The live broadcast of this historic event can be heard Friday, October 23, 2009 at 7:30 p.m., hosted by WRR daytime host Adriana Bate. Listeners will want to tune in earlier that evening at 6:30 p.m. for a special pre-performance documentary exploring this landmark production.
However, the build-up to the grand opening of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House begins several weeks prior, as WRR presents exclusive broadcasts of The Dallas Opera’s critically acclaimed 2008-2009 Season:
• THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (airdate: September 19, 2009) Starring Daniel Okulitch in the title role, Lyubov Petrova as Susanna, Michael Todd Simpson as Count Almaviva and Susanna Phillips as the Countess; this production was praised by Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell as “one of the best Dallas Opera productions in memory.”
• DIE FLEDERMAUS (airdate: September 26, 2009) Starring Ana Maria Martinez as Rosalinde, Wolfgang Holzmair as Eisenstein, Christopher Feigum as Doctor Falke and Ava Pine as Adele. A performance in which Terry Mathews, Arts Editor of The Sulphur Springs News-Telegram noted: “Singing opera requires the endurance of an athlete, the performance skills of an Academy award-winning actor and the musical technique of a maestro.”
• ROBERTO DEVEREUX (airdate: October 3, 2009) Starring Hasmik Papian as Queen Elizabeth I, Stephen Costello in the title role of the Earl of Essex, Elizabeth Batton as Sara and David Kempster as her husband, the Duke of Nottingham. Applauded by William Burnett of Opera Warhorses as a “vibrant new production…with an international cast of the first rank.”
• LA BOHEME (airdate: October 10, 2009) Starring Maria Kanyova as Mimi, James Valenti as Rodolfo, Dwayne Croft as Marcello, Valentina Farcas as Musetta, Robert Gleadow as Colline and Weston Hurt as Schaunard. Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell particularly praised the conducting of Italian Maestro Pietro Rizzo (an SMU alum on the verge of making his Metropolitan Opera debut): “…Rizzo makes the orchestra the most compelling dramatic personage of all, by turns excited and anxious, sassy and passionate, tender and finally heartbroken. The orchestra plays its heart out for him, and the big chorus, prepared by Alexander Rom, sings rousingly and well.”
• THE ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS (airdate: October 17, 2009) The season finale and our final production after 52 magical years in the Music Hall. The Dallas Opera comes “full circle” by reviving the Rossini opera that started it all in 1957: L’italiana in Algeri or THE ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS starring Manuela Custer in the title role, William Burden as Lindoro, Paolo Pecchioli as Mustafa and Patrick Carfizzi as Taddeo. Wrote Peter Simek for D magazine, “Where else would such a storied run end with this much excitement?”
Each Saturday afternoon broadcast of these Farewell Season “Dallas Opera Encore Performances” will begin at 12:30 p.m.
“The people of North Texas are fortunate enough to have one of the finest classical music radio stations in the nation right in our own backyard,” says Dallas Opera Director of Marketing Jennifer Schuder. “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to work with WRR General Manager Greg Davis and his on-air staff to ensure that everyone in the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth area has equal access to these outstanding performances, as well as this once-in-a-lifetime Opening Night at The Dallas Opera.”
The curtain will rise that evening at 7:30 pm on Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, the inaugural Dallas Opera performance in its new, state-of-the-art home. This Tim Albery production, now being created for The Dallas Opera, will star the internationally acclaimed Clifton Forbis in the title role (Allan Glassman, Oct. 25th) and the beautiful and talented Annette Dasch in her much-anticipated American debut as Desdemona with renowned Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli as the cruel Iago. It will feature the work of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Music Director Graeme Jenkins. The performance will be followed by a glittering black-tie dinner in the iconic Foster and Partners-designed opera house.
Certain to attract both national and international media, as well as dignitaries, corporate executives and civic leaders, limited seating for this one-time-only celebration is being made available first to Dallas Opera subscribers and donors. Subscribers who do not have Opening Night Subscriptions may exchange their seats to Opening Night – ONLY with the purchase of seats to the Celebration Dinner. -- www.dallasopera.org