Dallas Opera Presents Mozart's DON GIOVANNI

Dallas Opera Presents Mozart's DON GIOVANNIThe Dallas Opera is proud to present one of the most talked about Mozart productions of the decade: DON GIOVANNI in a critically acclaimed production created by Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls for Lyric Opera of Chicago and conducted by Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.

Don Giovanni will open Friday, April 13th at 7:30 p.m. (The Enrico Foundation Performance) in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX for the first of six performances. Tickets start at just $19 and can be purchased online at www.dallasopera.org or by contacting The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214.443.1000.

Additional performances are scheduled for April 15 (2:00 matinee), 18, 21, 27 and 29 (a second 2:00 matinee), 2018. All evening performances begin promptly at 7:30 p.m.

Based on the legendary Spanish lothario, Don Juan, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte conjures up a character who is attractive-yet-deeply disturbing in both behavior and attitude. George Bernard Shaw, who regarded Don Giovanni as the greatest of all operas, singled it out for "its uncommon share of wisdom, beauty, and humor."

Director Robert Falls (the James R. Seitz Stage Director in Honor of John Gage), speaking to Lawrence B. Johnson for "Chicago on the Aisle," noted: "In Mozart, we're dealing with a supreme genius, like Shakespeare, who understood the human condition profoundly. Don Giovanni is comic but it's also deeply personal and painful, an intense examination into humanity in all its desires, darkness and cruelty."

"Robert Falls' brilliant production of Don Giovanni is the most admired in recent memory," explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Kern Wildenthal. "Mariusz Kwiecie? is THE Don Giovanni of our day," he continues, "The stellar principal cast is simply unbeatable-the best of the best singing each and every role. Under the inspired leadership of Maestro Emmanuel Villaume, this 'must see' production promises to be one of the high points in The Dallas Opera's history."

Andrew Patner of Classical Voice North America observed: "Falls' Giovanni production solves several problems off the bat, including the most important one - how can the music, story, and characters be communicated to a living audience? That's the only "concept" that matters. A big man who works in a big theater, Falls is a master at using large spaces and stages...a gifted theater artist can show us that the Don, and Mozart of course, are ever our contemporaries."

The outstanding ensemble cast will be led by one of the world's leading baritones and the reigning Don Giovanni of our day: Mariusz Kwiecie?, also praised as "one of opera's most intelligent actors." Mr. Kwiecie?'s engagements this season have included the roles of Marcello in La Bohème at London's Royal Opera House, Zurga in The Pearl Fishers for Chicago Lyric, Count Almaviva in the Metropolitan Opera's Le nozze di Figaro, the title role in Eugene Onegin at Vienna State Opera, and Malatesta in Opera Kracow's Don Pasquale.

William Burnett of Opera Warhorses notes "The sex-obsessed Don is a favorite character of the Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecie?, who played him memorably in the production of Sir David McVicar. (Robert) Falls gave Kwiecie? license to further explore Don Giovanni's nature, and the resulting portrait was extraordinary: an utterly charming but lethally sociopathic bad boy who, except for some bad luck and an error in judgment in the final few hours of his life on earth, might have added another thousand or so names to Leporello's catalogue....Kwiecie?'s Giovanni is a masterpiece...an engaging anti-hero, in a performance that is wonderfully sung and impressively acted."

The starry ensemble also includes local favorite and Grammy Award-winning soprano Laura Claycomb in her role debut as Donna Anna. This Texas native won the 2011 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award for her unforgettable company debut as Gilda in Rigoletto.

"Claycomb's voice is pliant and rich" writes Opera News. She frequently performs with Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and at additional opera companies, major festivals, and symphony orchestras, worldwide, where Ms. Claycomb has earned consistent accolades for her amazing coloratura soprano, impeccable musicianship, ethereal high notes, and dramatic stage presence.

The role of Don Ottavio will be sung by tenor David Portillo, a native of San Antonio, who appeared in two Metropolitan Opera productions earlier this season, including one of the most critically acclaimed works of the current season: The Exterminating Angel. Although Mr. Portillo attracted favorable notices in the world premiere of Breaking the Waves, he is making a name for himself in classic operatic repertoire, from Beethoven to Wagner, prompting a Sydney, Australia publication to write, "His voice is well suited to Mozart: clear, well-projected and with a comfortable top register that showed no (sign) of strain."

