From Chaos Comes Art

FORT WORTH – Madness has descended on Fort Worth by means of its resident opera company. Fort Worth Opera’s annual practice of rehearsing 3-4 operas simultaneously and all the craziness that goes with it has inspired a TV producer and agent to create a reality show, which may one day be seen on a station near you. In the meantime, the behind-the-scenes preparations for the 2010 Festival continue. This year, the Festival will feature: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, and the world premiere of Before Night Falls by Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín, based on the memoir of the same name by Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas.

“It’s chaotic,” says General Director Darren Keith Woods, “but controlled.” He adds with a laugh, “Barely.” Opera singers are notorious for having bigger-than-life personalities, as do a lot of the behind-the-scenes people too, explains Woods. “We have a lot of fun, but when you get all of them together in one location with the stress of rehearsing three major productions in three weeks, interesting stuff happens.”

The 2010 Festival will run May 22 – June 6, 2010 and all three operas will be performed in Bass Performance Hall. It will mark both the company’s fourth annual festival and the second main-stage world premiere since changing to the festival format in 2007, when Fort Worth Opera produced the premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot.

Before Night Falls stands out for several reasons. It is a world premiere based on the memoirs of a Cuban – MORE -dissident. “Latin-America is under-represented in the classical music world,” says Woods. “Not only is this about a real-life Latin-America hero, it was written by a Cuban-American composer.” The composer, Jorge Martín, received the rights to turn the memoirs into an opera several years before the rights were obtained to create the movie Before Night Falls, which starred Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp. The world premiere will feature several young, upcoming artists and Broadway and Tony Award winning singer/actor (2003 La Bohème), Jesus Garcia.

TICKETS: Season tickets range from $33-$394. Individual tickets range from $17-$154 with special student and military pricing available. For more information or tickets visit www.fwopera.org, or call 817.731.0726 or toll-free 1.877.396.7372.

ABOUT FORT WORTH OPERA: Fort Worth Opera was founded in 1946 and is the oldest continually performing opera company in Texas, and one of the 14 oldest opera companies in the United States. In recent years, under the leadership of Darren Keith Woods, the company has gained national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic quality and willingness to take risks. In 2007, the company completely changed its fall/winter schedule to a condensed one-month long Festival in the spring. Darren Keith Woods, who began his operatic career in 1982 as a character tenor, joined Fort Worth Opera as General Director in 2001.