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Fort Worth Opera's Next Season
by Jerome Weeks 12 May 2011

Two classic blockbusters plus two regional premieres by contemporary composers — including the ever-present Jake Heggie.


Composer Jake Heggie continues to have strong advocates on both sides of the Trinity River. Dallas Opera premiered his Moby-Dick last season, of course, but Fort Worth Opera presented his Dead Man Walking in 2009 and for next year’s festival, it will present the regional premiere of Heggie’s earlier work, Three Decembers.

Three Decembers, about a Broadway singer and her adult children, will play in the Scott Theatre, not the Bass Performance Hall, but the season’s other contemporary work and regional premiere, composer Mark Adamo’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, will be staged in the Bass. This is also the second work by Adamo that the FWOpera has staged, having done Little Women in 2005. Lysistrata will feature local favorite and Texas native, the soprano Ava Pine, who’s performing in Julius Caesar later this month.

The festival will kick off with two major classic works, Puccini’s Tosca and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The Tosca is something of a back-by-popular-demand return engagement. It features soprano Carter Scott and Michael Chioldi, both of whom performed in FWOpera’s production of Tosca in 2005.

The festival will run May 12-June 3. The full release, as always, follows:


Company’s Role as Champion of Contemporary Opera and Modern Composers Expands with Regional Premieres of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, opposite Traditional Favorites Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro

FORT WORTH, Texas – Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) will kick off its 66th season and its sixth Festival with Puccini’s blockbuster Tosca, followed by Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Well-known for its reputation for programming contemporary works, the company will reinforce that commitment with not just one but two regional premieres: Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. This is the second opera for each composer produced by Fort Worth Opera—Adamo’s Little Women was staged in 2005 and Heggie’s Dead Man Walking ran in 2009.

In announcing the 2012 season line-up, General Director Darren K. Woods said, “The
casting in Tosca and Figaro is second-to-none, and it is a particular thrill to program works by Mark Adamo and Jake Heggie—two of our generation’s leading opera composers—together in the same Festival. It will be the first time audiences can experience their incredible music in repertory together. After staging Little Women in 2005 and Dead Man Walking in 2009, I knew that we had to bring these gifted composers back to Fort Worth. Plus, we’re pairing these operas with new directors who weren’t involved with the premieres, and I can’t wait to see their vision come to life: David Gately is perfect for Mark’s comedic yet provocative satire Lysistrata, as is Candace Evans for Jake’s touching family drama Three Decembers.”

Continued Woods, “I’m excited that Carter Scott and Michael Chioldi are returning for
Tosca—they are literally back by popular demand. Hers was a magnificent Tosca in 2005 and his Scarpia was searing. And our Marriage of Figaro is a perfect example of Fort Worth Opera’s success at showcasing the best of today’s young operatic talent, including the Opera Guild of Fort Worth’s McCammon Competition alumni Donovan Singletary and Jonathan Beyer as Figaro and the Count, respectively, plus fellow up-and-comers Andrea Carroll as Susanna, Jan Cornelius as the Countess, and Wallis Giunta as Cherubino.”

The 2012 Festival will run May 12 – June 3, 2012. Tosca, The Marriage of Figaro, and
Lysistrata will be performed in world-renowned Bass Performance Hall. As part of Fort Worth Opera’s ongoing dedication to performing in alternative venues, Three Decembers will play in the Scott Theatre, an intimate 500-seat venue at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center that is ideally suited to the chamber work and where the company performed Angels in America to great success in 2008.

Music by Giacomo Puccini and libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa