Alexander Rom has served as The Dallas Opera’s Chorus Master since 1990. As Russian Opera Coach at the Metropolitan Opera since 1985, Mr. Rom has prepared that company’s productions of Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov, and Khovanshchina. Mr. Rom has also served as a visiting Russian Opera Coach for the Houston Grand Opera, where he has prepared several productions of Boris Godunov. Mr. Rom served as principal coach for the international Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, where he functioned as an opera coach and both staged and coached a production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. He teaches opera/voice and is an honorary visiting professor at both the Sibelius Academy and the Conservatory of Music in Helsinki, Finland. Students of Mr. Rom have won Metropolitan Opera competitions and are performing in opera and concerts here and abroad. A native of Kharkov, Ukraine, Mr. Rom graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory of Music with a degree in choral conducting. He is a founder of Grace Choral Society in New York. His compositions have been performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, Helsinki, Finland and many other venues. Mr. Rom maintains a private voice studio in Dallas, Texas.
Pre opera talk
Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director in honor of Graeme Jenkins
French-born conductor Emmanuel Villaume has led captivating performances with the most prominent opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. Entering his sixth season as Music Director of The Dallas Opera, Villaume leads three productions at the Winspear Opera House in the 2018/19 season, beginning in October with performances of both Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and Bizet’s Carmen. Following his critically acclaimed performances of Thaïs and David McVicar’s new production of Tosca last season at the Metropolitan Opera, Villaume returns to the Met in November for performances of Les pêcheurs de perles. He finishes his Dallas Opera season with Manon Lescaut in March, followed by his hotly anticipated European return at the Deutsche Oper Berlin conducting Massenet’s Don Quichotte.
Mo. Villaume continues his tenure this season as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, a position he has held since 2015. Recent projects with the PKF include a Deutsche Grammophon recording with Anna Netrebko, Warner Classics releases with soprano Angela Gheorghiu, pianist Andrew von Oeyen, and tenor Bryan Hymel, and a special New Year’s celebration concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat. Additional recent orchestral performances include at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall for the 2014 Richard Tucker Gala and at Alice Tully Hall for concerts with the Juilliard Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, the White Nights Festival at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and a European concert tour of Iolanta with performances in Lucerne, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, and London’s Royal Albert Hall featuring soprano Anna Netrebko. Villaume returned to the Royal Opera House Muscat in December 2015 for a concert with the PKF and guest soprano Sondra Radvanovsky.
A frequent collaborator with major opera houses in the United States, Maestro Villaume has performed with the Metropolitan Opera for Tosca, Thaïs, Roméo et Juliette, Madama Butterfly, Samson et Dalila, and Carmen; Lyric Opera of Chicago for Faust, Roméo et Juliette, La Bohème, Manon, The Merry Widow and Samson et Dalila; and the Washington National Opera for La Rodine, Norma, Le Cid, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He has conducted Madama Butterfly and Werther with the San Francisco Opera; Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Rondine, and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with the Los Angeles Opera; La Rodine and Faust with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and The Golden Cockerel, La Fanciulla del West, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera. At the Dallas Opera, Mo. Villaume has conducted highly acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni, Der Ring des Polykrates, Samson et Dalila, Eugene Onegin, Moby Dick, Norma, Faust, Le Nozze di Figaro, Carmen, and Iolanta. His participation in music festivals is equally exemplary, highlighted by numerous performances with the prestigious Spoleto Festival USA, where he served as Music Director from 2001 to 2010.
On the international stage, Maestro Villaume has appeared with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Tosca, Manon, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and La Rondine; Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu for Manon Lescaut; Montreal Opera for La Vie Parisienne; Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for Der Rosenkavalier; Teatro Colón for Pelléas et Mélisande; and Bastille Opera for Rigoletto. Other performances in France include: Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse for Mignon; Opéra de Nice for Faust; and Opéra Marseilles for Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson et Dalila, Carmen, and Norma. Maestro Villaume has conducted for several opera companies in Germany, including the Bayerische Staatsoper for Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Deutsche Oper Berlin for Tosca; Hamburg Staatsoper for Der Fliegende Holländer; Bonn Opera for La Fanciulla del West; and Cologne Opera for La Bohème and Werther. Other lauded performances in Europe took place at Teatro La Fenice for Thaïs, Il Crociato, and L’Africaine; Teatro Regio di Torino for Ariane et Barbe-bleue and Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Martina Franca Opera for La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein; Teatro Real in Madrid for Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Werther; Opéra de Monte-Carlo for La Périchole and Werther; and the Klangbogen Festival in Vienna for Don Quichotte and Menotti’s Goya with Plácido Domingo.
Emmanuel Villaume has led a distinguished career leading renowned symphonies in the U.S. and abroad. He made an outstanding contribution as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Slovenian Philharmonic, as well as with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra where he served as Chief Conductor from 2009 – 2016. In North America, he has conducted the Quebec Symphony, the Montreal Symphony in both Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Juilliard Orchestra. He also led the San Francisco Symphony, the Houston Symphony, and the Boston Symphony at both Symphony Hall and the Tanglewood Festival. His performances with music organizations abroad include: the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Kungliga Filharmonikerna, and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Mo. Villaume has conducted concerts with the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane orchestras, and in Asia he has appeared with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and the China National Opera Orchestra for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Born in Strasbourg in 1964, Emmanuel Villaume studied music at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg. He continued his education at Khâgne and the Sorbonne in Paris, where he received degrees in literature, philosophy, and musicology. As author of noted articles of musicology, Mo. Villaume was appointed Dramaturg of the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg at the age of 21. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. Maestro Villaume makes his home in Paris and Dallas.
Sonia Ben-Santamaria is the first female conductor to be associated with the Royal Opera House Jette Parkers young artists programme 2017/2018. Highlights of her season includes shadowing Sir Antonio Pappano on Shostakovitch’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, leading the Youth Opera Company chorus on Barrie Kosky’s Carmen and conducting the presentation of The Monstrous Child. Originally Spanish but French born, Sonia trained at the Conservatoire de Toulouse, the Royal Academy of Music, the National Opera Studio, London, and was subsequently offered a position at the English National Opera as trainee repetiteur and vocal coach. Sonia is the proud founder of Glass Ceiling Orchestra, a socially engaged chamber orchestra which promotes equal opportunities, female conductors and composers. Future engagements include Un Ballo in Maschera for Opera Holland Park.
2018 Hart Institute Concert Performance Selections
- Overture, Don Pasquale – G. Donizetti
- Son nata a lagrimar, Giulio Cesare in Egitto – G.F. Handel
- Prosti, prelestnoye sozdan’ye, The Queen of Spades – Tchaikovsky
Christopher Anderson is an organist and scholar with particular interests in early musical modernism, modern German history and philosophy, the organ’s position in Western culture, and the composer Max Reger. He has written extensively on Reger and his music in two monographs (Max Reger and Karl Straube: Perspectives on an Organ Performing Tradition, Ashgate 2003; and Selected Writings of Max Reger, Routledge 2006) and many essays in international journals. He has translated into English the second volume of Jon Laukvik’s Historical Performance Practice in Organ Playing (Carus, 2010) and edited the first complete survey of organ music in the twentieth century (Twentieth-Century Organ Music, Routledge 2011). His current work includes a critical biography of the twentieth-century virtuoso organist and Leipzig Thomaskantor Karl Straube. Dr. Anderson is Associate Professor of Sacred Music at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, where he teaches courses in history and analysis in the Perkins School of Theology and the Meadows School of the Arts. He holds the PhD in Performance Practices from Duke University.
Mary Dibbern, TDO’s Music Director for Education since fall of 2012, is a classically trained pianist with extended experience in vocal collaboration for both opera and concerts. She is also the author of Pendragon Press Performance Guides for Carmen, The Tales of Hoffmann, Romeo et Juliette, Faust, Manon and Werther as well as Massenet: General Catalogue of Works and the definitive guide to the vocal music of French composer Jacques Leguerney. Dibbern recently translated from the French Massenet and His Letters: A New Biography by Anne Massenet. She is the translator of TDO’s new production of Offenbach’s Pépito. Her editions of song repertoire are published by Musik Fabrik, Max Eschig, and Classical Vocal Reprints. A recording artist for Claves, Harmonia Mundi France, Maguelone and Toccata Classics, her recent CD of songs by Franz Liszt with bass Jared Schwartz was awarded Best Album of 2017 by Theatre Jones and Best Lieder Album of 2017 by Voix des Arts. Schwartz and Dibbern will record mélodies by Camille Saint-Saëns in January 2019. After receiving her MM in piano from SMU, where she was a student of Paul Vellucci, Dibbern moved to Paris, France to study with Nadia Boulanger, Pierre Bernac and Gérard Souzay. She resided there for three decades, where she was in demand for concerts and opera coaching, including at the Opera National de Paris and major companies in France, Europe, Asia and the US. She served as Head of Music for the Minnesota Opera from 2009 to 2012
Hank Hammett is an artist teacher, award-winning director and acting coach who has trained singing actors in the organic fields of music, theatre arts, acting technique and strategic performance skills for over three decades. Hammett has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in television and film, and continues to work at the world’s most prestigious opera houses and festivals, including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam), Opéra de Montréal, Bilbao Opera, Concert Royal, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Glimmerglass Festival, The Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Portland Opera and Boston Lyric Opera. A native of Dallas, Hammett is Director of Opera at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the director of The Dallas Opera’s current production of Offenbach’s Pépito