Dallas Opera dives into dramatic new season with world premiere and big artist debuts
Dallas Opera fans who've been waiting for the 2023-24 season announcement now have plenty to applaud: The DO's 66th mainstage season will feature a highly anticipated world premiere, plus three new-to-Dallas productions, big artist debuts, some annual family favorites, and the return of live-streaming.
"We are thrilled to bring three new-to-Dallas productions and a long-awaited world premiere to our audiences, both near and far, in the 2023/2024 Mainstage Season," says General Director and CEO Ian Derrer in a March 16 release.
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca will open the season in dramatic fashion, featuring the debut of Joseph Calleja and his “honey-tone tenor” (as dubbed by The New York Times). Alongside Calleja as the lovesick namesake of the production is Ewa Płonka. Conspiratorial Scarpia will be played by Gihoon Kim, 2021’s Cardiff Singer of the World.
The director of the high drama (in his company debut) is Andrew Nienaber, alongside Dallas Opera Orchestra and Chorus music director Emmanuel Villaume. Sets and costumes are designed by Robert Perdziola. The production is by the Cincinnati Opera with original direction by Jose Maria Condemi. Tosca will run October 13, 15 (matinee), 18, and 21, 2023.
Following Tosca is the world premiere of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, led by Grammy-Award winner Lucas Meachem as Jean-Dominique Bauby. The star-studded cast is complete with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Richard Croft, soprano Deanna Breiwick, bass Kevin Burdette, soprano Andriana Chuchman, and tenor Andrew Bidlack.
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the remarkable true story of a man whose determination leads to one of the most poignant memoirs ever written,” says Derrer in the release. “We are honored to bring this story to our stage for the first time anywhere.”
This based-on-a-true-story tale is composed by Joby Talbot and directed by Leonard Foglia, with Villaume conducting the orchestra. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly will run November 3, 5 (matinee), 8, and 11, 2023.
Villaume says that conducting this world premiere production is an “extraordinary and rare opportunity.”
In a glorious return after a quarter century, Richard Strauss’ Elektrawill take the stage for the second time in Dallas Opera history. The Opera’s 2002 Vocal Competition winner Marjorie Owens will make her debut in the titular role, with “operatic superstar” Denyce Graves also making her debut as Klytämnestra. Additional co-stars include soprano Angela Meade as Chrysothemis, Alfred Walker debuting as Orest, and company favorite Clifton Forbis as Aegisth.
Nick Sandys is making his company debut as director, Villaume as conductor, and costumes by John Macfarlane. Elektra runs February 9, 11 (matinee), 14, and 17, 2024.
A timeless, romantic classic will debut two of the most anticipated leads this season: tenor Long Long and soprano Golda Schultz as star-crossed lovers in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. In his Dallas Opera return, the legendary Donnie Ray Albert will star as Lord Capulet.
This new-to-Dallas performance is co-produced alongside the Houston Grand Opera and Atlanta Opera. Nicole Paiement will conduct the orchestra and chorus while Romain Gilbert makes his Dallas Opera directorial debut. It runs March 1, 3 (matinee), 6, and 9, 2024.
The final performances of all four mainstage shows will be livestreamed by the Dallas Opera on a “pay-what-you-can” basis.
"In an exciting continuation from last season, we will livestream the last performance of all four mainstage productions," says Derrer. "Our commitment to bringing world-class opera to audiences, wherever they may be, is as strong as ever. Making these performances available on a pay-what-you’re-able basis keeps our artform accessible to all viewers."
Familiar favorites making a return to the Dallas Opera’s 66th season include the annual free People’s Choice Concert on October 7 at 7:30 pm and the Robert E. and Jean Ann Titus Family Recital on Sunday, January 24, 2024 at 2 pm.
The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors Showcase Concert will take place on Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 7:30 pm. It is the only program of its kind globally that highlights gender imbalances of leadership and advocates for women conductors worldwide.
Family Shows are also returning in the fall and spring of 2023-24 with The Billy Goats Gruff (October 14, 2023 and March 10, 2024) and Pépito(November 12, 2023 and March 2, 2024).
The National Vocal Competition will make its return this season, with finalists set to compete on March 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm.
Subscriptions will be available on Wednesday, April 19 with packages starting at $89 for all four operas. Single tickets go on sale Friday, July 21. The Opera’s newest membership initiative, Crescendo, is in its second season and is currently accepting new membership registrations ($60). The program includes two complimentary tickets for the upcoming season with additional discounts, special event invitations, and more.
More information about the Dallas Opera’s 2023-24 season and tickets can be found on their website.