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Die tote Stadt

by Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Before Hitchcock filmed Vertigo, Korngold created Die tote Stadt, the tale of one man’s dark obsession with the woman he loved and lost.

Featuring state-of-the-art projections and composed by a prodigy who evolved into one of the great masters of music for the Golden Age of Cinema (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Deception, The Sea Hawk), Die tote Stadt features an extraordinary cast that includes Jay Hunter Morris in the role of Paul, fresh from his triumphs as Ahab in the San Francisco Opera revival of Moby-Dick and as Siegfried in the Met’s new Ring Cycle; Mardi Byers as Marietta; and Morgan Smith, the poignant voice of reason in the Dallas Opera’s world premiere production of Moby-Dick, as Fritz. Paul’s fierce grip on the memory of his dead wife will be challenged by the equally determined Marietta. Can he let go of his fantasy in order to live again?

Designed and directed by Mikael Melbye and conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing, this production will leave you wondering, “Where has this opera been all my life?”

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Sung in German with English supertitles

Performances (2014)

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  • Fri 3/21 7:30pm
  • Sun 3/23 2:00pm
  • Wed 3/26 7:30pm
  • Sat 3/29 7:30pm
  • Sun 4/6 2:00pm


Jay Hunter Morris
Mardi Byers
Morgan Smith

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Director and designer
Mikael Melbye

The Barber of Seville

by Gioachino Rossini

Disguises and false identities abound as men — young and old — vie for the hand of the beautiful Rosina in one of the funniest and most frenetic operas ever composed! Rossini’s delightful 19th-century romp centers on “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro,” a scheming barber and jack-of-all-trades, sung by Dallas Opera favorite Nathan Gunn, who plots with Count Almaviva to release Bartolo’s ward from her gilded cage.

The all-star ensemble includes acclaimed mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as the gorgeous-yet-spunky Rosina, lyric tenor Alek Shrader as the love-struck Almaviva, and commanding Turkish bass Burak Bilgili as Don Basilio in their much-anticipated Dallas Opera debuts. It also marks the welcome return of the inimitable Donato DiStefano, a comic veteran of previous Dallas Opera productions of Barber and La Cenerentola, in a role he has sung all over the world: Dr. Bartolo.

From the first notes of one of the world’s most famous overtures to the final curtain, your heart will be racing — but not for the exit!

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Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Performances (2014)

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  • Fri 3/28 7:30pm
  • Sun 3/30 2:00pm
  • Wed 4/2 7:30pm
  • Sat 4/5 7:30pm
  • Fri 4/11 7:30pm
  • Sun 4/13 2:00pm


Nathan Gunn
Isabel Leonard
Alek Shrader
Burak Bilgili
Donato DiStefano

Giuliano Carella

Originally directed by
John Copley

Set design
John Conklin

Past Productions


by Georges Bizet

She’s the woman no man can resist and, as performed by mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine in her American debut, who would want to say non? Hailed as “Best Newcomer” in the 2011 French Classical Music Awards, Margaine will have her hands full with two head-turning, heart-melting Don Josés: tenors Brandon Jovanovich, who sang Pinkerton to great acclaim in his most recent appearance here in 2010, and Bruno Ribeiro (making his company debut). This truly phenomenal cast, from Mary Dunleavy in the role of Micaëla to Dwayne Croft as Escamillo the Toreador, will bring on the sizzle — as well as the steak! Featuring a classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle set design from the San Francisco Opera, this production conducted by Emmanuel Villaume and directed by Chris Alexander will make all the other good/bad girls of opera seem tame, if not lame, in comparison.

Don’t miss our first Carmen in the Winspear Opera House — because, unlike our tempestuous title character, you may live to regret it.

Read more!

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Sung in French with English supertitles

Performances (2013)

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  • Fri 10/25 8:00pm
  • Sun 10/27 2:00pm
  • Wed 10/30 7:30pm
  • Sat 11/2 7:30pm
  • Fri 11/8 7:30pm
  • Sun 11/10 2:00pm


Clémentine Margaine
Brandon Jovanovich
Bruno Ribeiro
Mary Dunleavy
Dwayne Croft

Emmanuel Villaume

Chris Alexander

Set design
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Death and the Powers

by Tod Machover

Science fiction and poignant family drama combine in one of the most stunning, cutting-edge operas of the 21st century, with a libretto by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, coming to the stage of the Winspear Opera House in a production directed by Diane Paulus designed by Alex McDowell (Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report) and conducted by Nicole Paiement (TDO’s The Lighthouse).

This visually spectacular robot pageant by MIT Media Lab’s Tod Machover tells the story of a terminally ill billionaire, sung by Robert Orth, who downloads his consciousness into “the System” and proceeds to use all his powers to persuade his loved ones to join him there. Without bodies, without the possibility of touch, sex, suffering, and death — are we still genuinely human?

Explore these existential questions and much more in a piece Variety described as “playful, lyrical and…mesmerizing.” Also starring Joélle Harvey as Miranda, Patricia Risley as Evvy, and Hal Cazalet in his Dallas Opera debut as Nicholas.

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Sung in English with English supertitles

Performances (2014)

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  • Wed 2/12 7:30pm
  • Fri 2/14 7:30pm
  • Sat 2/15 7:30pm
  • Sun 2/16 2:00pm


Robert Orth
Joélle Harvey
Patricia Risley
Hal Cazelet

Nicole Paiement

Diane Paulus

Robert Pinsky

Set design
Alex McDowell