FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
The Dallas Opera is Delighted to Present
Giuseppe Verdi’s Final Masterpiece
April 26 – May 4, 2019
The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX
Conducted by Guest Conductor Riccardo Frizza
Directed by Shawna Lucey
An Extraordinary International Cast!
Mark Delavan, Angela Meade, Quinn Kelsey, Stephanie Blythe, Mojca Erdmann, Airam Hernández, Megan Marino,
Alex Mansoori, Andrea Silvestrelli and Robert Brubaker
National Endowment for the Arts
And Stephen B. L. Penrose
Shawna Lucey – The James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director In Honor of John Gage
Angela Meade – The Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Principal Artist
Stephanie Blythe – The Phyllis A. McCasland & Thomas H. McCasland, Jr. Lead Soloist
Ticket Prices Start at Just $19
More Information at www.dallasopera.org/performance/falstaff/
DALLAS, TX, APRIL 3, 2019 – The Dallas Opera is delighted to give North Texas audiences a chance to experience one of the greatest comic operas of all time: Giuseppe Verdi’s FALSTAFF. In more than six decades of presenting opera at its finest, the occasion marks the first time this 1893 masterpiece has ever been produced on The Dallas Opera stage.
Verdi’s Falstaff will open for the first of four performances on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center (with additional performances on April 28(m), May 1 & 4, 2019) conducted by Guest Conductor Riccardo Frizza and directed by Shawna Lucey in her company debut.
Ticket prices start at just $19 and can be purchased online at www.dallasopera.org or through The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214.443.1000.
This superlative international cast is led by American bass-baritone Mark Delavan in the title role of Sir John Falstaff. The star-studded cast also includes show-stopping soprano Angela Mead, as well as beloved mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and renowned German soprano Mojca Erdmann in their eagerly-awaited company debuts.
Other principal singers in the impressive ensemble are baritone Quinn Kelsey, Spanish tenor Airam Hernández, mezzo-soprano Megan Marino, tenor Alex Mansoori, Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli and tenor Robert Brubaker.
Falstaff, an 1893 opera based on a much-loved comic character who appears in William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2) is set in “Merrie Olde” Tudor England. The storyline revolves around Falstaff’s efforts to woo a couple of wealthy wives capable of supporting his prodigious lifestyle. The ladies catch on and decide they must have payback for Falstaff’s brazen behavior and, thus, the games begin!
Robert Craft, writing decades ago in the New York Review of Books, noted “Falstaff is not only a masterpiece of opera but…a comedy of pure fun and a great work of art.”
By condensing Shakespeare’s original plot and tightening the structure while at the same time adding particularly strong passages and Falstaff soliloquies from Henry IV, librettist Arrigo Boito (with encouragement from his friend, the composer) created a book that surpasses the original source material in its brilliance.
Maestro Riccardo Frizza is an award-winning Italian conductor and leading exponent of the bel canto repertoire who has collaborated with many of the world’s most iconic opera artists, from La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera. Equally in demand in the concert hall and recording studio, Frizza has worked with influential ensembles including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the London Philharmonia Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony. Recently, Maestro Frizza conducted productions of The Barber of Seville at Paris National Opera, Il pirata at La Scala, Semiramide at Bavarian State Opera and La traviata at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. Frizza also serves as music director of the Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo.
This L.A. Opera production, originally directed by the late Lee Blakeley, will be revived by Shawna Lucey (The James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director in Honor of John Gage), who assisted on the project and has mounted works at prestigious companies including Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.
TDO’s production of Falstaff is generously underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts and by Stephen B. L. Penrose.
“It seems fitting that the Bard’s greatest comic creation should become the subject of one of the greatest comic operas ever composed,” notes Ian Derrer, The Kern Wildenthal General Director of The Dallas Opera. “Verdi greatly admired Shakespeare’s plays and the character of Falstaff was one of his all-time favorites. His librettist, Arrigo Boito, was familiar enough with Verdi’s tastes to know that he would be unable to resist such a project, even as he contemplated retirement.
