Parents’ Guide to the 2012–2013 Season

While TDO believes that everyone should have access to great opera, not every opera is great for everyone. Some opera contain themes that would be better suited for more mature audiences. To help you determine which opera might be appropriate for your family, TDO has compiled this Parent’s Guide to the Season.

Have questions about attending the opera with your family? See Bringing Kids to the Opera.



by Giuseppe Verdi

Opens October 26, 2012

Performances Six at the Winspear Opera house

Length of Opera Approximately three and a half hours

Type of Opera Historical drama

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage

Overview Set in Ancient Egypt, where a captive Ethiopian princess, Aida, is torn between her love for the Egyptian commander Radames and her loyalty to her own father and country. The lovers must fend off the schemes of a fiercely jealous Egyptian princess and decide whether true love trumps honor and duty. This 19th century masterpiece proves that a pyramid may be the greatest love triangle of all. Read full synopsis.

Opera Contains Possible scanty period costumes, adult themes, live entombment

TDO Rating G



by Giacomo Puccini

Opens April 5, 2013

Performances Six at the Winspear Opera house

Length of Opera Approximately three hours

Type of Opera Drama

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage

Overview A barbarian prince comes to Beijing, China, where he is reunited with his long-lost father and a faithful servant before taking on his greatest challenge — answering three riddles to win the hand of Princess Turandot, although failure will cost him his life! This intriguing “Battle of the Sexes” also revolves around questions of family loyalty, faithfulness to duty, openness to emotion, and honesty to oneself. Read full synopsis.

Opera Contains Execution, torture, onstage suicide, adult themes

TDO Rating PG-13

The Aspern Papers

The Aspern Papers

by Dominick Argento
A new production commemorating the 25th anniversary of this Dallas Opera World Premiere

Opens April 12, 2013

Performances Five at the Winspear Opera house

Length of Opera Approximately two hours

Type of Opera Drama/Mystery

Sung in English, with supertitles projected above the stage

Overview A stranger appears at a once-grand home on Lake Como, seeking a room to rent. A long retired opera star and her niece agree to take the man in, although suspicious of his motives. The lodger, obsessed with a composer who died suddenly and tragically, is convinced his final masterpiece is somewhere in this home belonging to his lover. A game of cat-and-mouse ensues over possession of the Aspern Papers. Read full synopsis.

Opera Contains Adult themes

TDO Rating PG-13

Is your child ready for opera?
Find out with TDO’s guide to
Bringing Kids to the Opera
Upcoming Family Events
  • Tomorrow!
    Saturday, March 25th

    Bastien and Bastienne at NorthPark Center

    This charming, short, fully-staged comic opera by a very, very young Mozart centers on a lad and lassie with remarkably similar names, who fall in love but are separated – at least briefly – by worldly enticements. The one-act opera about a shepherdess and the boy she loves was meant to serve as a gentle parody of the pastoral works that were all the rage onstage in the late 1700s, but it already displays Mozart’s uncanny ability to write vocal music that reveals his characters while delighting the audience. Led by guest conductor Paolo Bressan, this early work of the master, created when Mozart was just twelve years old, also features a wise magician with questionable skills. Does he have “something up his sleeve” that will bring this couple back together?

    This will be the full performance with orchestra.

    Time 2:00pm

    Where NorthPark Center (map)

    Cost FREE

  • Buy
    Saturday, April 22nd

    Bastien and Bastienne - Family performance

    By Mozart | Sung in English with English Supertitles | No intermission

    One of Mozart's earliest works and written at age 12, Bastien and Bastienne is a comedic one-act opera that tells a tale of a young shepherdess, Bastienne, and her boyfriend Bastien. Bastienne believes her beau has fallen in love with a wealthy girl from the big city. Distressed about her plight, she runs into Colas, the town "magician," who has a few ideas of his own on how to reunite the young couple.


    • 12:30pm Lobby Activities
    • 2:00pm Performance

    Where Winspear Opera House (map) (directions)

    Cost $5