Score for the Dallas Opera

Dallas Opera appoints history-making principal guest conductor

Dallas Opera appoints history-making principal guest conductor

Maestra Nicole Paiement of Dallas Opera
Maestra Nicole Paiement will serve as the first principal guest conductor in the Dallas Opera's 57-year history. Photo courtesy of Dallas Opera

Dallas Opera has achieved another milestone with the appointment of Nicole Paiement, who will serve as the company’s first principal guest conductor in its 57-year history. The critically acclaimed, San Francisco-based artistic director and contemporary music specialist begins immediately.

Maestra Paiement will work closely with music director Emmanual Villaume and CEO Keith Cerny on upcoming projects, including the world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Sheer’s Everest, slated for January 15, 2015.

Paiement is the artistic director of Opera Parallèle (OP), a professional company in San Francisco dedicated to contemporary opera. There she has conducted many new productions, including the world premiere of the commissioned chamber version of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby.

An active guest conductor, Paiement has premiered and commissioned numerous works from composers around the world. She also serves as the artistic director of the BluePrint Project, a music series sponsored by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, for which she has commissioned, premiered and recorded works from many living American composers.  

Paiement made her Dallas Opera debut in 2012, conducting Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse. Critics noted her ease and precision with a difficult work. More recently, she put her stamp on Death and the Powers. Again Paiement was praised for her ability to take a complicated piece and turn it into a dazzling production.

Cerny echoes those critics’ sentiments: “I have been very impressed with Nicole’s ability to bring clarity to performances of the most challenging contemporary scores since I first encountered her conducting,” he says.

“It is clear that Nicole is a deeply thoughtful, expressive and gifted conductor with a personality that encourages artists and musicians to discover and deliver their best work,” adds Villaume. “Experienced collaborators are to be prized; highly intelligent collaborators are to be treasured. I am looking forward to welcoming Nicole to The Dallas Opera in this newly created position.”