Everything, Including Opera, is Bigger in Texas

Photo by wjklos via FlickrDallas, TX – The age old phrase reigns true, again. While San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera have opera simulcasts in their city’s respective ballparks, the Metropolitan Opera reaches thousands with their simulcasts in Lincoln Center and Time Square (not to mention in movie theaters across the world), the Dallas Opera trumps them all. On Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM the Dallas Opera will simulcast Mozart’s Magic Flute into the Cowboys Stadium. Why does that take the cake, you ask? Well, the high-definition screen, that will show the opera, is the largest in the world! It hangs from one 20-yd line to the other 20-yd line or for those that don’t speak football: 160 feet wide and 72 feet tall. Again, everything is bigger in Texas.

“One of the goals of the Dallas Opera is to bring great singing and world-class theater to the widest possible audience,” explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny.  “As part of our commitment to expanding our community outreach we are thrilled to announce an unprecedented, ‘game-changing’ collaboration with the Cowboys organization.  Let me also say that the Dallas Opera is especially grateful for the generous support of the Jones Family, encouraging our efforts to create one of the most unique and memorable events in the history of this opera company.”

This is actually not the first time Dallas Opera has ventured into the realm of opera simulcasts. The 2010-2011 season started with a production of Don Giovanni that was simulcasted in the beautiful Annette Strauss Square (between the Meyerson and the Winspear Opera House) at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. To no fault of their own, the performance ended up coinciding with a Texas Rangers World Series game which, from what we observed, really hurt the size of the potential audience. While there is a Rangers game scheduled right next door to Cowboys Stadium the same day of the simulcast, there are bound to be less Texans concerned with the teams outcome at this stage in the season.

“I hope that the centralized location of Cowboys Stadium will draw music and theater lovers from all across North Texas to this free simulcast of Mozart’s action-packed masterpiece,” Mr. Cerny adds, “especially those who, for a variety of reasons, have perceived opera as an intimidating or challenging art form, rather than the fantastic entertainment experience it is.”

The Dallas Opera has arranged a exemplary cast of singers for the Magic Flute. Texan native, Ava Pine, will sing the roll of Pamina and Tamino will be played by Shawn Mathey. Ms. Pine has a tremendous fan base in Texas and has performed on other side of the Metroplex, at Fort Worth Opera, a number of times. The rest of the cast is rounded out by bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi, soprano L’ubica Vargicová, and Bass Raymond Aceto.

Seating will be reserved and free tickets can be obtained through the Dallas Opera website at www.dallasopera.org/cowboys.

Have you attended an opera simulcast event? What do you think of the overall experience?