Vol. 35 - Tosca: To Catch A Falling Star

by Anthony Barrese

Conductor Anthony Barrese

In his Memories of the Opera the famous impresario Giulio Gatti-Casazza wrote: “The celebrated orchestral leader, Leopoldo Mugnone, was an intimate friend of the Great Maestro [Verdi]. Mugnone, a raconteur of color and warmth, as a true Neapolitan should be, told me that in the summer of 1899 he was at the Springs of Montecatini at the same time as Verdi. One day, Verdi asked him why he had been going so much to the neighboring town of Pistoia.

‘Why, Maestro,’ said Mugnone, ‘I go there to supervise the casting of the bells for Tosca, Puccini’s new opera, which will be given this winter and which I shall conduct.’

Read more. | Purchase tickets to Tosca

A Discussion with Composer Jake Heggie and Librettist Gene Scheer About the Upcoming World Premiere Production of Moby-Dick for The Dallas Opera
Composer Jake Heggie

Calvin: Where did Moby-Dick begin, and I don’t mean going back to Herman Melville?

Heggie: Well, about three years ago in January of 2005, Jonathan Pell called me and said The Dallas Opera was moving to a new house in 2009 and wanted to commission a new opera for that season – “Was I interested?” I had been wanting to work with Jonathan for a long time; he has such a great reputation as a champion of new work and we’d been talking about a project for quite awhile. As I happened to be on my way to New York, I called up Terance McNally and asked him if he would be interested in doing this. He recognized that it was a huge deal and a great honor and said that the opera we needed to do was Moby-Dick. When he said that, I – literally – got chills and I immediately began hearing music. I thought, “Wow, this is an intense and amazing idea; rather terrifying, adventurous and exciting.” Jonathan suggested other ideas but we kept coming back to this because our passion lay in this really, really amazing story. So, it was decided that that’s what it would be.

Find out more about Moby-Dick


Peter J. Hall

World-renowned costume and set designer Mr. Peter J. Hall held a roomful of guests in rapt suspense this past Sunday afternoon, enchanting us all with his delightful conversation with Mr. John Gage, The Dallas Opera’s Director of Production, at Park Towers Condominiums at Turtle Creek in Dallas.

The warm exchange between these two gentlemen who have devoted years of talent and passion to The Dallas Opera was inspiring in its depth of experience, range of accomplishments, and intimate anecdotes accumulated in more than 40 years of design and production.

Read more about the discussion with Peter J. Hall

Conductor Wayne Marshall

If you have friends or co-workers who are convinced that opera is not for them, be sure to have them tune in to WFAA television’s “Good Morning Texas” program on Monday, February 18th (yes, that’s next Monday) for a very special taste of The Dallas Opera’s upcoming presentation of George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess,” opening Friday, February 22nd in the Music Hall.

“Good Morning Texas” will feature an interview with conductor Wayne Marshall, making his Dallas Opera debut with this production, and Indira Mahajan (a former Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award winner) who sings the title role of “Bess.” And don’t be too surprised to see Maestro Marshall sprint to the keyboard – he’s a renowned pianist and organist – with Indira providing vocals on a selection from “Porgy & Bess.”

The program will air live this coming Monday morning at 9:00 am on WFAA-TV, Channel 8. Spread the word!


Guild Coordinator/Admin. Assistant (Part-time)

Position will serve as a staff liaison to TDO Guild and coordinate both financial and logistical needs of the organization. Including but not limited to memberships, A/P and direct mail activities.

Requirements: Good people skills, strong organizational skills, and should be proficient in both WORD and EXCEL. This individual must be conscientious and pay close attention to detail, while interacting with both Patrons and staff. The ability to multi-task is imperative.

Call 214-443-1040 for more information.

  In This Issue:
  Upcoming Events
February 17 - Opera Insights - PORGY AND BESS

Join The Dallas Opera Guild at 4 pm for Opera Insights. This lively panel discussion, featuring singers, directors and designers, invites your questions and participation from The Dallas Opera's production of PORGY AND BESS .

Lecture Times: 4:00 - 6:00 PM Program and Reception
Cost: FREE for Guild members. $10 for non-Guild members
Location: Gooch Auditorium at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
February 19 - Amici di Opera presents "Summertime in February"

Join Amici di Opera for "Summertime in February" an exciting evening of music from PORGY AND BESS. Evening will include presentations by Margery Anderson-Clive (TDO Director of Education) AND music by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Chorus and Jazz vocalist, Martha Burks.

Location: Brooklyn Jazz Cafe 1701 South Lamar Street, Dallas, TX 75215
Cost: FREE for Amici di Opera Members $10 for non-Amici di Opera Members
RSVP: amici@dallasopera.org by Tuesday, February 12th.

February 22 - PORGY AND BESS Opening Night | Buy Tickets

February 24 - PORGY AND BESS Sunday Matinee | Buy Tickets

February 26 - PORGY AND BESS Amici Night at the Opera and Mid-Week Performance | Buy Tickets
February 28 - PORGY AND BESS UNCF Benefit Performance | Buy Tickets
March 1 - PORGY AND BESS Finale | Buy Tickets

 TDO Special Offer

Click here to save 20% on tickets!

  Did You Know?

According to an Opera America study, Puccini's Tosca is the 8th most performed opera in the world! Can you guess what other operas are in the top 20 most frequently performed operas list?

  Video Blog

  Tell Us What You Think

In last month's poll, we asked which costumes you would be most interested in creating for this season? What we can conclude: For most, lavish party attire is more fun than dark and dreary.

The Merry Widow - 44%
Salome - 28%
Tosca - 14%
Porgy and Bess - 8%
Macbeth - 6%