The Dallas Opera Announces a New, Dedicated Chamber Opera Series, to Be Launched in March 2012 with The Lighthouse by Maxwell Davies

The Dallas Opera is thrilled to announce the launch of its Dallas Opera Chamber Opera Series in the upcoming 2011-12 season, the catalyst for an historic artistic collaboration between The Dallas Opera and the Dallas Theater Center. The new series, designed to complement the main-stage opera performances in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, will enable The Dallas Opera to produce lesser-known contemporary works, new commissions, experimental pieces, and opera rarities in intimate “jewel-box” venues. No other American opera company is currently committed to producing a separate chamber opera series. The Dallas Opera Chamber Opera Series will be inaugurated in March 2012 with a Dallas Opera production of Peter Maxwell Davies’s eerie 1979 thriller, The Lighthouse, a chamber opera about an unsolved disappearance off the coast of Scotland. The production will be conducted by Nicole Paiement, Artistic Director of San Francisco’s Ensemble Parallèle, and staged by the Dallas Theater Center’s Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty.

“I am tremendously proud that, less than a year after taking the helm of The Dallas Opera in exceptionally tough economic times, I am able to announce such an important step for this company,” says Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny. He continues:

“Expanding our repertoire to include chamber opera and new commissions has been a linchpin of my artistic vision for The Dallas Opera. By committing ourselves to this path and forging a landmark collaboration with Kevin Moriarty and the Dallas Theater Center to launch this series – the first such collaboration between our two companies – The Dallas Opera hopes to instill new excitement and a fresh spirit of collaboration and innovation into this, and every upcoming season.

“Kevin Moriarty’s insightful stage direction, as well as his gutsy and intelligent programming and leadership, have established him as one of the pre-eminent figures in the Texas performing arts scene in a remarkably short time. Just as Nicole Paiement is an absolutely superb choice to conduct this unusual and challenging work, Kevin is the ideal director to stage this gripping new production.”

Based on actual events, The Lighthouse begins with a prologue set in an Edinburgh Court of Enquiry. The remainder of the 90-minute opera takes place on a remote, wind-swept island at what is here called “Fladda Isle Lighthouse,” where a trio of lighthouse keepers vanished without trace. The plot of this chamber opera serves up the supernatural and the psychological in equal measure, yet leaves the mystery at its heart unresolved.

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