Soprano Katie Van Kooten will make her Dallas Opera debut as the unstoppable Donna Elvira. In demand on both the opera and concert stage, performances of Beethoven's Ninth and Verdi's Requiem bookend her appearances in Dallas. The Daily Telegraph described her as "a major operatic talent. Her singing has something of the same glow radiated by a Te Kanawa or a Freni...a winning stage personality."

Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen will take his first bow on the Winspear stage in what has become a signature, scene-stealing role: Giovanni's man servant, Leporello. No stranger to bad boys himself, last season Mr. Ketelsen earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust in Zurich and Escamillo in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Carmen, not to mention his earlier turn at Covent Garden as Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Opera-Brittania was prompted to write that Mr. Ketelsen was "a joy to hear from the moment he first opened his mouth, with smooth chocolate tones ringing out effortlessly."

Although French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez won First Prize at the 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, her appearance in this production as the coquettish Zerlina marks her official company debut. Other highlights of her 2017-18 Season include Dorabella in Così fan tutte for Opéra de Lille, Flora in La traviata for Paris National Opera, and Erika in Barber's Vanessa - a new Keith Warner production opening at the Glyndebourne Festival next August.

Baritone Craig Verm made an indelible mark on Dallas audiences as the doomed Doug Hansen in the 2015 world premiere of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer's Everest and returns as the not-willing-to-be-duped Masetto. Mr. Verm's performance is made possible with support from the Charron and Peter Denker Rising Stars Endowment Fund). And bass Morris Robinson returns to TDO to reprise the role of The Commendatore - with verve, dignity, and power.

Critically acclaimed Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume (The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director) will conduct all six performances. Opera Wire praised Villaume for his conducting of Thaïs at the Metropolitan Opera: "From the opening chords to the final ones, the polish of one of Massenet's finest scores was felt." The New York Times also touted his conducting prowess in the much-discussed new production of Tosca: "He brings shape, nuance and pliancy to the score." Maestro Villaume's most recent triumph was his conducting of Faust for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Seen and Heard International observed "Villaume's expert hand was evident in the carefully-voiced sonorities, blending of the brass and percussion. Villaume supported the solo voices with fine attention to the stage, as well as care with the details, such as his tasteful stretching of measures and passages to accentuate lyricism."

Currently in his fifth season as music director of The Dallas Opera, Maestro Villaume guided our successful Samson & Dalila before turning his attention to engagements in Prague and at the Met, and also conducted the rarely performed Korngold one-act, The Ring of Polykrates earlier this year. Last summer, he also presided over a new Paul Curran production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel at Santa Fe Opera (a co-production with The Dallas Opera designed by Gary McCann).

Don Giovanni stage director Robert Falls recently staged the world premiere of Rogelio Martinez's Blind Date and adapted and directed a new production of Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People in the Albert Theatre. This summer, he will direct the return engagement of Jim McGrath's Pamplona in the Goodman's Owen Theatre.

Recent productions for the Chicago-based director include The Iceman Cometh for the Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Rebecca Gilman's Luna Gale for the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Measure for Measure and the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley's The Jacksonian.

Among his other credits are The Seagull, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, John Logan's Red, Jon Robin Baitz's Three Hotels, Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio and Conor McPherson's Shining City; the world premieres of Richard Nelson's Frank's Home, Arthur Miller's Finishing the Picture, Eric Bogosian's Griller, Steve Tesich's The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road, John Logan's Riverview: A Melodrama with Music and Rebecca Gilman's A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge and Dollhouse; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden; and the Broadway premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida.

The Associate Director on this revival is Jodi Gage in her Dallas Opera debut.

Other members of the experienced production team for Don Giovanni include set designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Ana Kuzmanic, choreographer August Tye Pauley, and fight director Nick Sandys Pullin - all in their Dallas Opera debuts. The associate fight director is Katherine Coyl.

The original lighting designer for this production was Duane Schuler; lighting for this revival will be designed by Chris Maravich. Wig and make up design is by Dawn Rivard.

