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Dallas Opera Presents 2014 AT&T Stadium Simulcast of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Today


The Dallas Opera, in partnership with AT&T Stadium and with support from our presenting sponsor, The Dallas Foundation, is extremely proud to announce the company's third stadium simulcast-the seventh free Dallas Opera simulcast since 2010. The announcement was made this afternoon at a gathering of prominent arts and sports representatives and attending local media at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Participants included:

· Keith Cerny, Dallas Opera General Director and CEO

· Valerie Freeman, Board of Governors, The Dallas Foundation

· MOBY-DICK and EVEREST librettist Gene Scheer and

· Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director of the Dallas Theater Center

Gene Jones (the wife of Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones), whose vision led to the Stadium's museum-quality collection of contemporary art, was on-hand to welcome the V.I.P.s.

"When we agreed to host the first-ever live simulcast just two years ago, we didn't realize this collaboration would spark the beginning of a beautiful friendship," she explained. "This year we are excited to introduce one of opera's most popular characters to a whole new audience at AT&T Stadium. With the past success of this event, we are more confident than ever in the power of music and drama to bring people together and, like great sporting events, to enhance the life and spirit of our community."

The Dallas Opera's 2014 AT&T Stadium Simulcast of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE will take place the evening of Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:00 p.m.) at the state-of-the-art home of the Dallas Cowboys-AT&T Stadium-located at One AT&T Way in Arlington, Texas. Patrons will be able to enjoy a complete live performance on the world's largest high-definition video board structure, comprised of four massive viewing screens (the largest, 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide) suspended directly above the playing field.

At 7:00 p.m., prior to the live performance, the Dallas Opera will present another of the world's largest cartoon screenings (based on screen size): a 1950 animation masterpiece from Warner Brothers Classics, "Rabbit of Seville" starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd and voted one of the greatest cartoons ever produced (in 1994, by a thousand members of the animation field).

Directed by animation legend Chuck Jones, the cartoon satirizes the opera house experience, both onstage and off, accompanied by the music of Rossini's most famous overture.

Free general admission tickets can be obtained through the Dallas Opera website, effective immediately, at

"In 2012 and 2013, The Dallas Foundation helped the Dallas Opera offer magical performances in a unique setting, attracting many people who have never experienced opera before, including families with children," said Valerie Freeman of The Dallas Foundation Board of Governors. "The Dallas Foundation is proud to once again serve as the presenting sponsor-bringing North Texas audiences another world-class performance of a timeless, family friendly classic."

"We are excited that for the third year the Dallas Opera will once again hold their simulcast at AT&T Stadium," adds Dallas Cowboys Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Anderson. "The Dallas Opera has displayed an impressive ability to create an event that takes unique planning, as well as imagination. It's a partnership in which everyone emerges a winner-especially people seeking access to outstanding cultural experiences right here in our own community for themselves and their children."

"It's been a personal goal of mine to engage remarkable world-class artists to create an unforgettable entertainment experience for people from all walks of life," commented Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, "and nothing does this better than opera-a spectacular art form made even more so when viewed on the largest high-definition screens in the country.

"The Dallas Opera is deeply honored that The Dallas Foundation is presenting this event for a third consecutive year and we are equally grateful for the generosity of the Jones Family, who encouraged this extraordinary collaboration with the Cowboys organization from the moment we made our dream known to them.

"I am also very pleased to announce that the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation also is providing support for this year's stadium simulcast.

"I hope that the centralized location of AT&T Stadium will-once again-prove to be an irresistible magnet," Mr. Cerny added. "With free parking, classic cartoons, a wear-what-you-want dress code, phenomenal performances, on-screen supertitles and plenty of available concessions-this night will continue to redefine 21st century opera as a user-friendly entertainment experience."

And what could be more "user friendly" than Gioachino Rossini's wildest and most popular romp? - his 1816 masterpiece, THE BARBER OF SEVILLE.

