In This Issue:
• Multiculturalism, Then and Now
• Working for the Weekend: Introducing the New "Opera Weekends" Package
• Tony-Nominated Robert Brill Joins TDO for Moby-Dick
• Video: Cosi & Koozie Wine Tasting
• What Are They Doing Now?
Calendar of Events:
• Monday, August 3, 2009 - 5-Opera Weekend Packages and 3-Opera Flex Subscriptions go on sale
• Saturday, August 8, 2009 - Inside The Dallas Opera on WRR 101.1 FM
• Monday, August 17, 2009 - The Inwood Living Room Series Movie Screening: "Jaws"
• Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - COSI FAN TUESDAYS at The Capital Grille
• Thursday, August 20, 2009 - Cosi & Koozies Panel Series - "Twenty-first Century Affairs: Dating and Relationships Today"
• Sunday, August 23, 2009 - Cosi & Koozies Mediterranean Cuisine Tasting
Tell Us What You Think...
MULTICULTURALISM, THEN AND NOW
By Suzanne Calvin
When the history of the 21st century is written, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of our times will be the unparalleled movement of people and populations from one part of the world to another. Never before have people from such vast distances and markedly different traditions been thrown together to conduct their daily lives—with inevitable tensions and unforeseen, often remarkable, rewards. Multiculturalism is destined to become an increasingly important factor in the arts, politics, educational systems, and religious life of every nation on earth. For this reason, and more, The Dallas Opera is proud to present one of the most significant panel discussions in recent seasons: “Multiculturalism: At the Heart of Moby-Dick and Madame Butterfly."
[This program could have easily been a downer. But it was not. It was mind expansive and thought provoking. If the purpose of art is to reflect society then this panel discussion and this opera does just that.] - From an actual comment on the Dallas Opera blog | [Read]
Two important operas: Madame Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini’s turn-of-the-century masterpiece built upon the then-insurmountable cultural divide between East and West, and Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick, based upon an epic American novel, seek to address the questions that arise from the intersection of unfamiliar or opposing worldviews.
The Dallas Opera seeks to do the same in this interactive panel discussion co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth. Join us for an in-depth look at “Multiculturalism: At the heart of Moby-Dick and Madame Butterfly,” featuring moderator Chris Shull (Opera Now, Opera, Star-Telegram) as he leads a lively conversation with Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell; Jim Falk, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth; Dr. Stephen Dubberly of the UNT Opera program and a special presentation on multicultural interactions in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
From our Stage, to Yours!
The Dallas Opera presents Cosi & Koozies Italian Wine Tasting at Dali Wine Bar and Restaurant.
Working for the Weekend: Introducing The New “Opera Weekends” Package
By Cody Rubio
Recently, my mother discovered she loves opera. She had never actually been to an opera before I started working for this company, some three years ago, but she has loved it ever since that glorious performance of Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE during our celebratory 50th Anniversary Season. About that same time, we began to understand that the average opera patron’s schedule doesn’t allow you to hit every performance, see every show, and keep up with every artist. We’ve come to realize that between your demanding career, your responsibilities at home, and your social life outside of opera, it’s difficult to find enough “me” time. That’s why The Dallas Opera created our popular FLEX Package which gives North Texas opera lovers the option to choose any three performances of three operas while retaining full subscriber benefits. These include free exchange privileges, ticket discounts, ticket insurance (so you never have to worry about lost or forgotten tickets again), invitations to exclusive subscriber events and more.
But this season is a little different: Mom is especially excited because, with the opening of the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, The Dallas Opera is boosting your chances to enjoy more opera with an innovative, out-of-towner-friendly schedule. The Dallas Opera’s new five-performance “Opera Weekends” series permits patrons to attend two productions on either a back-to-back Friday and Saturday evening OR a Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performance. That’s right, folks, my little ole sweet mother gets to see all five operas—yet only has to make the trip to see me three times. Plus, she gets all those great subscriber benefits, meaning; if she expects lousy driving weather or the only stoplight in the Permian Basin goes out, my mom can exchange from her normal performance night to a later time.
TONY-NOMINATED ROBERT BRILL JOINS THE DALLAS OPERA FOR MOBY-DICK
The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce the hiring of two-time Tony Award-nominee Robert Brill to serve as scenic designer for The Dallas Opera world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick scheduled to be unveiled on the evening of Friday, April 30, 2010 at the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts (now under construction). The occasion will mark Mr. Brill’s Dallas Opera debut.
Brill was nominated for a 2009 Tony Award for his exuberant set design for the recent Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls.” His work was also honored with a 2004 Tony Award nomination for “Assassins;” a 2004 Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration; a 1996 Joseph Jefferson Award for Brill’s scenic design of a revival of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Buried Child” at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois; and a 1995 Joseph Jefferson Award for his set designs for “A Clockwork Orange,” also at Steppenwolf Theatre.
STAFF PROFILE: GUILD CO-PRESIDENT GREG MCCONEGHY
Few stand out in the world as having a fervent life-long passion for opera and fewer still have spent their adolescence on a dairy farm in Ohio. One exception is newly appointed Dallas Opera Guild Co-President, Greg McConeghy, a man who exemplifies the life of an aficionado savvy with the works of Puccini, Mozart, Wagner, and Donizetti. As the chief administrator for the Guild, Greg advances programs including Opera Insights, Adopt-an-Artist, and the annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. He can be seen throughout the week in the administrative offices of the Dallas Opera, maintaining the day-to-day affairs of the Guild, working closely with the opera staff, and keeping Guild members informed and motivated.
In the late 1960’s as a freshman music major at Texas Christian University, Greg became acquainted with opera at Fort Worth Opera’s production of Tosca, starring Maralin Niska. Soon after, he attended The Dallas Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly starring the legendary Renata Scotto. Without question, he was captivated with the music, emotion, and drama of the stage. Today, he vests an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm as an audiophile of opera and lieder, comparing and critiquing vinyl recordings, conductors, and singers. Greg even met his wife and Co-President, Leria, at a meeting for the Wagner Society of Dallas. They now travel the world together, frequenting festivals dedicated to Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Greg is excited to be facing the challenges of moving into the Winspear Opera House. He’s hoping to eventually use as many of the Arts District facilities as possible in order to create a lasting effect on the future of opera in North Texas.
Greg has come a long way since growing up on a small farm in his native Ohio. After living in Dallas for 34 years, however, it is clear that Greg’s presence is making a long lasting impression that will propel the Dallas Opera Guild forward into 2010.
WHAT ARE THEY DOING NOW?
By James Hampton
Thank goodness for the Google Alert service. It allows me to better keep up with what is going on in the industry and with our artists. Just today I received these alerts featuring some of our 2008-2009 season alumni. Our first Young Artist in Residence, Ava Pine, is part of the “luxury casting” in the Wolf Trap Opera Company’s production of The Return of Ulysses. Ava is seen in several of the rehearsal pictures posted on WTOC’s blog.
Joelle Harvey, who sang Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro last fall, will be performing in Glimmerglass Opera’s production of Dido and Aeneas. She is profiled here in the Olean Times Herald.
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