When the Dallas Opera first announced plans to simulcast its spring production of Mozart's The Magic Flute for free at Cowboys Stadium, they held 7,000 tickets for a small portion of the stadium, which would be set aside for the event.
But it's proven so popular that today, the producers announced that more than 25,000 tickets have been requested. They've opened up even more tickets, and there's still a month to go, as the simulcast is for the April 28 performance.
It just goes to show you that the "free" part of this equation is paying off. No doubt, there'll be some interest in getting into the Stadium at no cost (parking is free, too). But as Tony-winning Broadway star Lea Salonga told us in a recent interview: "I think it says a lot about the audience, that there is such a clamor for seats for a Mozart opera which is hundreds of years old. It's not just about the big hair and football and sports, there's a level of sophistication and there's an actual desire to see it."
Salonga was part of the first of this spring's performing arts events in a big sports arena, last weekend's Do You Hear the People Sing concert at American Airlines Center.
Here's part of the press release from Dallas Opera about the latest numbers in the request for The Magic Flute tickets. Reportedly, opera lovers from all over the country and elsewhere are coming in for the event:
The Dallas Opera, in partnership with Cowboys Stadium, is delighted to announce that more than 25,000 tickets to the Dallas Opera's one-night-only April 28 Cowboys Stadium Simulcast, presented by The Dallas Foundation,have been requested by opera lovers from throughout Texas and 26 additional states. Ticket requests have also come in from the District of Columbia and Canada since the joint announcement was made on January 26 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
These numbers indicate that the groundbreaking North Texas simulcast may become one of the best attended operaperformances in U.S. history.
Additional data collected from those making ticket requests indicate that, as of today (March 27, 2012), 93 percent of participating households have no previous purchasing history with the Dallas Opera. For many, the Cowboys Stadium Simulcast will mark their first, live experience of the art form in any venue.
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, set the stage for the announcement explaining, "Sports and art are not typically thought of as belonging together. Yet sporting events and great art do something similar—they get people talking."
Now, people are talking about family outings to the Dallas Opera at Cowboys Stadium, many of them to experience a live classical performance or opera for the very first time.
Mozart's The Magic Flute will be simulcast live on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) at the high-tech home of the Dallas Cowboys at One Legends Way in Arlington, Texas. Patrons will be able to enjoy a complete, unabridged live performance from the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District onto 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.
Reserved seating is still available (up to 10 seats per person) through the Dallas Opera website at www.dallasopera.org/cowboys.
"We are excited to partner with the Dallas Opera on such a distinctive event," said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President of Brand Management Charlotte Anderson. "Our organization admires and respects The Dallas Opera's original thinking and stewardship in making a ground-breaking event like this a reality. We truly value the importance of the arts in our community, and we hope that this first-of-its-kind opera broadcast gives us a way of sharing our love of the arts with a new audience at Cowboys Stadium."
"One of the goals of the Dallas Opera is to bring great singing and world-class theater to the widest possible audience," explainedDallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny. "As part of our commitment to expanding our community outreach we are thrilled to announce an unprecedented, 'game-changing' collaboration with the Cowboys organization. Let me also say that the Dallas Opera is especially grateful for the generous support of the Jones Family, encouraging our efforts to create one of the most unique and memorable events in the history of this opera company.
"The plans for the simulcast have generated an enormously positive response from all sectors of the community, as well as the classical music world," Mr. Cerny adds. "This tremendous outpouring of interest not only exceeded my initial expectations, it also underscores my firm belief that 21st century audiences hunger for more from their artistic and cultural experiences and are willing to try new things in search of something remarkable, perhaps even unique.
"It's a tall order—and one we plan to deliver on, April 28 at Cowboys Stadium."