|Dr. Stephen Dubberly lecturing on Roberto Devereux at One Arts Plaza|
As the University of North Texas’ Music Director, Dr. Dubberly is very familiar with Donizetti’s bel canto style and, from the lobby of One Arts Plaza, he was not shy about vocally disseminating the musical composition in front of fifty eager opera patrons, not to mention the staff and residents of One Arts. I’m quite positive Dr. Dubberly is a wonderful conductor – but a bel canto singer, he is not. Honestly, it was our own fault for not being able to provide a piano or keyboard for his demonstrations.
Despite the fact that he is not Stephen Costello (this season’s Robert), every one of us was grateful for his auditory teachings. And what he lacks in vocal talent, he makes up for in enthusiasm and overall know-it-all for every production he lectures. Roberto Devereux was no different as he spoke about the history of everything from the composer to the librettist to the original soprano for whom the opera was written (Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis).
If you’re a fan of Showtime’s The Tudors, then you’re going to love Donizetti. Roberto Devereux is the third installment of Donizetti’s Elizabethan series which was preceded by Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda (Mary Queen of Scots) which TDO produced for the first time in its 2006-2007 50th Anniversary season. Roberto Devereux is also a TDO premiere so don’t miss the opportunity to see Donizetti at the finest level by purchasing your subscription today!
Next month, Dr. Dubberly will be lecturing on Puccini’s romantic classic La boheme at the University of Texas at Dallas Artists’ Residency, Central Trak. View the works of Dallas’ own bohemians as you prepare yourself for one of the most popular operas in the world. RSVP by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-443-1044.
Cody Rubio, TDO Web Guy
There are various ways to make a Shepherd’s Pie – well there were until Chef Sharon from our Milestone Cooking Class perfected this one!
Yield: 8 to 10 Servings
1lb of Ground Lamb
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Bay leaf
2 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
2 medium Carrots, diced
1 oz flour
1 ¾ club Lamb or beef stock
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 ¾ lbs Potatoes, diced
1 oz Butter
4 Tablespoons Milk
Pre-oven to 400.
Sautee lamb and add onions, bay leaf, mushrooms and carrots. Cook for additional 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually blend in the stock and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and boils.
Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leave and spoon into a 2 quart ovenproof dish.
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well and mash with the butter and milk and mix well. Pile onto the lamb mixture.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
|Chef Sharon Van Meter|
The beauty of our Milestone Cooking Class is that everybody walks away from it with new, universal knowledge. I say “universal” because – unlike the Ballroom Dancing lessons, the upcoming Italian lessons, or any of the other learning adventures we’re offering during this summer’s Figaro in Flip-Flops event series – cooking is something we all do every day and something we all strive to do better. Everybody appreciates those who know how to cook a good meal and when you’re single, being able to satisfy somebody else’s appetite is a great weapon for your arsenal. If you’re as single as me, you need all the help you can get!
So, this month we celebrated our upcoming production of Roberto Devereux by featuring an all-English cuisine menu. By “we” I mean Chef Sharon Van Meter developed this delicious British banquet and we helped – much like the children on the classic Shake-n-Bake commercials. Prior to preparing our very traditional English meal, we awakened our senses with a refreshing Wimbledon Cup, which includes Pimm’s No. 1, gin, strawberry syrup, cream, and blood orange juice. It was frothy, pink, and something I’d never order at a bar – but girly-gin is better than no gin! We started with the Scotch Eggs by chopping hard boiled eggs, mixing it with Stilton and curd cheese and shaping them into balls. After chilling for about 10 minutes, we wrapped the balls of filling with sausage, rolled in beaten egg, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried for about 8 minutes. In the end, they weren’t bad but I think we may have used too much Stilton and curd cheese in the filling and I think Scotch Eggs are usually served with a dipping sauce which might have added a little something.
I’m a meat-and-potato-guy so the Shepherd’s Pie was something I was certainly looking forward to as the main entrée. Apparently there’s a controversy about the name of the dish, as some people hold that Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie uses beef – and vice versa – but we chose to use lamb. We cubed and sautéed the lamb until it was brown and then sautéed the veggies. Then we combined the two, added flour and gradually blended in stock and tomato paste. For those of you (like me) who don’t cook many things that don’t come frozen, stock is the strained liquid that is the result of cooking vegetables, meat or fish and other seasoning ingredients in water. Meanwhile, we boiled potatoes for 20 minutes and then mashed with butter and milk and mixed it all well. Once the lamb-pie mix finished simmering and thickened, Chef Sharon used a piping bag to decoratively apply the mashed potato crust. The dish was then baked for about 15 minutes and devoured, mostly by me, in about the same amount of time.
Chef Sharon also provided a side salad with her own special balsamic vinegarette with fresh herbs and topped with a pear-half that had been poached in a white wine mix and filled with goat cheese. I noticed many people walking away with the vinegarette recipe in hand so I think it’s safe to assume it was tasty. Personally, I can’t get into salad but the goat cheese filled pear halves put Del Monte to shame. Chef Sharon topped off the meal with a Courting Cake which has strawberries and whipped cream and was very moist, almost like a Tres Leches – except from heaven.
All I can say is that I can’t wait for my Olympic dinner party four years from now…
Cody Rubio, TDO web guy
(The music bed in this video is the Overture to Roberto Devereux)
I just left the Inwood Theater and I can’t stop humming the “love theme” that Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed for the score to The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Korngold was an established composer and had several operas, ballets, and orchestral works under his belt before Hollywood pressed him into service. He was nominated for 4 Academy Awards and won twice. But I digress from my title…
The Diva is, of course, the incomparable Bette Davis – the Dreamboat is Errol Flynn. The two stars didn’t enjoy working with each other…well…OK…they really despised each other – but the film is a wonderful technicolor adventure and relates directly to our January opera – Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Both the film and the opera explore the relationship of Queen Elizabeth I and her last lover, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. We may never know the extent to which either version is historically accurate – but there is no doubt that each telling of the story is engaging.
Many thanks to all that came out to join us this evening. I hope to see you at other “Figaro in Flip-flops” events.
James Hampton, Artistic Administration Coordinator.