Opera as theater? Who ever would of thunk it? Land sakes!
Obviously Keith Cerny, the new General Director/Ceo and Jonathan Pell, Artistic Director of the Dallas Opera, not only “thunk” it─but are doing it. In a joint effort, the Opera and Dallas Theater Center are launching a chamber opera series to “…produce lesser known contemporary works, experimental pieces, captivating orchestrations and opera rarities in intimate ‘jewel-box’ venues.”
A lofty, and long overdue, goal.
They will open with Peter Maxwell Davies’ late ’70s opera, The Lighhouse, which has a spooky plot worthy of a Steven King novel and a mixture of musical styles from the dissonant to pseudo-Victorian ballad. It is scored for three male singers and a chamber orchestra and will be staged at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. It will be underwritten by Jessie and Charlie Price who are, thankfully, local supporters of the adventurous.
The performances, which run the weekend of March 16, 2012, will be conducted by Nicole Paiement. She is a San Francisco based conductor who specializes in contemporary music and is the artistic director of the Ensemble Parallèle. Pell said that she is only the second female to conduct for the Dallas Opera. The production will be staged by Dallas Theater Center’s energetic Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty, in his debut as a director of an opera. Both debuts, director and conductor, will be eagerly awaited by the opera fans in Dallas.
The Lighthouse, which will still be a Dallas Opera production, will be designed by frequent Dallas Theater Center scenic designer Beowulf Boritt and costume designer Claudia Stephens. No cast was announced because Pell said that contracts had not yet been signed yet.