The Dallas Opera plans on getting all-Oscar night on us again.
For the October 21 opening night of Lucia di Lammermoor — which is also opening night of the entire season — there’ll be a free, public simulcast in Sammons Park outside the Winspear Opera House. It’s called Plazacast @ The Center.
We hoi polloi on our blankets and chairs (but without our pets) will get to ogle the ‘red-carpet’ arrivals of the swells in person, and then watch the opening-night proceedings on a giant screen out on the lawn — including the pre-show thanks to the corporate sponsors all the way to the curtain calls.
Last year, the DO did this with the opening night of Don Giovanni, but it did it in the Annette Strauss Square and in cooperation with WFAA-TV. This time, it’s in Sammons Park — which means (at last!) we’re free to bring our own food and drink — and there’s also no mention of WFAA. But then, some people weren’t wild about the video quality, either, although the sound was reportedly excellent.
The full press release follows:
The AT&T Performing Arts Center and The Dallas Opera Are Thrilled to Announce “Plazacast @ The Center”
A Free, Public Simulcast of TDO’s 2011 Opening Night, Including a Performance of Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor
DALLAS (September 7, 2011) – The AT&T Performing Arts Center is privileged to announce that—in partnership with the Dallas Opera—all the excitement and thrills of the Opening Night of the opera company’s upcoming 2011-2012 “Tragic Obsessions” Season will be on street-level, public display, free of charge.
This will be a night for everyone in the Greater Metroplex area, from the red-carpet arrivals to the outdoor curtain-calls for the cast and chorus that will bring this remarkable evening to a fitting close.
“Plazacast @ the Center,” our second simulcast, will be held in Sammons Park and other areas of the plaza in front of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center (2403 Flora Street). This glittering event gets underway on the evening of Friday, October 21, 2011, beginning at 6:20 p.m. (curtain time: 7:30 p.m.).
The new location has the added advantage of allowing music aficionados and the opera-curious to bring their own blankets, picnic baskets and lawn chairs; to make a full evening of this festive affair, supported by SmartWater. (However, AT&T and the Dallas Opera respectfully request that you leave your pets at home. Minor children must be accompanied by an adult.)
Attendees will have an outstanding view of the red carpet “fashion show” that kicks-off the event and a gigantic screen on the lawn will transport them inside the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall and down to the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage for opening remarks, prior to the evening’s eagerly-anticipated performance.
The opera itself will be sung in the original language, Italian, with English language subtitles projected onto the screen. Whether indoors or out, Center patrons won’t miss a moment of the melodrama!
This Plazacast also marks the company’s most recent collaboration with the Dallas Opera, which partnered with ATTPAC for last season’s opening night simulcast from the newly re-dedicated Annette Strauss Square.
“We have found that simulcasts are extraordinary magnets for families and individuals who have never before been to an opera,” explains Dallas Opera Chief Marketing Officer & Director of Community Outreach Jennifer Schuder.
“Although our tickets are priced to suit any budget, some people are reluctant to commit their hard-earned cash without knowing whether it’s the kind of experience they’re likely to enjoy. Events like the Plazacast at the Center allow them to make that discovery—and its costs nothing more than a few hours of their time.
“But, even for those who already adore opera, it’s a terrific chance to relax on the lawn, with a glass in-hand, to enjoy the music and the performance in a wonderfully casual, communal setting.”
Paid parking—including handicapped parking— will be available beneath the Winspear Opera House (Lexus Red) and the Wyly Theatre across the street (Lexus Silver Parking). Additional paid parking is available in-and-around the Arts District, in both garages and surface lots.
SmartWater will provide free water for Plazacast patrons at their clearly marked tent. Other food and drink will be available on-site and within easy walking distance of the simulcast. Restroom facilities will be located across Flora Street in well-lit areas.
Security at the Plazacast will be provided by the AT&T Performing Arts Center, with additional security provided by the Dallas Police Department.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.attpac.org, by phone at 214.880.0202, or in person at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Box Office at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street (Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm; Sunday 11 am – 4 pm), or at the remote Box Office at Park Place Lexus Plano at 1025 Preston Road.