“And what a joy it is to be able to share Verdi’s ‘labor of love’ with a world in need of a good belly laugh!”
Heading the Dallas Opera cast is a singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity,” Mark Delavan, known for the title role of Falstaff (one of his signature roles), The Flying Dutchman, and Rigoletto, as well as the roles of Scarpia, Iago, Jochanaan, and Amonasro. This frequent guest of the Metropolitan Opera has upcoming roles in Parsifal, Lohengrin, Salome and Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci. Mr. Delavan regularly appears in major houses in the title roles of The Flying Dutchman, Falstaff and Rigoletto—in addition to his signature roles of Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome and Amonasro in Aida. His appearance as Sir John Falstaff marks his Dallas Opera debut.
Angela Meade, “the most talked about soprano of her generation (Opera News) will portray Alice Ford. This recipient of both the Beverly Sills Award and the Richard Tucker Award has a wide-ranging repertoire from Mozart to bel canto to Verdi. Recent career highlights include appearances in the title roles of Rossini’s Semiramide and Bellini’s Norma at the Metropolitan Opera, Handel’s Alcina for Washington National Opera, and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur for Oper Frankfurt. She has performed with conductors including James Levine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Fabio Luisi, Plácido Domingo, Charles Dutoit, and Gustavo Dudamel. Ms. Meade appears as The Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Principal Artist.
Hawaiian-born baritone Quinn Kelsey, the 2015 recipient of the Beverly Sills Award, sings the role of Ford in his house debut. Specializing in Verdi, Puccini and the French repertoire in houses ranging from New York’s Metropolitan Opera to Covent Garden, Mr. Kelsey recently returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago to assume the title role in Rigoletto (in which he made his Paris National Opera debut); his Washington National Opera debut as Posa in Don Carlo; his Royal Opera House debut (U.K.) as Germont in La traviata (a role he also sang for Zürich Opera); and several roles for the Metropolitan Opera: Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Count di Luna in Il trovatore, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe sings Mistress Quickly in her eagerly-awaited TDO debut. One of the most critically acclaimed artists of her generation, Ms. Blythe has sung the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Tancredi, Mignon and Giulio Cesare—as well as Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdammerung, Azucena in Il trovatore, Ulrica in Un ballo in Maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka and many other roles at major opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe. At The Dallas Opera, Ms. Blythe is The Phyllis A. McCasland & Thomas H. McCasland, Jr. Lead Soloist.
Hamburg-born German soprano Mojca Erdmann, a renowned Mozartean who sparkles in a variety of repertoire from baroque to contemporary, portrays Nannetta in her TDO debut. BBC Music Magazine praises her as an artist who possesses “dramatic individuality as well as musical and vocal distinction.” She recently made her Houston Symphony debut, singing Dvorak’s Te Deum and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. In demand both in the U.S. and overseas, Ms. Erdmann is also making a name for herself in the recording studio. She can be heard as Zerlina and Despina on Deutsche Grammophon’s recently released complete recordings of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Spanish tenor Airam Hernández will be making his American debut as Fenton. Praised by Nicolas Blanmont of Opera (U.K.) as “an agile actor, whose virile presence was ideally balanced by the warmth and finesse of his singing,” originally trained as a French Horn player at a conservatory on his island home of Tenerife. His vocal studies eventually led him to Barcelona, where Mr. Hernández launched his operatic career at Gran Teatre del Liceu. He recently sang the role of Alfredo in La traviata in several European houses, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Opéra de Lausanne, the title role of Faust for Ópera de Tenerife, Sardanapalo in the Weimar world premiere of Franz Liszt’s unfinished opera of the same name, as well as concert performances with Plácido Domingo and Jessica Pratt.
Mezzo-soprano Megan Marino, described by Opera News as “a gifted actress with a strong, appealing voice graced by a rich lower register,” will make her house debut as Meg Page. Other notable debuts for Ms. Marino this season include Olga in Eugene Onegin at Atlanta Opera and Anita in West Side Story for Opera Idaho. Ms. Marino returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Laura in Iolanta, the Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica and for the company’s production of La traviata.
