The Ring of Polykrates

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A loving wife. A job promotion. An inheritance. With such a perfect life, how can things possibly go wrong? In The Ring of Polykrates, William Arndt is about to discover just how quickly the tables can turn. The return of his best friend, Peter, should be the icing on the cake for William’s life, but Peter clearly has other plans in mind.  Peter’s jealousy is a worthy adversary to William’s marriage, but only one can win. In this rarely performed domestic comedy by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the stakes are high and sacrifices must be made. Paired with a performance of Korngold’s magnificent Violin Concerto in D major, featuring acclaimed violinist Augustin Dumay, the evening will be a celebration of a genius who is not performed nearly enough.

Starring Augustin Dumay*Paul GrovesLaura Wilde*Brenton RyanSusannah Biller*Craig Colclough*

Conductor Emmanuel Villaume • Director Peter Kazaras • Costume Designer Tommy Bourgeois • Set Designer Donald Eastman • Lighting Designer Krista Billings

*Dallas Opera debut

Rated PG-13

Opera in Brief

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Court Music Director William Arndt is a lucky man. He has just been promoted at work, the recent death of his aunt has left him with a large inheritance, and he has a wonderful wife, Laura. All he is missing is the company of his old friend, Peter Vogel, who suddenly shows up out of the blue.

Jealous of the life William has built, and infatuated by Laura, Peter tries to split them up. Based on Schiller’s ballad "The Ring of Polykrates," Peter convinces William that he must sacrifice something so that fate is not tempted by all his good fortune. In an effort to sacrifice his relationship with his wife, William tries to start a fight with Laura about her questionable past. However, Laura’s love for her husband will not be shaken. William realizes that the true sacrifice must be his friendship with Peter, who is sent on his way. 

Cast Biographies

Paul Groves(Wilhelm Arndt) American tenor Paul Groves enjoys an international career performing on the stages of the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. He begins his 2016/17 season with his return to the Opéra national de Paris for a rare role debut singing Alessandro Cesare in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo. Groves returns to his native New Orleans later in the season singing the title role of Faust with the New Orleans Opera. An avid concert performer, Groves’ season is filled with debuts and return engagements with symphonies across the United States. He can be seen singing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, Berlioz’ Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony under Charles Dutoit, as well as Stravinsky’s Perséphone with the Oregon Symphony. 

Laura Wilde(Laura) American soprano Laura Wilde, winner of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, as well as the 2016 Luminarts Women’s Voice Fellowship, has been praised by Opera News as having, “a ravishingly beautiful sound, and a fine sense of style and character.” For the 2016/17 season, Ms. Wilde will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a role debut as Freia in David Pountney’s new production of Das Rheingold, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  Other operatic engagements include the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera, where Ms. Wilde will portray the role of Jane Withersteen, Michaela in Carmen with Nashville Opera and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a principal artist as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito.

Brenton Ryan(Florian Döblinger) Winner of the Birgit Nilsson prize at the 2016 Operalia competition, tenor Brenton Ryan is hailed by Opera News for his “remarkable tonal suavity and refined phrasing”. The 2017-18 season sees Mr. Ryan’s return to the Metropolitan Opera as ‘Spoletta’ in a new production of Tosca, which will be broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Ryan also makes his debut with Opera Philadelphia as ‘Monostatos’ in Die Zauberflöte, his debut with Santa Fe Opera singing ‘Dancing Master’ in Ariadne auf Naxos, and his debut with Dallas Opera singing both ‘Gastone’ in La Traviata and ‘Florian’ in Der Ring des Polykrates. He also returns to LA Opera singing ‘John Wormley’ in a concert performance of Matthew Aucoin’s The Crossing.

Susannah Biller(Lieschen) Soprano Susannah Biller recently received critical acclaim as Madame White Snake with Beth Morrison Projects, and appeared with San Diego Opera as Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Minnesota Opera as Kitty Packard in the world premiere of Dinner at Eight, and returned to Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Fraulein Burstner/Leni in Philip Glass’ The Trial. The 2017-2018 season and beyond brings Norina in Don Pasquale with Minnesota Opera, Nanetta in Falstaff with Opera Colorado, and her Austin Opera debut. As an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera she appeared in Carmen, the world premiere of John Harbison’s Heart of a Soldier, The Makropoulos Case, Der Schauspieldirektor, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Serse, Werther, and created the role of Selena in the world premiere of Dolores Claiborne.

