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Dallas Opera May Break Record This Saturday

by Jerome Weeks 25 Apr 2012 8:24 AM

The Dallas Opera is on the verge of holding the record for the largest single audience for an opera simulcast.


Gene Jones, wife of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, at Tuesday’s press conference

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t get close to the Super Bowl this season — just hosted it last year — but this Saturday, the Dallas Opera may be setting a national record with its simulcast of The Magic Flute in Cowboys Stadium.

At a press conference Tuesday at the stadium, DO general director Keith Cerny said that requests for free tickets to the performance are currently a little under 32,000. That happens to be the number of attendees to the San Francisco Opera’s video presentation of Aida in AT&T Park in 2010 — believed to be the largest single audience for a stadium simulcast of an opera. The Dallas Opera will be taking ticket requests up to 10 a.m. this Friday, so it’s possible the company may become the new record-holder.

What’s remarkable about this is not so much that more than 30,000 people in North Texas would be eager to visit Cowboys Stadium for free or see an opera for free. As Cerny noted Tuesday, it’s that the Dallas Opera has done it on its first go-round with a stadium simulcast.  Previously, the company’s simulcasts — called Plazacast — had been held in Sammons Park or Annette Strauss Square in the Arts District and had not drawn multiple thousands. What’s more, it took the San Francisco Opera five stadium simulcasts over the years before it reached 32,000. It had averaged 25,000 before that.

As Cerny said, he had no idea what the response might be when he first came up with the idea two years ago when he arrived in Dallas to take over the opera. Originally, only 7500 seats were reserved at Cowboys Stadium.

Requests for tickets can only be made through the Dallas Opera’s website.