Disguises and false identities abound as men-young and old-vie for the hand of the beautiful Rosina in one of the funniest and most frenetic operas ever composed! The action centers on "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!" a scheming barber and jack-of-all-trades, sung by Dallas Opera favorite Nathan Gunn, who plots with Count Almaviva to release Doctor Bartolo's ward from her gilded cage.

The all-star ensemble, with staging by renowned British director John Copley, will include acclaimed mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (winner of the 2013 Richard Tucker Award) as the gorgeous-yet-spunky Rosina, lyric tenor Alek Shrader as the love-struck Almaviva, and commanding Turkish bassBurak Bilgili as Don Basilio in their much-anticipated TDO debuts. It also marks the welcome return of the inimitable Donato DiStefano, a comic genius (La Cenerentola) known from previous Dallas Opera productions of Barber in a role he has mastered for audiences around the world: Dr. Bartolo.

The cast also includes baritone Nathan De'Shon Myers as Fiorello and soprano Jennifer Aylmerin her company debut as Berta.

Maestro Giuliano Carella will conduct in his company debut, with chorus preparation by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom. This John Copley production will be staged by director Herb Kellner with sets designed by John Conklin, costumes by Michael Stennett and lighting designed byGary Marder. Wig and make-up design is by David Zimmerman.

Baritone Nathan Gunn has delighted Dallas audiences as Guglielmo and Malatesta, as well as introducing Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's world premiere song cycle "A Question of Light" in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell, reviewing a recent concert, wrote: "aside from his movie-star looks and wonderfully natural stage presence, he has a rich, creamy voice and unself-conscious expressivity that never flirts with affectation. How many singers can claim all those assets?"

Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times called Mr. Gunn "A born actor (who) sings as if speaking the words."

John W. Freeman of Opera News praised mezzo Isabel Leonard's voice, "secure in coloratura agility, (it) carried its fresh, lucid tone upward on flights into the soprano register, then transitioned smoothly into warmer, more shaded tone in the longer mezzo range, without break or change of character." As the winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award for 2013, Ms. Leonard is in constant demand on the world's stages.

Tenor Alek Shrader, making his TDO debut, was earlier teamed with Ms. Leonard in the Metropolitan Opera's 2012 production of The Tempest: "Isabel Leonard sings with lovely fluid sound as Miranda and is well matched by Alek Shrader's sweet, youthful Ferdinand. Their duet, marked by ecstatic high tones and dizzying descents, is a highlight."

Italian Donato DiStefano, one of the most sought-after buffo basses in the world, most recently charmed Dallas audiences in the title role of Don Pasquale, and he rarely fails to steal the show. According to Gregory Sullivan Isaacs of Theater Jones, "Musically, he was unassailable; as an actor, he was believable and funny" in this critically acclaimed production.

Turkish bass Burak Bilgili earned high marks as Zaccaria in Washington National Opera'sNabucco, prompting The Washington Times to observe: "Mr. Bilgili's voice strongly resembles the profound, dark-hued bass voices with which the Russians seem to be uniquely gifted. And it's this dark but clear and authoritative instrument that allows him to command each scene in which he appears."

Meanwhile, soprano Jennifer Aylmer's "coloratura sounds at first as natural and easy as giggling," but she's not to be underestimated. Wrote Sarah Bryan Miller of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "She took charge of the stage whenever she occupied it in a first-rate performance."

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE remains one of opera's best-loved comedies.

From the first notes of one of the world's most famous overtures to the final curtain, your heart will be racing-but not for the exit!

Sung in Italian, with English language translations projected above the stage at the Winspear and onscreen at AT&T Stadium, THE BARBER OF SEVILLE can be experienced at one of five additional performances on March 28, 30 (m), April 2, 5, and April 13 (m), 2014.

Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera's "By Love Transformed" Season are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket ServicesOffice at 214.443.1000 or online at Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for as little as $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.

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