The Dallas Opera is bringing productions of family fare to communities around Dallas with its new OperaTruck, an 18-wheel flatbed “big rig” that has been customized as an outdoor mobile stage, the organization announced on April 12.
The truck, which can accommodate musicians and singers with appropriate distancing in “pop-up” performances, will make its debut with three new community partners:
- First United Methodist Church of Heath on May 8 at 2 pm
- Trinity Basin Preparatory School on May 15 at 2 pm
- St. Matthew’s Cathedral on May 23 at 3 pm
The performances will feature TDO singers in two family-friendly one-act operas, Jack and the Beanstalk and Doctor Miracle.
The OperaTruck will also bring performers to private events at the North Texas Food Bank in Plano and Family Gateway in downtown Dallas. Future OperaTruck performances have yet to be announced.
OperaTruck is the brainchild of Kristian Roberts, TDO’s director of education.
“The pandemic has been challenging for arts organizations as a whole, but it has also given The Dallas Opera opportunities to become even more bold and creative in our approach to our mission," says Roberts in a statement. "We have seized this moment to better serve the community while upholding our commitment to a talented generation of Texas-based singer/actors now developing their craft."
It's reminiscent of Dallas Symphony Orchestra's popular Concert Truck, which debuted during the last holiday season and just had an encore of on-the-go shows in February and March.
OperaTruck was retro-fitted and donated by Quincy Roberts (no relation to Kristian), a TDO Trustee, TDO Chorus member, trained opera singer, and CEO of Roberts Trucking, the largest African American-owned construction hauler in Dallas.
“It’s a privilege to both support The Dallas Opera and participate with them in performance, which is why providing them with a creative way to expand their community engagement efforts made so much sense,” says Roberts in the statement. “After a year without live performances, I can’t wait to see the OperaTruck in action in our communities.”
Additional free outdoor performances of Jack and the Beanstalk will take place without the truck at the Dallas Arboretum on April 24 at 11 am and 12 pm in the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden and at Klyde Warren Park on May 1 at 1 pm.