Season Continues with Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and World Premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick
On October 23, The Dallas Opera opens its first season in the company’s new home, the 2,200-seat Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House designed by Foster+Partners under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster. The inaugural season, which will later feature the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick, opens with a new production of Verdi’s Otello. Directed by Tim Albery, who, like set- and costume-designer Anthony Baker, is making his Dallas Opera debut, the production stars tenor Clifton Forbis, an alumnus of The Dallas Opera Chorus, in the title role. The Dallas Opera’s music director, Graeme Jenkins, conducts.
“Having Clifton Forbis sing the title role in Otello has a special significance for us,” explains Jonathan Pell, artistic director of The Dallas Opera. “He sang in The Dallas Opera Chorus for two years and made his first solo appearance in an opera in Dallas as a messenger in a production of Aida. He has, of course, gone on to sing in the major opera houses of the world. He has sung the title role in Otello at La Scala and has become known as well for Wagner’s mammoth role of Tristan, which he recently sang opposite Deborah Voigt at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The connection of his having started his career here seemed poetic, and we loved the symmetry of his coming back to open our new opera house.” Forbis has also portrayed Siegmund in Wagner’s Walküre at the Met opposite Voigt’s Sieglinde.
The Dallas Opera moves into the new Winspear Opera House after many decades in the Music Hall at Fair Park. “The first thing our patrons will notice is the incredible intimacy of the Winspear Opera House compared to the enormity of the Music Hall,” explains Pell. “The back wall of the new opera house is proportionately where the front of the balcony starts in the Music Hall! The other big change for Dallas audiences will be our ability to have multiple productions in repertoire at the same time. Now, opera lovers can travel to Dallas and experience more than one opera in the course of a weekend.”