific). This one-night-only performance will be held in the acoustically acclaimed Winspear Opera House on November 8, 2012. SOLD OUT!
• Subscribers are eligible for a 20% discount on all additional single tickets purchased.
• A free Family four-pack to attend any of our TDO Family Series performances in the Winspear Opera House.
• TDO’s Bring-a-Friend Program allows season ticket holders to bring a friend for free to select TDO performances. Quantities are limited for each performance.
• And last, but not least, priority access to TDO’s educational and social events for one entire year. These include the General Director’s Roundtables; the TDO Experience Series; “Baritones and Beachballs” summer discussions, movie screenings and more; and TDO’s Composing Conversations with the most fascinating creative minds at work in opera today.

ABOUT AÏDA:

The pursuit of passion leads to sharply divided loyalties in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, where Aïda, an Ethiopian princess carried off by conquering Egyptians, struggles to reconcile love of country with her burning desire for the heroic captain, Radames. Complicating matters, the Egyptian princess Amneris carries a fiery torch for the same military commander, whose love for the foreign “slave girl” could cost him his honor—as well as his life!
Featuring an international ensemble cast led by acclaimed soprano Latonia Moore (an overnight star at New York’s Metropolitan Opera after making her 2012 debut in this title role) and tenor Antonello Palombi (Pagliacci) in their eagerly awaited return to the Dallas Opera stage. Verdi’s grand, glorious, and enormously entertaining drama proves that a pyramid may be the greatest love triangle of all!

At the head of a sensational cast, American soprano Latonia Moore as Aïda, Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva in her Dallas Opera debut as Amneris, Italian tenor Antonello Palombi as Radames, American baritone Lester Lynch as Amonasro, and Bulgarian bass Orlin Anastassov in his TDO debut as Ramfis.

Conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Graeme Jenkins and staged by renowned director Garnett Bruce. Sung in Italian with English language supertitles on October 26 (The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Performance), 28m, 31, Nov. 3, 9 & 11m, 2012.
Rating: Family friendly with intense moments. Appropriate for children old enough to read supertitles.

Single tickets for the 2012-2013 Season are subject to dynamic pricing (the earlier they are purchased and the less-in-demand, the lower the price). Subscriptions are on sale now, starting at just $75 to $1,015. Inner Circle seating may be priced higher.

EVENTS AND GUESTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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

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. Single tickets go on sale September 10, 2012, starting at just $19. For more information, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online at www.dallasopera.org.

THE DALLAS OPERA 2012-2013 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 – The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance
October 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 (Aïda), 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 Montenegro* (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
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
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

______________________________________________________________________________________
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. A special thanks to Mrs. William W. Winspear and the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for their continuing support.

###

Santa Fe Train of Thought

by Suzanne Calvin

It isn’t quite like any other summer opera festival. And that is, no doubt, why it continues to draw devoted opera-philes from all parts of the U.S. (and beyond) to a serene spot in Northern New Mexico far from the overheated urban corridors. In addition to offering night after night of great opera, does Santa Fe also have great lessons to share?  Ideas that can be successfully applied elsewhere? 

Explore that question in the latest edition of Keith Cerny’s “Off the Cuff” for “Theater Jones.”

(Image from postersofsantafe.com)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR
The Dallas Opera

…To Create a Giant Community Footprint

by Suzanne Calvin

“How to Win Friends and Influence Opera Goers: the Next Generation edition” That’s what’s at stake when we talk about the never-more-urgent need for opera and the performing arts to create a strong and indelible community footprint. The task can be approached in a variety of ways from a number of different angles. But one thing is crucial: you have to have a plan. Here at the Dallas Opera, the “man with the plan” is General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, as revealed in part two and three of Marilee Vergati’s series on the Dallas Opera’s Leadership path--producing great entertainment while connecting us with the greater North Texas community through efforts like our enormously popular “campTDO,” a kind of opera boot camp for kids.  But for fun…No, really.  No one has to drop and give me twenty.

You can catch the first part of Ms. Vergati’s outstanding series for Dallas Dance Examiner right here

(Photo of campTDO kids and cast members from “Jack and the Beanstalk” courtesy of Luke McKenzie, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Santa Fe Opera Part 1

by tdoadmin

I am convinced that Santa Fe must be a suburb of Dallas (or maybe it is the other way around?) but it seems as if I have run into half of the people I know since I got here two days ago!

Last night was the first of two Apprentice Concerts that showcase the aspiring young singers who come here every summer to sing small roles, cover major roles and sing in the chorus.  These young artists are usually the cream of the crop of singers taken from conservatories and young artist programs all across the country, and if last night was any barometer about the future of opera, we are in safe hands.

