The Dallas Opera Announces Season Opening Festivities

The Dallas Opera Announces Season Opening FestivitiesThe Dallas Opera announces its magnificent kick-off event of the 2017-2018 Season FIRST NIGHT. Dedicated philanthropists Dianne and Mark H. LaRoe chair the festivities and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are Honorary Chairs. The Presenting Sponsor is Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.

The evening begins with a red carpet entrance outside the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. The Pre-Performance Dinner, which starts at 6:00 p.m., will be inspired by the opera Samson & Dalila, and is chaired by Betty and Steve Suellentrop. The event takes place in Sammons Park in an elegant tent, and will be catered by culinary master Wolfgang Puck. Tables for the dinner range from $25,000 to $10,000 with individual tickets available for $1,000. All dinner tickets include After Party tickets. Please visit to purchase tickets.

The Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Samson & Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.

Tenor Clifton Forbis and Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina-in her eagerly awaited Dallas Opera debut!-portray the doomed twosome, trapped in a love affair of biblical proportions that threatens to "bring the house down!" This mesmerizing jewel of the French Repertoire, not seen on our stage since 1971, will be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director of The Dallas Opera.

The dazzling After Party with the cast from 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m is certain to be a highlight of the kick-off events with mingling, dining and dancing with the principal performers of Samson & Dalila. The high energy group Dallas String Quartet will be sure to get party-goers shakin' on the dance floor with their fusion of classical and contemporary music. The quartet performs with both traditional and electric strings with accompaniment from a guitarist, keyboard player and drummer. They have recorded four albums and performed with top acts including Kenny G and Josh Groban. Wolfgang Puck Sweet & Savory will provide more delicious noshes, desserts, coffee and specialty cocktails.

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is located in the heart of the Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

"The fall is such an exciting time in Dallas and opening night of The Dallas Opera will be a pinnacle in the city for the arts! We have a lot of fun and fascination planned for FIRST NIGHT and we invite everyone to join us! The Dallas Opera's impact here and internationally continues to exceed expectations and the season opening events are a wonderful time to celebrate its success. There are ways for everyone to take part in the splendor, from a $19 ticket to the opera, to sponsoring a table at the Pre-Performance Dinner. We hope to see you there!" said Chair Dianne LaRoe.

"We have diverse season planned with a combination of treasured classics and lesser-known works, including a United States premiere, and we hope everyone will find inspiration in our 2017-2018 productions. FIRST NIGHT is the culmination of a tremendous amount of planning and preparation, and opening night always gives us much to celebrate! We are very grateful for the hard work and ingenuity of Dianne and Mark in creating spectacular events for us. We appreciate their support, and that of all of our patrons, in continuing to elevate the company's reputation, locally, nationally, and internationally," explains Keith Cerny, The Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO for The Dallas Opera.

"David and I are delighted to be the honorary chairs for The Dallas Opera's splendid season opening events, FIRST SIGHT and FIRST NIGHT. The glamorous festivities and productions are always so memorable year after year, and we know this 61st Season will be no exception. Our city's world-class Opera is rapidly growing in outreach and impact, and we encourage the entire North Texas community to join us in supporting this spectacular treasure," said Honorary Chair Nancy A. Nasher.

"Deutsche Bank continues to be a strong supporter of the arts throughout the world" said Mark LaRoe, Head of the Dallas Private Bank office of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management. "We are so proud to again support FIRST NIGHT at The Dallas Opera and focus on our partnership with the Dallas art community. On a personal note, it is a privilege for Dianne and me to collaborate with such a stellar arts organization."

"The beginning of a new season for The Dallas Opera is always an exciting time for this great city. It is an honor and a joy to be part of this two day event, and work with this talented team once again," said designer Larry Leathers.



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.



The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family






Contact Suzanne Calvin, Director of Media and PR at

Or Celeste Hart, Communications Manager at

The Dallas Opera Family Performances are generously supported by

Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, and the Betty and Steve Suellentrop

Educational Outreach Fund.

TDO Family Performances are a part of the

Perot Foundation Education and Community Outreach Programs


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


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.

SAMSON & DALILA by Camille Saint-Saëns

October 20, 22 (m), 25, 28, and November 5 (m), 2017

A passionate drama of biblical proportions!

Libretto by Ferdinand Lemaire

Time: 1150 B.C.E.

Place: Ancient Palestine

Conductor: EmManuel Villaume

Director: Bruno Berger-Gorski*

Set Designer: Peter Dean Beck*

Costume Designer: Carrie Robbins*

Lighting Designer: Alan Burrett

Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Choreographer: Nycole Ray

Starring: Olga Borodina* (Dalila), Clifton Forbis (Samson), Richard Paul Fink (High Priest of Dagon), Michael Chioldi* (Abimélech) and Ryan Kuster (Old Hebrew)

A traditional period production from Pittsburgh Opera!

LA TRAVIATA ("The Fallen Woman") by Giuseppe Verdi

October 27, 29 (m), November 1, 4, 10 and 12 (m), 2017

Come toast the greatest love story in all of opera!

Time: Mid-19th century

Place: Paris, France and the French countryside

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro*

Original Director: Frank Galati*

Revival Director: Stefania Panighini**

Production Designer: Desmond Heeley

Lighting Designer: Alan Burrett

Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard

Chorus Master: Alexander Rom

Choreographer: John de los Santos

Starring: Georgia Jarman (Violetta Valery), Zach Borichevsky* (Alfredo Germont), Vladislav Sulimsky (Giorgio Germont), Abigail Levis* (Flora Bervoix), Brenton Ryan* (Gastone), Dale Travis (Baron Douphol), Daniel Armstrong* (Marchese D'Obigny), Ryan Kuster (Doctor Grenvil) and Rachel Sterrenberg* (Annina)

A gorgeous, classic production from Lyric Opera of Chicago!


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*

Wig & Make-up Designer: Dawn Rivard

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), Ellie Dehn* (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

The Dallas Opera is supported, in part, by funds from: Texas Instruments Foundation, TACA, City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs; the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). American Airlines is the official airline of The Dallas Opera. Lexus is the official vehicle of The Dallas Opera. Advertising support from The Dallas Morning News. A special thanks to the Elsa von Seggern Foundation for its continuing support.

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