Craig Colclough(Peter Vogel) The 2016-2017 season sees Craig Colclough’s return to London for Scarpia in Tosca with English National Opera, a role which serves as his debut at Canadian Opera Company later in the season. He also joins the Minnesota Opera for Doristo in L’arbore di Diana, and sings the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Saratoga.
Mr. Colclough’s most recent appearances include: Arizona Opera as Falstaff; Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela for Timur in Turandot, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel; English National Opera as Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde; Los Angeles Opera for Simone in Gianni Schicchi; Atlanta Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Lieutenant Gordon in Silent Night.

Production Biographies

Emmanuel Villaume (Conductor) Entering his fourth season as Music Director of The Dallas Opera, Mo. Emmanuel Villaume returns for three productions in the 2016/17 season. He opens TDO’s season leading performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, followed by the highly anticipated return of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, which debuted at The Dallas Opera in 2010. In March, Villaume revisits his acclaimed interpretation of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at The Metropolitan Opera. The Chicago Classical Review praised Villaume’s conducting of Roméo et Juliette at the Lyric Opera of Chicago last season, proclaiming, “Villaume is almost without peer in this repertory, and his conducting provides a virtual seminar in how French opera should be performed.” Villaume returns to TDO to conduct Norma in April, followed by his return to the Santa Fe Opera.

Peter Kazaras(Director) currently serves as Director of Opera and Music Theater at UCLA.  Previously, he was the Seattle Opera’s Artistic Advisor and Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program. In addition to his work at UCLA, he also directed The Consul for Seattle Opera, a new production of Cendrillon with the Juilliard School, returned to the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera to direct The Rape of Lucretia; and directed the world première of a revised version of An American Tragedy for The Glimmerglass Festival. With Seattle Opera he also directed Madama Butterfly, Wozzeck, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Falstaff,and Tristan und Isolde. This season, Mr. Kazaras will be directing La gazza ladra at Glimmerglass Festival and Le nozze di Figaro with Washington National Opera.

Donald Eastman(Set Designer) his designs for opera and theatre have been seen across America and in Europe. He made his debut at the Lisbon Opera with Evelyn Lear in La Voix Humane and then in America with Conrad Susa’s Transformations at The Spoletto Festival. His work has been seen at Canadian Opera, Glimmerglass, Lincoln Center Festival, New York City Opera, Opera Montreal, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Premier productions include Steve Reich’s Three Tales and Douglas Cuomo’s Arjuna’s Dilemma at BAM, and Phillip Glass’s Appomatox for the Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center. With Peter Kazaras, he designed numerous productions for Seattle Opera, and Cendrillon with Emmanuel Villaume at The Juilliard School. Donald received an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, and is a grantee of the NEA/National Opera Institute.

Krista Billings(Lighting Designer) Opera credits include The Dallas Opera, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Delaware Opera Company, Center City Opera of Philadelphia, and The Curtis Institute of Music.  She has a wide range of design experience in the performing arts, from the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, to The Velveteen Rabbit (for Enchantment Theatre) and the Re- lighting of Historic Boathouse Row on the beautiful Schuylkill River, in Philadelphia, PA.  Krista loves the scope that opera offers and chance to help tell the story with light.  Some of her other credits include The Dallas Symphony Christmas Celebration, Unlock the Magic for the Rock School of Dance, and Buddy Holly and The Full Monty for Media Performing Arts Center.  She is currently Lighting Director at The Dallas Opera.

Tommy Bourgeois(Costume Designer) has designed costumes and scenery for all the Dallas Opera Education operas, as well as being the Props Department and Properties Designer for over 30 years, and currently serves as the Costume Design Consultant for the company. He designed for The Taming of the Shrew, which was commissioned by the Kennedy Center in 1999, as well as Jazzland in New Orleans, Dixie Stampede, South Pacific for the Dallas Summer Musicals, and Blind Lemon: Prince of Country Blues for both Dallas and New York theaters. Tommy also designed the Twelve Days of Christmas Display for the Dallas Arboretum. He continues to design the Coronation set for the Order of the Alamo in San Antonio, and he has also worked and designed for the Dallas Shakespeare Festival.