This was by far the best group I can remember hearing here— one wonderful young singer after another.

David Holloway, who in his performing days was a great favorite at The Dallas Opera, oversees the program and has skillfully selected scenes that showcase these singers to their best advantage.  There were some singers, naturally, who stood out even among this remarkable collection of talent, perhaps most notably a mezzo-soprano currently studying at Philadelphia’s prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts, who sang a stunning “Princess Eboli” in the “Garden Scene” trio from Verdi’s DON CARLO.  Her name is Cynthia Cook, and I expect we will be hearing a lot more about her soon.

The program seemed to feature a lot of this summer’s tenors, and one of them stood out for me, Joshua Dennis, who happens to be from McKinney, Texas.  He was “Ruggero” in the second act quartet from Puccini’s LA RONDINE, and he not only sang beautifully, but he also waltzed quite well.

There were two scenes that featured soprano Devon Guthrie (one from Monteverdi’s POPPEA and an extended excerpt from Frederic Chaslain’s new opera based on WUTHERING HEIGHTS) and she was exceptionally lovely.

Baritone Christian Bowers was also in two contrasting scenes (from Menotti’s THE CONSUL and the previously mentioned DON CARLO “Garden” trio) and he also made a very strong impression.

I could go on and on, and mention several more singers, including bass Erik Anstine, but this will have to do for now.

If next week’s “scenes” are as good as the ones I heard last night, then it will have truly been an exceptional year for this program.

Tonight I attend the first of five productions I will hear—Bizet’s THE PEARL FISHERS.

Putting His Foot Down

by Suzanne Calvin

…On the path to inspired (and inspiring) leadership.

Dallas arts writer and reviewer Marilee Vergati takes a closer look at Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny’s multifaceted vision for the company and the success of his ongoing mission in Dallas.  In the current economy, it’s not all coming up roses; but Keith appears to be a man capable of making the tough choices and getting things done.  More details in Miss Vergati’s assessment right here.

(Photo of Mr. Cerny courtesy of Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Calling Miss Deshorties!

by Suzanne Calvin

 

Kind words from Crew at COMMANDOpera on our recent casting of French soprano Alexandra Deshorties as the aging and reclusive former opera singer in THE ASPERN PAPERS, getting a new production early next year.  The event will mark the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Opera world premiere of Dominick Argento’s opera. Miss Deshorties is stepping in for Carol Vaness, who is recovering from recent surgery. Here’s the story.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Cast Change Announced

by Suzanne Calvin

A change in the cast for the Dallas Opera’s new production of Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS. See below…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, July 27, 2012

