Season Announcement

Dallas Opera's new season mixes crowd-pleasing classics with an intriguing premiere

Dallas Opera's new season mixes classics with an intriguing premiere

Dallas Opera presents La traviata
Verdi's La traviata is part of Dallas Opera's 2017-18 season. Photo by Maxine Helfman

The theme for Dallas Opera's 2017-18 season is "Motives Unmasked," inspiring visions of deceitful decisions and sexy double-crossing, along with some brutal truth-telling.

That's all in line with Camille Saint-Saëns' season opener Samson and Dalila, one of three classics that Dallas Opera has on tap for its 61st season. Tenor Clifton Forbis and Russian soprano Olga Borodina — in her eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut — portray the doomed twosome, trapped in a love affair of biblical proportions. The five performances are October 20, 22 (matinee), 25, 28, and November 5 (matinee).

Next up is Giuseppe Verdi's heartbreaking 1853 masterpiece La traviata, sung in Italian with English supertitles. Called "the perfect Pretty Woman night at the opera," the perennial crowd-pleaser is a revival of a Lyric Opera of Chicago production and spotlights conductor Carlo Montanaro and director Stefania Panighini in their company debuts. Its performance dates are October 27 and 29 (matinee) and November 1, 4, 10, and 12 (matinee).

A unique pairing of two works is third: Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 and The Ring of Polykrates​. The latter is described by Dallas Opera general director and CEO Keith Cerny as "a delightful opera rarity so rare, that we believe it has only had two professional productions in this country since it originally premiered in Munich 100 years ago." The duo opens 2018 and will have only four performances: February 9, 11 (matinee), 14, and 17.

The term "groundbreaking" is apropos when applied to the next opera, which mixes 3-D elements into the live staging. Sunken Garden is composed by Michel van der Aa with libretto by British novelist David Mitchell, and van der Aa himself is directing. The critically acclaimed "occult film mystery opera" concerns a filmmaker’s obsession with the disappearance of a young girl and the discovery of a walled garden, which is the barrier between life and death. Performances are March 9, 11 (matinee), 14, and 17, 2018.

To close out the season, Dallas Opera is bringing back Mozart’s hell-raising comedy-drama Don Giovanni, based on the exploits of the legendary Don Juan. Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień stars in this provocative, R-rated production, under the baton of Dallas Opera music director Emmanuel Villaume. It runs April 13, 15 (matinee), 18, 21, 27, and 29 (matinee), 2018.

The Dallas Opera Family Performance Series also has some intrigue on tap, with two performances each of Donizetti and Company (October 15 and February 18, 2018), The Three Little Pigs (November 4 and February 3, 2018), and Pépito (November 19 and February 10, 2018). Tickets for these shows are only $5 and opera-lovers of all ages are welcome.

Single tickets to Dallas Opera's main 2017-18 season go on sale to the public in July and are available online at or by calling 214-443-1000.

In addition, the next free live simulcast is set for March 18 at 7:30 pm and it's at a brand-new location. Dallas Cowboys world headquarters The Star in Frisco will host its first arts event with the high-definition screening of Madame Butterfly. Puccini's Italian opera is the third production in Dallas Opera's current season.