Blockbusters, Opera-Style

by Suzanne Calvin

It’s the time of year when oceans of ink are devoted to the cinematic summer blockbusters du jour. However, there’s more than one “gateway” to attract eager paying audiences, as explored in the latest edition of “Off the Cuff” by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny--his ongoing “Theater Jones” series on opera, arts and culture.

Check it out here. (Photo by Karen Almond for the Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Megan Meister

Last night’s COSI was a pleasant surprise with some excellent singing.

I say it was a surprise because it started off with a frenetic (and noisy) staging of the overture, which usually sends a signal that I am in for a long, tedious night, but once the action began, the audience and I  enjoyed a relatively conventional, traditional period production.

The night belonged to the two sopranos.

Rachel Willis Sorensen, who has spent the last two years being “groomed” in the Houston Opera Studio, was an excellent “Fiordiligi” but Jennifer Aylmer, the “Despina” nearly stole the show.

Beautifully sung, charmingly characterized and with exemplary English diction, it begs the question as to why she’s not singing everywhere?

Ably abetted  by mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Center Young Artists Program, baritone Liam Bonner, another Houston Studio alum, and UNT graduate and Dallas Opera Guild winner tenor David Portillo, it was an extremely well matched quartet of lovers.

The production was nicely conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni and well paced by director Michael Shell.

It was a lovely way to end my visit to Saint Louis!

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Megan Meister

Yesterday afternoon was the first orchestra dress rehearsal for the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND, in a very imaginative and clever production by OTSL’s artistic director James Robinson.  Particularly considering the fact that this was the first time all the elements were coming together (orchestra, singers, sets and costumes) it went amazingly well and promises to be a big hit for the company.

Last night was a production of CARMEN done as a 1940s film noir, with all the sets and costumes in black and white (and various shades of grey.)  The standout performance was soprano Corinne Winters as “Micaela”, but this happens so often in this opera.  The poor mezzo playing the title role sings her heart out, and the soprano singing “Micaela” walks away with the show.   The last time Dallas Opera did CARMEN in 2004, Latonia Moore, who was making her TDO debut as “Micaela” won the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award that season.

By the way, just a reminder, but Latonia returns to Dallas to open our season in the fall in the title role of Verdi’s AIDA.

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Megan Meister

I have been coming to Saint Louis every summer for nearly thirty years to see the festival at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  I always enjoy coming here, but I have to confess the humidity can be almost unbearable.  Well not this year—the weather has been glorious!

Last night’s performance of Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD was terrific, with a cast headed up by Dallas Opera favorite Rod Gilfry, who was chilling in the title role.  Opposite him was Broadway star (and Tony winner) Karen Ziemba as Mrs. Lovett, whose mix of trained “legit” voice  and what is known as the “Broadway belt” style of singing was ideal. Susanne Mentzer was wonderful as the “Beggar Woman” and I couldn’t help but flash back to 1993, when she sang “Dorabella” in COSI FAN TUTTE opposite Rod Gilfry’s “Guglielmo” at The Dallas Opera.   That was Rod’s TDO debut, and was also the American debut of a young British conductor named Graeme Jenkins…

Also in the cast, making her OTSL debut was the radiant young soprano Deanna Breiwick, a recent Juilliard graduate, who I recently found out actually lives in my old New York apartment.  Not just the same building—the actual apartment!  How odd is that?

The performance was wonderfully conducted by OTSL’s music director Stephen Lord, who has a long history with The Dallas Opera, and conducted our production of LA RONDINE a few years ago.  I am off to meet with him this morning, so I will have to cut this short.

I will see the dress rehearsal of a new opera based on ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Unsuk Chin and David Henry Hwang this afternoon and then a performance of CARMEN tonight, and COSI tomorrow, so more later.

In Kepler’s Orbit

by Suzanne Calvin

One of the intersesting aspects of this summer’s Spoleto Festival USA in South Carolina is a new production of Philip Glass’s “Kepler” about the famed German mathematician and astronomer who discovered the laws of planetary motion that now bear his name. Heidi Waleson of “The Wall Street Journal” writes:

“Mr. Glass’s signature repetitive musical style deftly transforms itself to express these contradictions: There are aggressive, pounding assaults, full of brass and percussion; meditative reveries; and rich, ecstatic paeans that accompany both scientific breakthroughs and quasireligious contemplations of the natural world. Conductor John Kennedy built the dramatic shape of the score with assurance; John Hancock brought a resonant baritone and imposing presence to Kepler. Standouts among the scholar soloists were soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, who negotiated the high tessitura fearlessly, and Matt Boehler, whose opulent bass brought particular humanity to Kepler’s inner doubts. The fine Westminster Choir became a character itself.

“Like Kaye Voyce’s somber school uniforms and academic robes, Andrew Lieberman’s simple, handsome set implied the severity and loneliness of the life of the mind. There was a long library table with chairs, and rows of benches for the students. Upstage, an enormous screen, suggesting the vastness of the universe, dwarfed the people and served as a canvas for lighting designer Aaron Black’s play of colors. It could be bleak and empty, or suffused with saturated purples and reds; an eclipse became the ultimate ecstatic moment. On the stage, the brilliant, otherworldly glare of revelation contrasted with the warm, realistic library light in which the scholars bent over their notebooks and struggled with theories.”

You can access the rest of her review here.

(Image by Celestia/Chris Laurel)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

The Book is Now Closed

by Suzanne Calvin

I don’t know quite why I am grieving so. His world rarely intersected with ours although he exerted considerable influence on television, theater and film--as well as generations of American writers. Yet the reported death of science fiction’s “poet laureate” Ray Bradbury in Los Angeles last night at the age of 91 is worth noting for its singular lack of theatrics. Bradbury was always a meticulous craftsman and artist, seemingly more interested in his work than in being a celebrity, and his fantastic flights of imagination reshaped popular culture through seminal works like “The Martian Chronicles,” “Farenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “Dandelion Wine,” “R is for Rocket,” and many more.

I won’t miss him; he’s all around me. Bradbury is well-represented on my bookshelf and I’ve been drawn to his writings since my tweens; however, the world today seems a bit less magical with his passing--except for one thing: does anyone else find it tremendously appropriate that his death followed swiftly on the heels of the last transit of Venus for the next 105 years? 

A galactic salute, if you will.

UPDATE: There are times when my kids leave me speechless.  This is one of them.  From my daughter at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore:

“I loved reading your old yellow paperback copies of Bradbury when I was in high school.  Such beautiful stories, and it was wonderful knowing that I was loving the same things you loved when you were my age. 

 “Did you know that Paul and I met Mr. Bradbury once?  He was a life-long friend of Ray Harryhausen, which is how we got invited to share some time with him.  We went out to dinner with the two Rays and a group of guests at a convention, and I told Mr. Bradbury I wished he hadn’t killed Clarice in ‘Farenheit 451,’ and he laughed and said that he got letters from entire elementary school classes of kids who said the same thing.  He kissed my cheek and told me about how he loved to write a little bit every day and that he tried to draw from every part of his life in his stories, even parts he didn’t entirely remember.  He said that it wasn’t until years after he had written “Dandelion Wine” that he went to visit the town where he grew up and, in talking with a barber (I think) who used to know him and his family when he was very young, this man asked him if he remembered saving up dandelions in the summer to make wine.  And it wasn’t until that moment that he realized he had drawn on his very earliest, almost subconscious childhood memories in telling his stories.  He said he had thought those images had been a dream, but then he realized it was a memory, and he felt amazed and speechless. 

“Anyway, it was really clear just from our short conversations that he carried around a tremendous sense of wonder and love for life.  And he said the best advice he could give if I wanted to write was to write a little bit every day and be open to using all my life experiences to spark ideas.

 “I just wanted to share those little memories with you today — thank you so much for introducing me to his books, he was an amazing writer and seemed like a very kind and lovely person.”

 Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

JULY BLAZES AT THE DALLAS OPERA!

by Megan Meister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, June 4, 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

  JULY BLAZES AT

THE DALLAS OPERA!

~~~~

            DALLAS, JUNE 4, 2012 – The Dallas Opera promises a sparkler of a summer, with TDO’s BARITONES & BEACHBALLS, brought to you by The Friends of the Dallas Opera.  All events are either no-cost or low-cost, and the casual events series includes timely discussions designed to heighten your enjoyment of our upcoming 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season.

            Throughout the month of July, the Dallas Opera will turn our attention to Puccini’s final, unfinished masterpiece, TURANDOT.  We’ll kick things off with an amazing lecture, conducted in partnership with WRR 101.1 FM and featuring the popular Dr. Stephen Dubberly, head of the University of North Texas Opera Program; TDO’s General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, and WRR 101.1 FM’s Kurt Rongey on Tuesday, July 10 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. 

            Other highlights for the month of July include a “Cheesy Opera Happy Hour” in partnership with Scardello Artisan Cheese Shop and “Cooking@theOpera” in partnership with Central Market Plano where Executive Chef David McMillan of Screen Door will take us on a culinary journey inspired by Puccini’s TURANDOT.

July also brings two terrific, kid-friendly activities with a performance of Georges Bizet’s DOCTOR MIRACLE at the Dallas Children’s Theater on Sunday, July 29th at 3:00 p.m. and campTDO which allows your child the experience to explore the world of John Davies’ operatic version of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.  Join the Dallas Opera for a 3-hour interactive discussion that gives young campers first-hand experience in what it takes to create an opera production.  Mark your calendar for campTDO, Friday, July 27, 2012 starting at 9:00 a.m.  Call 214.443.1000 for additional information or to reserve your child’s spot.

Most of these events are free (as in “absolutely, positively free!”).  However, tastings and Family Programming require a nominal fee to cover our costs.  More details in the calendar below or visit us 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, July 10, 2012

Lecture Series in partnership with WRR 101.1 FM.  “TURANDOT” Join the Dallas Opera’s General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Dr. Stephen Dubberly, and WRR 101.1 FM’s Kurt Rongey for a lively, in-depth discussion about TURANDOT and the music of Puccini.  See how TURANDOT fits into the upcoming “Pursuits of Passion” Season and why the music of TURANDOT is used in movies and advertising all over the world.

Time: 6:30 PM

Location:  The Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House

2403 Flora Street

Dallas,TX75201

Cost: FREE.  RSVPs recommended, 214.443.1000.

2.) Saturday, July 14, 2012

“Inside the Dallas Opera” is our monthly Radio program on WRR 101.1 FM that takes you the listener backstage and behind-the-scenes for a look at timely issues and upcoming productions.  Hosted by TDOs Suzanne Calvin.

Time:   TBD

Location: WRR 101.1FM

3.) Monday, July 16, 2012

TDO movie pick for July is “The Turandot Project”.  See what it takes for director Zhang Yimou and conductor Zubin Mehta to take their TURANDOT to China and what goes on behind the scenes.  This movie 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, July 17, 2012

“Cheesy Opera Happy Hour” in partnership with Scardello Artisan Cheese: Savor wine and nosh on cheese selections hand-picked by Cheese Monger and owner Rich Rogers specifically chosen to pair with Puccini’s TURANDOT.

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, July 18, 2012

“Wine Wednesday” in partnership with Komali: “TURANDOT-Themed” Wine tasting. Join us on the patio -- weather permitting -- for a casual wine tasting. Chef/Owner Abraham Salum will hand-pick wines using Puccini’s TURANDOT as inspiration.  Sip, swirl, Savor! Small bites will be provided to enjoy with the wine.

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, July 20, 2012

“Late Night in the Arts District” The Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art

The Crow Collection will guide us on a tour that helps us explorer the world of Puccini’s Opera TURANDOT.  Along with the guided tour, Dr. Stephen Dubberly will be on hand to talk about the music of Puccini’s TURANDOT, making this is an event not to be missed!

Time: 7:00 PM

Location:  The Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art

2010 Flora Street

Dallas, TX 75201

Cost: FREE

7.) Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“Brownbags@theopera” Join us in Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for a noontime recital featuring Jennifer Youngs who will be making her TDO Debut in Dominick Argento’s THE ASPERN PAPERS.

Time:   12:00 PM

Location:         Sammons Park

2403 Flora Street

Dallas, TX 75201

Cost:    Free

8.) Thursday, July 26, 2012

“Cooking@theOpera” Join the Dallas Opera at Central Market Plano for an interactive cooking demonstration based on the opera TURANDOT.  Get a sense of the food that creates the cultural backdrop for this Puccini masterpiece.  Enjoy food samples from a Special Guest David McMillan of Screen Door, a modern southern kitchen.

Time: 7:00 PM

Location:  Central Market Plano

320 Coit Rd.

Plano, TX 75075

Featured Chef: David McMillan

Cost: $25.  RSVP Advanced Purchase Required, 214.443.1000.

9.) Friday, July 27, 2012

“CampTDO”  Explore the world of John Davies’ operatic version of Jack and the Beanstalk at campTDO. Join the Dallas Opera for a 3-hour interactive discussion that helps campers learn what it takes to create an opera production. Under the guidance of TDO teaching artists, campers also will be treated to a behind-the-scenes musical theater experience. Each campTDO session will conclude with a fully-staged performance of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK performed by TDO teaching artists.
Time:   9:00 AM

Location:         Karayanis Rehearsal Center

4301 S. Fitzhugh

Dallas, TX 75210

Cost: $25 per child, $20-TDO season subscribers
Buy on-line at: dallasopera.org/family/camptdo/ or call 214.443.1000.

10.) Sunday, July 29, 2012

DOCTOR MIRACLE by Georges Bizet.  Hilarious, fully-staged one-act opera about a young man’s quest to marry his true love, the mayor’s daughter. He must disguise himself as a servant who makes a “poison” omelet, and as a doctor who saves the family — all for the sake of true love. Will the happy couple triumph over all? Join TDO to find out.

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: Dallas Children’s Theater

5938 Skillman

Dallas, TX 75231

Cost: $5, 214.443.1000 or visit us at www.dallasopera.org/family

 

EVENTS AND GUESTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 ~~~~

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JUNE 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 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-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.

 ###

The Talented Ms. Almond–Writ Large

by Suzanne Calvin

I think everybody around these parts is aware of our high regard for Karen Almond, our longtime production photographer at the Dallas Opera. Now, she’ll enjoy a wider audience for her outstanding work as fourteen of her images from performing arts organizations in the Arts District are going on display in the newly remodeled Dallas Convention Center (HKS Architects). Karen sent a few photos to give us a taste. Worth walking slowly the next time you’re in the Center!

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gae Whitener new Director of Development

by Suzanne Calvin

It’s official! The Dallas Opera has announced a new Director of Development for the company, Gae Whitener, and a new Associate Director of Development as well. Get details on these important promotions in the release posted below.

(Photo courtesy of Karen Almond)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, May 31, 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 PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Gae Whitener
Formerly Associate Director of Development,
Foundations and Operations for the Dallas Opera
~~~~
Eva James Toia Named Associate Director of Development

