Dallas Opera’s 65th season to offer “Rigoletto,” “Rheingold” and “Cosi”

Thu Mar 17, 2022 at 3:51 pm
By Richard Sylvester Oliver
Wagner’s Das Rheingold will be presented by Dallas Opera for the first time in 25 years in the 2022-23 season. Photo: TDO

The Dallas Opera’s 65th Anniversary season will feature four classic works by familiar composers, designed to pull old and new audiences back to the venue as the organization presents its first full season since closing due to Covid-19 in March 2020. Each of the mainstage productions will be receiving their Dallas debuts.

“The past two years have taught us that people’s appetite for grand opera has never been greater,” said TDO general director and CEO Ian Derrer. “First-rate singing, lavish and imaginative productions, a renowned orchestra and chorus—audiences will enjoy them all in TDO’s 65th Anniversary celebration.”

Verdi’s Rigoletto will opens the 2022-23 season October 8th with the company debut of baritone George Gagnidze in the title role and American soprano Madison Leonard as Gilda. Tenor René Barbera will sing the role of the Duke of Mantua. Tomer Zvulun will helm the stage production, which will be conducted by music director Emmanuel Villaume.

Hansel and Gretel follows October 28, two decades after the company’s last showing of Engelbert Humperdinck’s work. This production, sung in English, will see the return of Elena Villalón, who recently made a successful appearance in the company’s production of Flight, and just this week received accolades for a Vocal Arts DC recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Singing opposite Villalón’s Gretel, will be countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim in his TDO debut, as her sibling Hansel. Patricia Racette does double duty as the Witch and the Mother, and baritone Mark Delavan is the Father, with Villaume conducting.

Wagner’s colossal Das Rheingold will open the new year on February 10, 2023, for the first time on a Dallas Opera stage in a quarter century. While this is not the beginning of a Ring Cycle, this production serves as a passion project for Villaume. American bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee will star as Wotan, with South African soprano Amanda Echalaz as Fricka in her TDO debut. Tenor Barry Banks will sing the role of Mime and soprano Karen Slack, winner of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, will debut with TDO in the role of Freia.

Closing the mainstage performance season is a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, opening March 24. Sara Gartland will star as Fiordiligi with Elizabeth DeShong as Dorabella and Diana Newman as Despina. Baritone Lucas Meachem, who stars in the upcoming Barber of Seville, will sing the role of Guglielmo and tenor David Portillo will sing Ferrando. TDO Hart Institute for Women Conductors alumna Elizabeth Askren will conduct in this San Francisco Opera production.  

The 2022-23 season will mark the final one for retiring chorusmaster Alexander Rom, who will prepare choruses for Rigoletto and Cosi fan tutte.

“Maestro Rom has been a fixture for The Dallas Opera’s artistic team for more than three decades, leading our outstanding chorus in an impressive array of operatic styles, genres, and languages,” said Derrer. “He leaves an indelible mark on TDO.”

Subscription renewals are now available. New subscriptions will be available starting April 15 and  single tickets go on sale July 29. dallasopera.org

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