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

THE DALLAS OPERA ANNOUNCES
A CAST CHANGE IN THE UPCOMING PRODUCTION OF THE ASPERN PAPERS
ALEXANDRA DESHORTIES
WILL PORTRAY JULIANA BORDEREAU
IN THE OPERA BASED ON HENRY JAMES’ PASSIONATE AND ATMOSPHERIC NOVELLA
~~~~
April 12, 14(m), 17, 20 & 28, 2013
THE MARGOT AND BILL WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE
AT THE AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
~~~~
“Pursuits of Passion” Season Presented by
Texas Instruments Foundation
~~~~
Season Subscriptions are on Sale Now! Starting at Just $75!
Single Tickets for Verdi’s AÏDA go on Sale Sept. 10, 2012

DALLAS, JULY 27, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is announcing today that the key role of Juliana Bordereau in the company’s 25th Anniversary production of Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS will be sung by Canadian-born French soprano Alexandra Deshorties. Ms. Deshorties made her Dallas Opera debut in October of 2009 as Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, in the production that opened the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Critic Anthony Tommasini, reviewing for The New York Times, noted “There were lovely elements to her affecting performance. She conveyed both Desdemona’s boldness and her vulnerability.”
Raised and educated in Marseilles, France (prior to studies at the Manhattan School of Music), the singer scored a major triumph during last summer’s Glimmerglass Opera Festival in the title role of the rarely performed Cherubini masterpiece, Medea. William Burnett of “Opera Warhorses” wrote: “…granting they are different artists in many respects, I found that Deshorties approached the role, both through its phrasing and vocal dynamics and in its incisive acting, in a way that I can imagine (Maria) Callas in 1957 having done it onstage.”

“Alexandra is an artist of singular intelligence and beauty,” explains Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell. “However, despite an appearance so glamorous that she’s been the subject of a fashion magazine spread, this soprano is utterly fearless and without vanity in pursuit of the truth of the characters she portrays. I know that our audiences will find her charismatic and compelling onstage, and she will interact brilliantly with her internationally renowned co-stars, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, and Joseph Kaiser.

The pivotal role of the long-retired opera singer in James’ evocative tale had originally been planned for soprano Carol Vaness. However, Miss Vaness was reluctantly forced to withdraw from the new production (commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Dallas Opera 1988 world premiere of Argento’s work—as well as the 125 Anniversary of the publication of Henry James’ novella in book form) on the advice of her doctor. She is currently recovering from abdominal surgery.
Argento’s opera, about a writer obsessed with uncovering a long-lost opera score and willing to do nearly anything to obtain it, will close the Dallas Opera’s 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season in the Winspear Opera House, April 12, 14(m), 17, 20 & 28, 2013. Subscriptions are on sale now, starting at $75. Single tickets for the spring season productions will go on sale later this year.

ALEXANDRA DESHORTIES BIO:

Alexandra Deshorties continues to distinguish herself as one of the leading young sopranos of her generation. Ms. Deshorties’ engagements include her role and house debut as Desdemona in Otello at the Dallas Opera in 2009, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Palm Beach Opera and her recital debut at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. She also made debuts in Valencia as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and at the Bard Festival as Valentine in Les Huguenots. Recent highlights include a return to the Metropolitan Opera House for Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the title-role Medea for Glimmerglass Opera, and the Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro at the Peter Mattei Festival in Sweden.
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, she made her house debut as the High Priestess in Aïda, and has since appeared as Elletra in Idomeneo, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Donna Anna in a new production of Don Giovanni, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos (which was taped for television broadcast), and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, all of which were conducted by James Levine. She also appeared as Musetta in La bohème, and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Other past opera engagements have included Fiordiligi at the San Francisco Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Cincinnati Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the La Coruña Festival in Spain, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and in the Jonathan Miller production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Donna Anna at the Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival (in the Peter Brook production which was released on DVD in Europe), and the Gstaad Festival in Switzerland; Violetta in La traviata at the Arizona Opera, and Elletra at the Houston Grand Opera. She also made her role debut as Cleopatra in Guilio Cesare at the Seattle Opera, and sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and the Countess at the Portland Opera Repertory Theater.
On the concert platform she has appeared with the Munich Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (at the Hollywood Bowl), Seattle Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, and at the Salzburg Festival. Conductors with whom she has worked include David Atherton, Edward Gardner, Daniel Harding, Rene Jacobs, James Levine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Michael Stern and Patrick Summers. She has also performed selections from Berlioz’ Les Nuits d’été, Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes, and vocal music by Anton Webern with Maestro Levine and the Met Chamber Ensemble in Weill Recital Hall.
Ms. Deshorties studied at the Marseilles Conservatory, where she earned a gold medal/first prize for her performance in vocal juries. She continued her education at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1999, she was the 1st place winner of the Leonie Rysanek memorial prize from the George London Foundation Auditions.

Single tickets for the 2012-2013 Season are subject to dynamic pricing (the earlier they are purchased and the less-in-demand, the lower the price). Subscriptions start at just $75. Inner Circle seating may be priced higher.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JULY AT THE DALLAS OPERA”
IS CONVENIENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE, 24/7
VISIT WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG AND CHECK THE CALENDAR LISTINGS
OR DALLASOPERA.ORG/SUMMER

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. Single tickets go on sale September 10, 2012, starting at just $25. 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 (Aïda), 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 Montenegro* (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
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Assistant Director: Michael Mori
Starring: Susan Graham* (Tina), Alexandra Deshorties (Juliana Bordereau), Nathan Gunn (The Lodger), Joseph Kaiser* (Aspern), Dean Peterson (Barelli), Sasha Cooke* (Sonia), Eric Jordan* (A painter), Jennifer Youngs* (Olimpia).

* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut

______________________________________________________________________________________
The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; TACA; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera. Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera. Cartier is the official jeweler and watchmaker of The Dallas Opera. 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.

###

Blackburn and Heggie – Together Again

by Suzanne Calvin
Poet Mary Oliver by Josh Reynolds for “The Los Angeles Times,” taken near her home on Cape Cod.

I was delighted to see this story out of the Breckenridge Music Festival. While Brahms is certainly no “slouch,” I was particularly pleased to see that Helen Blackburn, principal flutist for the Dallas Opera Orchestra, is also performing composer Jake Heggie’s flute concerto, “Fury of Light,” based on the poem “Sunrise” by American poet Mary Oliver (see the photo above).

Catch the details of the concert right here.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR