Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Santa Fe Opera Part VI

by tdoadmin

Last night was the second of two apprentice concerts showcasing the young singers who participate in this extraordinary program.  These forty young artists are selected from across the country (I was told that this year there were nearly one thousand applicants) and last night’s program was every bit as interesting and exciting as the first concert last week.

Extended scenes from eight different operas, fully staged and costumed with scenic elements and accompanied by piano, featured a wonderful array of talent.

As with last week’s posting, I can’t mention them all, but outstanding performances were given by baritones Zachary Nelson and Jonathan Michie, who couldn’t have been more contrasting in style, in scenes from ANDREA CHENIER and GIANNI SCHICCHI respectively.

Tenors Matthew Newlin and Matthew Grills both stood out in large ensemble scenes taken from the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning opera SILENT NIGHT (Mr. Newlin) and Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI (Mr. Grills.)

There were also two sopranos who stood out for me, first was Lindsey Russell as a fleet voiced “Zerbinetta” in a scene from the prologue from ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, and second was Sara Heaton as “Juliette” simply lovely in the wedding quartet from Gounod’s ROMEO AND JULIET.

I return to Dallas this morning, but head out again on Wednesday for Cooperstown, New York and the Glimmerglass Festival, the last stop on my summer travels searching for the world’s most talented artists to bring to the Dallas Opera.

Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Santa Fe Opera Part V

by tdoadmin

Last night’s performance of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal’s ARABELLA was utterly delightful.  Wonderfully directed by British director Tim Albery (who returns to Dallas in April to stage THE ASPERN PAPERS) and conducted with romantic sweep by Sir Andrew Davis, this was Santa Fe Opera at its best.  Long known for its tradition of doing a major (and some minor) Strauss opera nearly every season, this is not an easy opera to pull off.  The romantic troubles of a young countess whose family is broke and dependent on her to make a brilliant marriage to save them is a fairly thin story line, but somehow Hoffmannstahl’s text and Strauss’s music make this trivial story compelling.

Erin Wall as “Arabella” was simply radiant (although perhaps her glow was partly because she is several months pregnant, a fact which was cleverly disguised by the costume department.)  A former winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, it was a thrill to hear this wonderful artist in this demanding role. Her duet with soprano Heidi Stober, as her sister Zdenka (disguised as a boy because their impoverished parents cannot afford to raise two daughters) was just one of the musical highlights of the evening.

Another soprano (and another winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition) Kiri Deonarine, sang “Fiakermilli’s fiendishly difficult coloratura aria in the second act with real panache and received a rousing ovation from the audience who were obviously charmed by her performance.

In stunning sets and costumes designed by German designer Tobias Hoheisel, the entire cast seemed inspired.

Tomorrow night is the second of two Apprentice Concerts, designed to showcase the talented young singers who flock here every summer to become the Santa Fe Opera chorus and sing small roles and cover major ones.  Last week’s concert revealed a number of extremely promising young artists, so I am really looking forward to tomorrow night’s program.

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

by Suzanne Calvin

Actually, hope for the future of opera is expressed in varying DEGREES in this KERA “Art and Seek” piece on “Taking Opera’s Temperature.” Arts producer/reporter Jerome Weeks lets other pundits do the talking on the NPR segment produced by Tom Huizenga.  However, he does note that, when queried about the most dynamite new opera of the millenium, “Washington Post” critic Anne Midgette responded with “Moby-Dick.”

How awesome is that?  Louder, please!

(Detail from original photo by Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Santa Fe Opera Part IV

by tdoadmin

I was invited yesterday to a small luncheon being given in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who you may know is a huge opera fan.

I was delighted to discover that she had toured the Winspear Opera House last year when she was in Dallas for a speaking engagement at SMU, but unfortunately, wasn’t able to attend a performance.

Needless to say, I extended an invitation.

She had already been to the Glimmerglass Festival last week, where I am heading next week, and was particularly excited by Francesca Zambello’s modern dress AIDA.

Also at the luncheon were soprano Nicole Cabell, baritone Thomas Hampson and his wife, and their daughter, who is married to bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (who wasn’t there because he was home resting up for last night’s performance of MAOMETTO II.)

Of course Tom asked about the Winspear Opera House since he had performed in the theatre’s opening gala with Denyce Graves in 2009.  He was incredibly complimentary about the building, and that is always so nice to hear.

It was a really lovely luncheon (I was seated between Nicole Cabell and Justice Ginsburg’s daughter-in-law) and felt privileged to be there.

Although I had attended performances of Rossini’s L’ASSEDIO DI CORINTO, a later reworking of MAOMETTO II, I had never had an opportunity to hear a performance of the original version, written for Naples in 1820 until last night.  The Santa Fe performances were the world premiere of a new critical edition edited by Rossini expert Philip Gossett.

I love many of Rossini’s “opera seria” (as opposed to his better known and more frequently performed comedies.)  In fact, Dallas Opera has presented two of them (SEMIRAMIDE and ERMIONE) but I can’t say that upon first exposure that I loved this one.  It is filled with beautiful arias and particularly stunning ensembles, but the libretto simply doesn’t move me.  Maybe it will grow on me upon repeated hearings, since it is never fair to evaluate an opera after only one encounter.

Whatever reservations I might have about the piece, I certainly liked the production.

Staged by director David Alden and designed by Jon Morrell (who collaborated on the 1997 Dallas Opera production of KATYA KABANOVA) it was lovely to watch and David succeeded in telling the story as clearly and dramatically as was probably possible.

The cast was headed up by Luca Pisaroni in the title role, whose character has some of the most florid vocal writing ever composed for the bass voice.  Luca was dazzling in it.

As his love interest, “Anna”, soprano Leah Crocetto, a recent Adler Fellow from the San Francisco Opera, gave notice that here is a major new voice.  Her last act “prayer” received sustained and well deserved applause.

Bruce Sledge was very impressive in the role of her father, Maometto’s sworn enemy, and displayed a fleet coloratura tenor with real “body” to the sound.

The production was nicely paced by Frederic Chaslin, Santa Fe Opera’s Chief Conductor, who is also conducting TOSCA here this summer.

Tonight, I am really looking forward to a performance of Strauss’s ARABELLA, a piece extremely popular in Europe but rarely staged in the States.

All That Brass

by Suzanne Calvin

Dallas Opera Orchestra Trombone Player Tony Baker is moonlighting during the opera off-season in a rather familiar spot: the orchestra pit of the Winspear Opera House where he is regaling audiences as part of the house orchestra for “Chicago,” which just opened as part of the AT&T Performings Arts Center Lexus Broadway Series.

Nancy Churnin of “The Dallas Morning News” took a closer look at Tony’s multifaceted musical life, right here.

(Tony Baker photo courtesy of Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Nothing to Do With Opera

by Suzanne Calvin

Yes, nothing to do with opera; however, it has everything to do with the community in which we, too, invest a great deal of effort to create art, so it definitely caught my interest.

How would you identify and explain “Art in the Public Square” in the City of Dallas? I’m not being argumentative, I’m looking for insights: Where are the public spaces and the artworks that inspire you to take a few moments out of your day to stop and interact? Allow me to reiterate, public spaces -- not private.  For example, if DART has changed your life, has DART art contributed to its life-altering impact?

Is public art in North Texas (not museum collections, not private collections on public display) too limited to have impact, too corporate or bureaucratic, too safe, too isolated, too cold, too hot to the touch, too bland to be noticed, or too puzzling to be enjoyed?

Do you stumble onto public art like an unexpected oasis, and return to it again and again?  How many of you have indelible recollections of your kids playing near (or hanging off) public artworks, becoming part of the art experience themselves?  Do you ever meet someone there, or mention prominent public art when giving a stranger directions?  Does it demand to be noticed, walked upon, or leaned against?  Does public art bring you closer to an understanding of yourself, our common humanity, or your God?  Do you instinctively hurry towards it, or hustle past it?  Does it simply feel good to be around, or does it feel good because it encourages us to think about something other than the mind-numbing tasks at hand?

What is the purpose of public art?  And does that purpose differ from place to place around the world?   

Mentally strip your environment of all the public art you encounter in your daily rounds (a lot of it, admittedly, on private property), especially the pieces you barely notice.  Now, how would the loss of all this art affect your perceptions of your community, your immediate state of mind, and your overall quality of life?

There’s delectable food for thought in this article by Jerome Weeks of KERA’s “Art and Seek.”  Reading it may make you hungry for more -- art, that is.

(Detail from Jane Helslander’s “Floating in Space: A Waltz” located at DFW Airport’s Terminal D, courtesy of Pamdora’s Box)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Jonathan Pell, Artistic Director Santa Fe Opera, Part III

by tdoadmin

Last night’s performance of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s 1926 opera KING ROGER was one of those magical nights in the theatre that we all hope to experience but which in reality happens so rarely.  Everything about the evening was extraordinary, including the piece itself, which I had never heard “live” before.

The libretto is enigmatic, and was inspired by Euripides’ THE BACCHAE, but with a 12th century Sicilian king standing in for Greek king Pentheus.

The production was mounted for Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien (who reminded me afterward that it was eleven years ago that he made his Dallas Opera debut) and he was magnificent as the tormented king.

Everyone in the cast was wonderful though, starting with William Burden as the shepherd who is the leader of a mystic religious sect that preaches pleasure over reason.

Erin Morley was lovely as the conflicted Queen Roxana and Raymond Aceto was imposing as the Archbishop whose authority is threatened by the appearance of the mysterious shepherd.

Tenor Dennis Petersen and mezzo-soprano Laura Wilde gave strong support in smaller roles.

The orchestral writing is lush and lovely in a neo-romantic style that for lack of a better comparison is a cross between Richard Strauss and Bela Bartok.  The choral writing is particularly beautiful, and the apprentices who make up the Santa Fe Opera chorus were superb.

Stephen Wadsworth directed with acute insight into this complex, murky story and created a simple but remarkably effective production with atmospheric sets by Thomas Lynch and beautiful costumes by Ann Hould-Ward.

None of the evening’s success, however, would have been possible without young American conductor Evan Rogister in the pit. His command of the orchestra, who have rarely played better, brought out the exotic textures in the music and his connection to the stage with its complex choral and solo vocal writing was most impressive.

The evening was one I will never forget.

There was one amusing thing that happened back stage after the performance that I should also recount.

I was waiting to congratulate Mariusz on his stunning performance (and to chat briefly about an upcoming project in Dallas that we are trying to work out) and so was chatting with some friends from San Francisco who are planning to come to Dallas in the spring for THE ASPERN PAPERS.  As the name of the opera was mentioned, the lady standing behind them turned around as if on cue, and it was, of course, Susan Graham, who will be starring in that production!

The timing was perfect, and we all had a good laugh about it.

I also had a chance to speak with Bill Burden, who has had a very interesting season singing a lot of unusual repertoire, starting last fall with the world premiere of San Francisco Opera’s HEART OF A SOLDIER.  He then sang the leading role in another world premiere, Kevin Puts’ SILENT NIGHT at Minnesota Opera.  Then in May he sang “Jupiter” in Handel’s SEMELE for the Canadian Opera in Toronto, and then came to Santa Fe for KING ROGER.

The reason I have mentioned all this is because Bill must have begun to wonder if I was stalking him, since without consciously planning it, I had managed to attend performances of all these productions!   I think that this must be some sort of record.

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 Buy an extra for someone you admire…and keep scrolling.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
Or Megan Meister 214.443.1071

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 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” (, 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” (, 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.


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.



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

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



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

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

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