The 2014-2015 Dallas Opera Season came to a full close this past weekend after Saturday’s final performance of Iolanta and after the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition concluded on Sunday evening. The Competition consisted of eighteen semi-finalists, selected from over 360 applicants from all parts of the country, competing for significant cash prizes (totaling $18,500) as well as the opportunity to perform with the Dallas Opera Orchestra under the direction of Director Emmanuel Villaume at the Winspear Opera House. The final results were announced late Sunday:
- Anthony Clark Evans (baritone) received the $10,00 First Prize, presented by Dallas Opera Guild President Susan Fleming in memory of Bessylee Penland.
- J’nai Bridges (mezzo-soprano) received the $5,000 Second Place Prize, presented by Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald as well as the $1,000 People’s Choice Award presented by Dallas Opera Guild Treasurer Holly Mayer.
- Sarah Mesko (mezzo-soprano) received the $2,500 Third Place Prize, presented by incoming Dallas Opera Guild Board Presidents Mac and Jana Irwin.
Judges for the 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition:
- Brian Zeger, Chair — Artistic Director of Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and Executive Director for the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera
- Keith Cerny — General Director and CEO of The Dallas Opera
- Emmanuel Villaume — Music Director, The Dallas Opera
- Ian Derrer — Artistic Administrator, The Dallas Opera
- Jonathan Friend — Artistic Administrator, The Metropolitan Opera
- Gregory Henkel — Director of Artistic and Music Planning, San Francisco Opera
- Andreas Melinat — Director of Artistic Administration, Lyric Opera of Chicago
- Joshua Winograde — Senior Director of Artistic Planning, Los Angeles Opera
To Fort Worth
Friday marks the opening night of the 2015 Fort Worth Opera Festival! The 2015 Festival will include three productions spanning April 24 – May 10:
Fort Worth Opera will emphasize its commitment to contemporary works by launching the 2015 season with the revolutionary new opera Dog Days, by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, in the intimate setting of the Scott Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, Texas). Based on the powerful short story of the same name by Judy Budnitz, the opera depicts the harrowing saga of an American family in a post-apocalyptic world. Facing imminent starvation and struggling to retain their dignity, the family is put to the ultimate test of humanity when a man appears at their home dressed as a dog and begging for scraps. Sure to be one of the most raw and affecting pieces to ever take the Fort Worth Opera stage, Dog Days has been described as “a punch in the stomach,” and “one of the most exciting operas in recent years” by The Wall Street Journal.
Opening the Bass Hall season will be Verdi’s masterpiece La Traviata. Based on La Dame aux camellias by Alexander Dumas, fis, and renowned for its unforgettable melodies, this timeless love story will play out against Verdi’s rich orchestration and features a cast of fresh faces all making their FWOpera debuts in this traditionally staged production. Although deeply in love, the beautiful but frail Violetta Valéry—sung by Australian rising star Rachelle Durkin—resigns her passionate affair with Alfredo Germont – portrayed by Patrick O’Halloran—to maintain his family’s respected name. Rounding out the leading roles is Nicholas Pallesen as Alfredo’s father, Giorgo Germont.
The 2015 Bass Hall series concludes with the regional premiere of Ambroise Thomas’ riveting retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. From the moment guests enter Bass Hall, they will be catapulted into the haunting world of intrigue and vengeance with a set recalling images of a stark Soviet-era city. This mesmerizing production will welcome baritone Wes Mason (Before Night Falls and La Bohème) back to FWOpera in the title role, while Kim Joesphson (Falstaff) will portray the lecherous Claudius. Robynne Redmon (Dead Man Walking and Madama Butterfly) will appear as Gertrude, and Talise Trevigne will take on the challenging role of Ophelia in her FWOpera debut, following her success in Jake Heggie’s monumental Moby Dick with the Dallas Opera.
For full season and ticket information visit the new www.fwopera.org