Expert Chorus preparation is by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.

The assistant conductor is Paolo Bressan. The assistant director is Mo Zhou.

The season finale will last approximately three-and-a-half hours, including a 25-minute intermission. The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk can be enjoyed in nearby Hamon Hall (adjacent to the audience chamber) one hour prior to curtain.

Performed in Italian with English translations projected above the stage, ticket prices for this eighteenth-century masterpiece range from $19-$289. Discounted group rates and Student Rush Tickets are also available.

For more information, call The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214-443-1000 or obtain more information online (including a full synopsis and complete cast and production team biographies) at www.dallasopera.org/season/don-giovanni.

The Winspear Opera House is located in the Dallas Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas, 75201.

Founded in 1957, The Dallas Opera is an internationally-recognized innovator dedicated to the overall advancement of the operatic art form and the support of established and emerging artists, as well as the education and development of new opera audiences in North Texas-and beyond. These goals are achieved by commissioning and producing world-class opera; through ground-breaking institutes, national competitions and topical programs; and by presenting opera in both traditional and non-traditional formats and venues in order to attract patrons of every age, background, educational level, and ethnicity-while engaging with more than 87,000 people in our community each year. TDO is equally committed to the task of responsible stewardship and is managed with efficiency and accountability, to the highest possible standards.

All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Single Tickets range from $19 to $289. Family performance tickets are just $5. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.


The Dallas Opera celebrates its Sixty-First International Season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated. English translations will be projected above the stage at every performance and assistance is available for the hearing impaired. With the exception of FIRST NIGHT, The Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talk will begin one hour prior to curtain, at most performances.


A sweeping Viennese concerto paired with a charming domestic comedy!

By Erich Wolfgang Korngold

February 9, 11 (m), 14 and 17, 2018

Violin Soloist (KORNGOLD CONCERTO): Augustin Dumay*

The Dallas Opera Orchestra conducted by Emmanuel Villaume


Sumptuous Viennese music laced with orchestral color and wit!

Libretto by Leo Feld

Time: Early 20th century

Place: Vienna, Austria

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Director: Peter Kazaras

Set Designer: Donald Eastman*

Costume Designer: Tommy Bourgeois

Lighting Designer: Krista Billings

Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard

Starring: Paul Groves* (Wilhelm Arndt), Laura Wilde* (Laura), Brenton Ryan (Florian Döbllinger), Susannah Biller* (Lieschen), and Craig Colclough* (Peter Vogel).

One of the most rarely performed opera gems! In its third professional U.S. production!

SUNKEN GARDEN by Michel van der Aa

March 9, 11 (m), 14 and 17, 2018

A phenomenal visual, musical and emotional adventure - live and in 3-D!

Libretto by David Mitchell

Time: Present Day

Place: Unknown

Conductor: Nicole Paiement

Director: Michel van der Aa*

Set Designer: Theun Mosk**

Costume Designer: Astrid Schulz**

Lighting Designer: Theun Mosk**

Sound Designer: Tom Gelissen*

Starring: Roderick Williams* (Toby Kramer), Katherine Manley* (Zenna Briggs), and Miah Persson* (Iris Marinus).

Combining live actors and 2-D and 3-D film, to take you where opera has never gone before!


April 13, 15 (m), 18, 21, 27 and 29 (m), 2018

Mozart's operatic masterpiece brought vividly to life under the baton of Music Director Emmanuel Villaume!

Time: 20th century

Place: Seville, Spain and the surrounding countryside

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Director: Robert Falls*

Set Designer: Walt Spangler*

Costume Designer: Ana Kuzmanic*

Original Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer: Chris Maravich

Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Starring: Mariusz Kwiecie? (Don Giovanni), Laura Claycomb (Donna Anna), David Portillo* (Don Ottavio), Katie Van Kooten* (Donna Elvira), Kyle Ketelsen* (Leporello), Virginie Verrez* (Zerlina), Craig Verm (Masetto), and Morris Robinson (The Commendatore).

An evocative and thrilling production from Lyric Opera of Chicago!

* Dallas Opera Debut

** American Debut

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