DALLAS, MAY 31, 2012 – The Dallas Opera is very pleased to announce important promotions within the Department of Development: Gae Whitener has been appointed to serve as the company’s new Director of Development, effective immediately, after fulfilling those responsibilities in an interim capacity for the past year; while Eva James Toia has assumed the role of Associate Director of Development previously held by Ms. Whitener.
With a strong background in communications and marketing, Gae Whitener joined the Dallas Opera in 2004 as Grants Manager and Corporate Associate. In the years since, her energies moved beyond grant writing to handle special projects including OPERAtion HQ, the campaign to construct TDO’s administrative offices in the Winspear Opera House, as well as the three-year, $20 million Cultural Renaissance Endowment Fund initiative.
During her term as Interim Director, Ms. Whitener successfully managed the $8 million General Director’s Circle campaign for multi-year gifts.

“Gae consistently exhibits the outstanding qualities you look for in a leader,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny. “She is someone who clearly understands TDO’s artistic and financial strategy and can translate that understanding into tangible initiatives; a careful listener who provides thoughtful strategic input and operational planning; a genuine team builder who has earned the respect of her colleagues and her Development team; and an executive who has earned the respect and admiration of the patrons and donors who are vital to this company’s future success.
“In over seven years with the company, Gae has demonstrated real passion for the operatic art form and in-depth knowledge of Dallas Opera operations,” adds Mr. Cerny, “and she is adept at conveying that knowledge and enthusiasm in a manner that translates into successful 21st century fund-raising. Her hands-on involvement in several major campaigns this season proved crucial, and I am delighted she has agreed to accept the position of development director on a more permanent basis.”

Since joining the Dallas Opera in 2010, General Director and CEO Keith Cerny has embarked on a major restructuring plan to preserve and increase the company’s artistic reputation, while at the same time, making extraordinarily deep cuts in its operating budget. The company is expected to achieve a balanced budget during the 2014-15 Season—without any diminishment of artistic excellence or our commitment to new collaborations and thrilling new works.
During the past season, the Dallas Opera launched a new chamber opera series with a critically acclaimed new production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse (1980) and announced that the company has commissioned two upcoming world premieres: Everest, a one-act opera about an ill-fated 1996 expedition by British Composer Joby Talbot and American librettist Gene Scheer; and Great Scott, a new opera by American composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally.

In addition to the appointment of Gae Whitener, Eva Toia has been tapped for the supporting role of Associate Director of Development for the Dallas Opera. Ms. Toia recently joined the company in the wake of a successful stint for the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, and, most recently, as Director of Development for the Dallas Wind Symphony. Ms. Toia will focus her energies on major gifts and government and foundation relations, as well as assisting Ms. Whitener in the day-to-day operations of the department.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to have Eva on our team,” says Development Director Gae Whitener. “Her development expertise and arts background, combined with her personal charm, make her a compelling fundraiser. I value her input and look forward to working with her closely on all facets of the department.”

~~~~
Full season subscriptions are now on sale (three performances) for the 2012-2013 “Pursuits of Passion” Season range from $75 to $1,020 through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org. Single tickets will become available September 10th. Student Rush best-available tickets are available for $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) at the Winspear box office, ninety minutes prior to each performance. Inner Circle seating may be higher.
~~~~

KEY BIOS:

GAE WHITENER, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a degree in business administration, Gae Whitener’s wide-ranging experience has given her a strong business/marketing background in the healthcare, construction, and communications industries (her particular specialty), as well as in the arts. However, from her beginnings as Company Manager for the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre to her later work as a Development Associate for TACA, her interest in the performing arts has remained consistent throughout her career, leading to a position researching and writing grant applications and managing other responsibilities for the Dallas Opera in 2004. The recognition of Ms. Whitener’s leadership and organizational skills resulted in a promotion to Associate Director of Development, Foundations and Operations (which expanded her responsibilities to include a project management role for all development department initiatives) and she assumed the mantle of Interim Director of Development, following the retirement of former Director Cynthia Young in June of 2011.

EVA TOIA, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Eva James Toia joined the Dallas Opera in April 2012, bringing more than a decade of advancement experience in arts and education settings. Eva began her development career in 1998 at her alma mater, North Carolina School of the Arts, where she served as Director of Alumni, Career Services and Outreach for 13 years. In 2009, she returned to her hometown of Dallas to join the University of North Texas as Director of Development for the College of Visual Arts and Design, where she was responsible for fundraising programs and activities for the college. Most recently, she served as Director of Development for the Dallas Wind Symphony, where she led the fundraising and special event efforts since October 2010. Also a professional lighting designer, Eva is proud to combine her lifelong love of the arts with her experience and skill as a development and event professional with the Dallas Opera.

~~~~

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT “JUNE 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 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
Lighting Design: TBD
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
Lighting Design: TBD
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).

* 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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