FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, September 9, 2019
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
One Competition Becomes TWO
To Celebrate Our Proud Texas Roots!
THE DALLAS OPERA GUILD BIENNIAL
LONE STAR VOCAL COMPETITION
For Accomplished Young Artists with Texas Connections
2020 Competition Chair Dr. Susan Fleming
Honorary Chair, Martha Allday
Applications Will Be Accepted In January
Same Day Semi-Finals and Finals: May 9, 2020
Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
The AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, Texas
DALLAS, SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 – The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild are pleased to announce the revival of a state-based vocal competition to alternate every other year with The Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition sponsored by the Guild.
The inaugural Texas-centric event, The Dallas Opera Guild Biennial Lone Star Vocal Competition, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 9, 2020 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX.
General Director and CEO Ian Derrer notes, “The Dallas Opera Guild has always had a special affection for homegrown talent. It’s easy to understand why the membership wished to return to that proud tradition and recreate that sense of excitement in an entirely new way.
“This new competition has our full support and should complement—beautifully—The Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition in 2021, which will continue to feature the full Dallas Opera Orchestra,” Derrer adds.
The Spring 2020 Competition—Chaired by Dr. Susan Fleming—will offer thousands of dollars in prize monies to Texas-based singers. The winner will also be guaranteed a spot in the Semi-Finals Round of The Dallas Opera’s national vocal competition taking place the following year, along with the chance to perform for an audience of Dallas Opera Board and Trustees.
“Patsy and I,” says Dallas Opera Guild Co-Chair Bob Brooks, “along with Susan Fleming, as this year’s vocal competition chairperson—and the entire Dallas Opera Guild—are excited to sponsor this return to a biennial Texas-based competition to complement The Dallas Opera’s national vocal competition.”
The competition is open to singers ages 18 through 30 (as of the actual date of the 2020 Competition) who are Texas residents or students. Applicants may not have participated in any Young Artist or Resident Artist Program with a professional opera company, or, had a principal artist contract with any opera company.
Applications will be accepted only through YAP Tracker, beginning on January 10, 2020. Applications will close on February 14, 2020, and the competition semi-finalists will be announced on March 15, 2020. Additional details will be forthcoming later in the year.
The Dallas Opera is very pleased to announce the return of former Artistic Director Jonathan Pell (long associated with the original statewide competition) as one judge in the blue-ribbon panel, along with TDO’s Director of Artistic Administration David Lomeli and renowned arts administrator, educator and adjudicator Dr. Brian Zeger. On the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1993 and its Artistic Director of Vocal Arts since 2004, Dr. Zeger, who will head the panel, is also the former Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
“I am really delighted now to have been asked by the company and the Opera Guild to help re-launch this unique competition,” Jonathan Pell wrote. “In my long career in the arts, nothing ever brought me more satisfaction or joy than discovering and nurturing extraordinary young talent, and helping to foster the careers of a new generation of opera stars.”
2020 Competition Chair Dr. Susan Fleming remarked, “The Dallas Opera Guild is extremely proud of the many professional voices in development that we have fostered for more than three decades. We are eager to hear those who will be selected to compete this year and look forward to hosting an enthusiastic hometown crowd in the Winspear next May!
“We encourage YOU to come be part of the Lone Star cheering section!”
This year’s Honorary Chair is longtime Dallas Opera supporter and Guild Member Martha Allday.
Now in her fifth year as a member of The Dallas Opera Board, Martha Allday has given her enthusiastic support to The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors, as well as the annual vocal competition.
With her husband, Dr. Robert Allday, Martha served as Guild Co-President during our second season in the Winspear Opera House (2010-2011). It was in that capacity that she became involved in the Guild’s annual vocal competition.
Beginning in the spring of 2010 with the world premiere production of Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick, the Alldays have hosted numerous visiting artists (and, at times, their families) in their home during extended stays in Dallas.
“Every artist has a unique story about how they came to their careers in opera, and vocal competitions are frequently a part of that story,” Martha Allday writes. “Recognizing the importance of the competitions to artists in the critical, nascent stages of their careers, I feel it is incumbent upon us to support their development in this way.”
HISTORY OF THE DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION:
In February of 1987, then-Dallas Opera Guild Presidents Connie and Jerry Klemow proposed establishing a Guild-sponsored scholarship fund to financially assist qualified singers seeking a career in opera. With the approval of TDO management and the enthusiastic support of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Nicola Rescigno, a committee comprised of Chair Connie Klemow, Pat Blankenship, Nora Sands and Maria Santarelli, was entrusted to formulate a plan. Soon, the committee welcomed the assistance of then-General Director Plato Karayanis, company dramaturg Roger Pines and Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic John Ardoin.
Mr. Ardoin suggested a grants program be established in lieu of a scholarship fund or a competition. His suggestion was considered and the concept accepted. It was decided to focus on applicants from North Texas, ages 18-35 with some professional experience. Roger Pines named the program “The Career Development Grant for Singers” (CDGS), and after 20 months of planning the first CDGS program was presented on October 8, 1988 at SMU’s Caruth Auditorium.
However, for any program to remain dynamic, change and growth must occur. During these past 27 years there have been many changes. From the initial grants program, the concept evolved into The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition which, until 2014, was focused on vocalists with a Texas connection, both natives and temporary residents. A “People’s Choice Award” and Encouragement Awards were added and, today, financial awards are given directly to the winners to use at their discretion. Through this event, the Guild continues to recognize and honor members of The Dallas Opera community who have demonstrated a special interest in promoting the careers of talented young singers, or, have given exceptional support to The Dallas Opera and the Guild. Jonathan Pell led the Judge’s panel for the first 26 years.
The vocal competition was significantly re-imagined and expanded in its 27th year to allow applicants from all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Dr. Brian Zeger began chairing a judge’s panel that includes leading figures in American Opera administration and classical music.
The national competition was reorganized to take place over a two-day period. Finalists were accompanied by The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the direction of the Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume through 2018 and under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Frizza in 2019.
Now, the competition has evolved yet again to serve the needs of accomplished young artists at both the statewide and national level.
The Dallas Opera Guild remains dedicated to its original commitment to recognize, honor and support exceptionally talented young singers. The distributed award monies are funded anew each year. Guild members graciously donate their time, energy, money and talents to ensure that these prestigious competitions, both national and Texas-centric, succeed in cultivating the next generation of world-class opera artists.
ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA:
One of the leading opera companies in the country, The Dallas Opera has an extraordinary legacy of world-class productions and thrilling premieres featuring the greatest operatic artists of our time. Inaugurated by the incomparable Maria Callas in 1957, TDO is known for the notable U.S. debuts of a host of legendary artists including Plácido Domingo, Dame Joan Sutherland, Jon Vickers, Franco Zeffirelli, and Sir David McVicar. The company has long been an industry leader and innovator through groundbreaking initiatives such as the Hart Institute for Women Conductors, free public simulcasts, acclaimed art song recitals, the national vocal competition, special concerts, and outstanding family and award-winning education programs. TDO’s home is the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, a jewel in the Dallas Arts District. As one of the largest performing arts employers in North Texas, TDO is proudly committed to diversity, onstage and off, and is a major contributor to the economic vitality and international cultural reputation of this region.
2019-2020 SEASON SPONSOR
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family
EVENTS, GUESTS AND ARTISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: Elsa von Seggern Foundation;
Texas Instruments Foundation; the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs;
The Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera.
Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera.
Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News.
All performances in The Dallas Opera’s 63rd International Season will take place in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, unless otherwise indicated. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired.
The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain at most performances. Full and Flex subscriptions are designed to meet the needs of every budget. Prices range from just $57 (for three performances of your choice) to a top orchestra floor price of $777 for all five mainstage productions. Single tickets are priced from $25 to $289 (a few box seats may be higher). For additional information or to make your purchase, call 214.443.1000 or visit www.dallasopera.org.