Although tenor Alex Mansoori specializes in character tenor roles, his repertoire runs the gamut from Handel and Mozart to Bernstein and Sondheim. Recently, he appeared as Monostatos with the Orlando Philharmonic’s staged concerts of The Magic Flute. This season, Mr. Mansoori returned to Opera Orlando for role debuts as Beppe in Pagliacci and the Four Servants in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Last summer, he made his Tanglewood Festival debut in multiple roles in Bernstein’s Candide. His Dallas Opera debut will be in the role of Bardolfo.
Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli (TDO’s Pistola) prompted “wild cheers” (Chicago Sun-Times) for his terrifying portrayal of Sparafucile in Rigoletto, and returned to Lyric Opera to sing Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers and Timur in Turandot. Other recent highlights include the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo for Washington National Opera and appearances as Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hagen in Götterdammerung in San Francisco Opera’s 2018 Ring Cycle. Dallas Opera audiences just thrilled to his company debut as the manipulative Geronte di Revoir in TDO’s semi-staged Manon Lescaut.
Tenor Robert Brubaker made unforgettable appearances with TDO as Herod in Salome (2014) opposite Deborah Voigt, and as Laca in the 2004 production of Jenufa. Recent engagements include a host of roles at the Metropolitan Opera: Mime in Siegfried and Das Rheingold (conducted by Fabio Luisi), Maletestino in Francesca da Rimini, the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, Monostatos in The Magic Flute and Chairman Mao in Nixon in China (conducted by the composer himself and recently released on DVD). In Falstaff, he performs the role of Dr. Caius.
Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera, responds in “unprecedented detail to the verbal element of the drama,” writes British musicologist Roger Parker. “In much of the score…the listener is bombarded by a stunning diversity of rhythms, orchestral textures, melodic motifs and harmonic devices…and a large number of these fresh ideas spring in a direct and literal way from the words…Here, in the comic context, it furnishes an important means of filling the musical space with an endless variety of colours.”
London-based Set and Costume Designer Adrian Linford also designed productions of Verdi’s Rigoletto and Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein for Santa Fe Opera, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice for Minnesota Opera, and productions of The Bald Soprano and Maids in New York. Overseas, Mr. Linford has designed sets and costumes for a wide range of productions including Sunday in the Park with George in Paris; The Rake’s Progress, Eugene Onegin and Così fan tutte in London; Il turco in Italia in France and Luxembourg; and numerous productions in England and Scotland—most recently including Street Scene, Albert Herring, Tamerlano, Katya Kabanova and Die Fledermaus.
The original lighting design is by British-based American designer Rick Fisher, winner of a 2009 Tony Award (and Drama Desk Award) for Billy Elliot: The Musical on Broadway and a two-time Olivier Award winner for Best Lighting. The lighting designer for this revival is Eric Watkins, who previously worked with TDO on our critically acclaimed 2016 production of Show Boat and whose work has also illuminated productions of The Property, a “Lyric Unlimited” world premiere at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Centerentola, Il re pastore, The Rake’s Progress and The Marriage of Figaro for San Francisco’s Merola Opera; Alcina for the Boston Conservatory; and A Streetcar Named Desire at Opera Santa Barbara and Kentucky Opera.
Wig and make-up designs are by Emmy Award-winner Dawn Rivard, whose work was seen in Broadway productions of Ragtime, Sunset Boulevard and Show Boat—and on the big screen in film and television productions including Mike Myers’ The Love Guru, Hairspray, Crimson Peak, The Handmaid’s Tale and City of Bones. In addition to her work throughout the Dallas Opera season, Ms. Rivard works regularly with Canadian Opera Company, Jeff Daniels’ The Purple Rose Theatre Company and many other presenters.
Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom began his association with TDO in 1990 but has also served as an opera coach for the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Ravinia Festival, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Cincinnati Festival; he is also an honorary Visiting Professor at the Sibelius Academy-Helsinki Conservatory.
Tickets and information are available, 24/7, at dallasopera.org. You may also consult the friendly specialists in The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214-443-1000 during regular business hours. Pricing for single tickets begin at just $19.
2018-2019 SEASON SPONSOR
The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family
ABOUT THE DALLAS OPERA
Founded in 1957, The Dallas Opera is an internationally-recognized innovator dedicated to the overall advancement of the operatic art form and the support of established and emerging artists, as well as the education and development of new opera audiences in North Texas—and beyond. These goals are achieved by commissioning and producing world-class opera; through ground-breaking institutes, national competitions and topical programs; and by presenting opera in both traditional and non-traditional formats and venues in order to attract patrons of every age, background, educational level, and ethnicity—while engaging with more than 87,000 people in our community each year. TDO is equally committed to the task of responsible stewardship and is managed with efficiency and accountability, to the highest possible standards.
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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.
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The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by
Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, and
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TDO Family Performances are a part of the
Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs
TICKET INFORMATION FOR THE 2018-2019 DALLAS OPERA SEASON
All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Flex Subscriptions are on sale now; single tickets range from $19 to $289 (excluding boxes). Family performance tickets are just $5. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.
THE DALLAS OPERA 2018-2019 MAINSTAGE SEASON: SPRING
The Dallas Opera celebrates its 62nd International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. 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. With the exception of FIRST NIGHT, The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances.
MANON LESCAUT by Giacomo Puccini
Semi-Staged Concert, March 1, 3 (m), 6, 9, 2019
Featuring images of select art works from the collections of The Dallas Museum of Art!
The woman who has everything discovers too late that she has nothing – without true love!
Libretto by Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica
Time: Late 18th century
Place: France and America
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Director: Edward Berkeley
Costume Designer: Tommy Bourgeois
Lighting Designer: Krista Billings
Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Kristin Lewis* (Manon Lescaut), Musa Ngqungwana (Lescaut), Gregory Kunde (Chevalier des Grieux), Andrea Silvestrelli (Geronte de Ravoir), Jonas Hacker* (Edmondo), Mark S. Doss (Innkeeper), Alyssa Martin (Singer), Matthew Grills* (Dance Master), Clay Hilley* (Lamplighter), Mark McCrory (Sergeant of the Royal Archers) and David Leigh* (Naval Captain).
LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini
March 15, 17 (m), 20, 23, 29, 31 (m), 2019
The most timeless love story in all of opera returns to break your heart!
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Time: 19th century
Place: The Latin Quarter of Paris, France
Conductor: Giuliano Carella
Director: Tomer Zvulun
Set Designer: Erhard Rom
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel
Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Jean-François Borras* (Rodolfo), Pumeza Matshikiza** (Mimi), Anthony Clark Evans* (Marcello), Sara Gartland (Musetta), Will Liverman* (Schaunard), Nicholas Brownlee* (Colline), and Samuel Ramey (Benoit/Alcindoro).
FALSTAFF by Giuseppe Verdi
April 26, 28 (m), May 1, 4, 2019
Shakespeare’s uproarious comedy brought to musical life!
Libretto by Arrigo Boito
Time: During the reign of Henry IV of England
Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Original Director: Lee Blakeley
Revival Director: Shawna Lucey*
Set and Costume Designer: Adrian Linford*
Lighting Designer: Rick Fisher*
Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard
Chorus Master: Alexander Rom
Starring: Mark Delavan* (Sir John Falstaff), Angela Meade (Alice Ford), Quinn Kelsey* (Ford), Mojca Erdmann* (Nanetta), Airam Hernández** (Fenton), Stephanie Blythe* (Dame Quickly), Megan Marino* (Meg Page), Alex Mansoori* (Bardolfo), Andrea Silvestrelli (Pistola), and Robert Brubaker (Dr. Caius).
* Dallas Opera Debut
** American Debut