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Monday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 8 Apr 2013 7:59 AM

Today in the roundup: A return engagement for The Dallas Opera, how a film accurately captures Renoir at work and Stage West’s busy schedule.


THE RETURN OF ‘ASPERN’: On Friday, The Dallas Opera opens The Aspern Papers. The opera, sung in English, takes place in Lake Como, where a man is convinced the score to a long, lost masterpiece is hidden inside a stately home. If the story sounds familiar, then you are probably a long time Dallas Opera patron. That’s because the DO produced the world premiere of The Aspern Papers 25 years ago. So why return to the story? “It’s a really gripping kind of academic soap opera,” mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, making her Dallas Opera debut, tells “It’s got heartbreak and passion, but also the world of an intellectual collector seeking to recover some really valuable manuscripts from a composer who has died. It’s a very smart story, and it’s also devious and romantic — all the good things that an opera should be.”

HE PAINTS THE PAINTINGS: Today at the Dallas International Film Festival, you’ve got a chance to see a movie that has a backstory that’s almost as interesting as the plot. Renoir, a biopic about the Impressionist master, stars Michel Bouquet in the title role. But when the camera zooms in to show the artist’s hands at work, another person takes over the part. That’s when Guy Ribes picks up the paintbrush and does his best to mimic Renoir’s technique. And he ought to know how it’s done. The New York Times tells the story of how Ribes served time in prison for forging works by the great masters, and how that led to his part in the movie.

A FULL HOUSE: Things have never been busier at Stage West. That’s because the Fort Worth theater company is currently staging a pair of shows – 4,000 Miles on the main stage and Clarence Darrow in the new studio theater. Previews of both shows are part of a story.