The Dallas Opera has announced scheduling and casting details for its first season in the new Winspear Opera House. The season will open on Friday, Oct. 23, with a performance of Verdi’s Otello. Also scheduled are Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte (opening on Feb. 12), Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Feb. 19), Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick — a world premiere (April 30) and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (May 7).
Clifton Forbis will sing Otello, except that Allan Glassman will take the second performance. Other cast members will include Annette Dasch (Desdemona), Lado Ataneli (Iago), Sean Panikkar (Cassio), Mark McCrory (Montano), Elizabeth Turnbull (Emilia) and Raymond Aceto (Lodovico). This will be a new production directed by Tim Albery, with sets and costumes by Anthony Baker. Graeme Jenkins will conduct.
Cast members for Così Fan Tutte will include Thomas Allen (Don Alfonso), Elza van den Heever (Fiordiligi), Jennifer Holloway (Dorabella), Brian Anderson (Ferrando), Michael Todd Simpson (Guglielmo) and Nuccia Focile (Despina). Jenkins will conduct.
For Don Pasquale, the cast will include Donato DiStefano in the title role, Adriana Kucerova (Norina), Nathan Gunn (Doctor Malatesta) and Norman Shankle (Ernesto). Candace Evans will stage the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production, and Stefano Ranzani will conduct.
Ben Heppner will star as Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick. Other cast members will include Morgan Smith (Starbuck), Stephen Costello (Ishmael), Jonathan Lemalu (Queequeg), Allan Glassman (Flask); Robert Orth (Stubb); Talise Trevigne (Pip) and Jonathan Beyer (Captain Gardiner). Leonard Foglia will direct, with sets by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Jane Greenwood. Conducting will be Patrick Summers, music director of the Houston Grand Opera.
Adina Nitescu will take the title role in Madame Butterfly. Also singing will be Brandon Jovanovich (Pinkerton), James Westman (Sharpless), Maria Zifchak (Suzuki), David Cangelosi (Goro), Young-Bok Kim (the Bonze) and Yungbae Yang (Prince Yamadori). Garnett Bruce will stage the opera, with scenic design by Yeargan and costume design by Anita Yavich. The conductor will be announced later.
Although the number of operas remains the same as in the current season in the Music Hall at Fair Park, the number of performances will be increased because the Winspear will hold fewer seats — 2,200, as opposed to the Music Hall’s 3,400. Performances will be on Fridays, Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and the following Thursdays and Sundays. The Sunday performances will be matinees.
The move also will allow alternating productions. Although Otello will be performed alone, Così Fan Tutte and Don Pasquale will alternate, as will Moby-Dick and Madame Butterfly.
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