About the Program
The Dallas Opera acknowledges that the stories we present on our stages have an impact on our audience, staff, artists, and communities. We invite our audiences and communities to join us in exploring the richness of opera as we work to tell stories as authentically and respectfully as possible through TDO Connections™—our intentional process for human-centered, operatic storytelling designed by Quodesia D. Johnson. Each opera season, TDO will explore thematic elements relevant to our communities through select opera productions. Through a collaborative effort, practitioners work closely with our staff and stage directors to align the intention and impact of our storytelling while participating in panel discussions and community conversations for collective learning. This is a journey of learning and connection for everyone involved that we are excited to share with our communities.
This season, TDO Connections™ explores the leadership, creativity, and representation of women in opera through Rigoletto and Così fan tutte. Courageous, intelligent, dismissed, objectified, joyous, and powerful–these works portray and engage female characters with a richness that invites additional learning and conversation. TDO Connections™ begins with a live panel discussion with Jin-Ya Huang (Break Bread Break Borders), Audra Scott (Booker T. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts), and Stephanie Havey (Associate Director/Rigoletto) in September 2022 and ends with a debrief from the Rigoletto and Così fan tutte creative teams and Dallas Opera staff. We are excited to present online resources and in-person events to share in our learning journey.
Women in Leadership and Creativity
Celebrating and empowering women is a continuous effort in many fields, and opera is no exception. The opening TDO Connections™ panel presents a dynamic discussion about the leadership, creativity, and representation of women in business, education, and the arts. Jin-Ya Huang, CEO and Founder of Break Bread Break Borders, Audra Scott, Soprano and Head of Vocal Studies at Booker T. High School for Performing and Visual Arts, and Stephanie Havey, Associate Director for Rigoletto, speak truth to the historical and current representation of women and ways to continue our commitment to celebrating and empowering women in all spaces. The discussion is moderated by Quodesia D. Johnson and Kristian Roberts and will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. This event was livestreamed and recorded for viewing on thedallasopera.TV. Watch now!
TDO Connections Reading Resources:
“Women & Power: A Manifesto” by Mary Beard
“Everyday Sexism” by Laura Bates
“Understanding the Women of Mozart’s Operas” by Kristi Brown-Montesano
“Women of Will: The Remarkable Evolution of Shakespeare’s Characters” by Tina Packer
“Women Composers in History: 18 Intermediate to Late Intermediate Piano Pieces by 8 Composers” edited by Gail Smith
“Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution” by Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Robert Adelson
“And So I Sing: African American Divas of Concert and Opera” by Rosalyn M. Story
“The Inner Voice” The Making of a Singer” by Renée Fleming
“Stand Up Straight and Sing!” by Jessye Norman