FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Contact: Suzanne Calvin 214.443.1014
The Dallas Opera is Delighted to Present
THE GOLDEN COCKEREL
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Brilliant Political Satire about Sex, War, and Power
OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume
Directed by Paul Curran
Starring Nikolay Didenko (King Dodon), Olga Pudova (Queen of Shemakha), Kevin Burdette (General Polkan), Barry Banks (Astrologer), Lindsay Ammann (Amelfa), Viktor Antipenko (Prince Guidon), Corey Crider (Prince Afron) and Jeni Houser as the Voice of the Golden Cockerel
DALLAS, OCTOBER 23, 2019 – The Dallas Opera’s 2019-2020 “Standing Ovation” Season scales new comedic heights this Friday with the opening of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s hilarious-yet-thought-provoking final opera, The Golden Cockerel.
The October 25, 2019 performance in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Conducted by Maestro Emmanuel Villaume (The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director of The Dallas Opera) and directed by Paul Curran (The James R. Seitz, Jr., Stage Director), this rarely-performed work has not been seen on The Dallas Opera stage since 1973.
This opulent new co-production garnered rave reviews when it opened in Santa Fe during the 2017 summer opera festival. “Gary McCann’s vibrant and kitschy costumes,” wrote Arya Roshanian for OperaWire, “inspired by Russian matryoshka dolls, contain some of the most fabulous and original costumes of the season.”
Opera Warhorses praised Maestro Villaume’s “majestically-contoured, sensitive performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Orientalist score.” And Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News had high praise for the score itself: “The orchestral writing mixes bright-colored Russian impressionism and echoes of Russian folk idioms. The Queen weaves her spell with showcase vocalism alternately slithery and flickering.”
Rimsky-Korsakov’s turn-of-the-century cautionary tale about lust and power (or the lust for power) may be more relevant than ever.
The Golden Cockerel, a three-act satirical masterpiece, premiered in Moscow in 1909 after initially being banned by government censors. The composer, Rimsky-Korsakov, did not live to see his work on stage.
Tickets for The Golden Cockerel may be purchased by phone (214.443.1000), online (dallasopera.org) or at the door, starting at just $19.
Russian bass Nikolay Didenko (who, according to The New York Sun, “regularly steals the show with his seemingly effortless subterranean voice” will make his Dallas Opera debut as the delusional King Dodon.
Russian coloratura soprano Olga Pudova will be making her company debut as the exotic and sultry Queen of Shemakha. Ms. Pudova is an audience favorite at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, where this season alone, she sings the roles of Tytania in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nanetta in Falstaff, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and the title role in Ruslan and Lyudmila.
Bass Kevin Burdette (Everest, Great Scott), described by The New York Times as “the Robin Williams of opera,” is the king’s loyal commander, General Polkan.
Renowned mezzo-soprano Lindsay Ammann sings the role of Amelfa, while English tenor Barry Banks, a favorite of Metropolitan Opera audiences, makes his TDO debut as the Astrologer who seems to know and (possibly) control all.
Russian tenor Viktor Antipenko in his Dallas Opera debut, and American baritone Corey Crider will sing the roles of Dodon’s backstabbing, bone-headed sons, Prince Guidon and Prince Afron.
Last but certainly not least, soprano Jeni Houser (currently appearing in TDO’s season opener, The Magic Flute, as the Queen of the Night) is the voice of the Golden Cockerel.
The other principals in this production are Jay Gardner and Christopher Harrison as Boyars. Samuel P.J. Lopez will sing the tenor solo.
All four performances of The Golden Cockerel will be conducted by internationally-acclaimed Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, praised for the sensitivity of his conducting by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times.
Wayne Lee Gay of Texas Classical Review noted in his analysis of last season’s Carmen, “Even in the opening phrases of the Overture…Villaume’s command of the nuance and unique musical language of Bizet signaled an outstanding performance in the making.”
This season, in his recent review of The Magic Flute, Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell observed that “Villaume got well disciplined, suave playing from The Dallas Opera Orchestra. Ensemble singing in the first act was impressively precise.” Meanwhile, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of TheaterJones.com wrote, “Emmanuel Villaume’s extensive research into the score presents a refreshing new take…that will delight those familiar with the music.”
Scottish director/choreographer Paul Curran, who made a dazzling 2015 Dallas Opera debut with the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus, is reviving his own production of Cockerel here in Dallas.
Set and costume designs are by famed British designer Gary McCann, whose jaw-dropping designs for The Dallas Opera’s 2015 world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus were the talk of the town. Recent and upcoming projects include designing Der Freischütz and Macbeth for Vienna State Opera; Killology for the Royal Court Theatre; Carmen for Opera Philadelphia; and the sets for My Fair Lady for Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
Lighting design for this production is by Paul Hackenmueller with projections designed by Driscoll Otto. Wig and make-up designs are by Dawn Rivard.
As always, The Dallas Opera Chorus will be prepared by The Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.
Sung in Russian (the original language) with English supertitles projected above the stage, The Golden Cockerel can also be enjoyed at additional performances on October 27(m), 30, and November 2, 2019.
Dallas Opera evening performances begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Student Rush Tickets are available at the box office 90 minutes prior to curtain – a valid student ID is required for each $15 or $25 ticket (price varies by seat location).
The complete season schedule, artist and production team bios, synopses and more can be found online, anytime, at dallasopera.org.
The Dallas Opera Wishes to Express Our Gratitude to Those
Whose Generous Contributions Made Possible
This 2019 Production of The Golden Cockerel:
The James R. Seitz, Jr. Stage Director in Honor of John Gage: Paul Curran
Additional Special Support Provided by:
Robert L. and Myra Barker Hull
James R. Seitz, Jr.
Joanna L. and T. Peter Townsend
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 in 1957 with a concert featuring the incomparable Maria Callas, 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 like 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, the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture,
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 $19 to $289 (a few box seats may be higher). For additional information or to make your purchase, call 214.443.1000 or visit dallasopera.org.