Dallas Opera Touts Unprecedented Casting

Mark Delavan will star as the Dallas Opera presents Verdi’s Falstaff for the first time. (Photo: Maxine Helfman for The Dallas Opera)

The forward-thinking life of the Dallas Opera’s music director comes with moments of confusion, such as when he’s planning future performances and someone asks what he’s doing next season.

“I know the titles we’re doing for 10 years, but then I don’t know what I’m doing next year,” Emmanuel Villaume explained on an afternoon in late January. “And I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow.”

A day earlier, he was out of town.

“I was not in New York, I was in Chicago, where we are singing Faust, and I literally didn’t remember what was the opera I was there to rehearse,” Villaume said. “Faust? Oh! That’s good.”

His joking aside, Villaume knew recently the planned main stage performances for 2018-2019 as he joined interim general director and CEO Kern Wildenthal in announcing “Swept Away,” a season that promises many Dallas debuts and some of the most popular operas.

“This season is the result of years and years of work,” Villaume said.

The season, sponsored by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger family, features Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Georges Bizet’s Carmen, Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and La Bohème, and Verdi’s Falstaff.

This season will bring favorite productions and new performers like Camren and The Flying Dutchman. (Photo: Maxine Helfman for The Dallas Opera)

“The 62nd International Season, filled with captivating stories and unsurpassed music performed by some of the world’s greatest opera stars, will provide superb entertainment for patrons from across North Texas—as well as the many people who travel to Dallas these days, in order to experience opera at its best,” Wildenthal said.

Performers will include American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, French mezzo-soprano Stephanie d’Oustrac, American soprano Kristin Lewis, French tenor Jean-François Borras, South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, and American bass-baritone Mark Delavan.

“The next season when it comes to the level of casting is without precedent in Dallas,” Villaume said. “I say that with confidence. And it’s again because we have established ourselves… as one of the most important players in the field. Today we have artists who are approaching us, who want to sing with us, who would not have even answered our phone calls a few years ago.”

2018 – 2019 Season:

The Flying Dutchman
Oct. 12-Oct. 20, 2018

Oct. 19-Nov. 4, 2018

Manon Lescaut
March 1-March 9, 2019

La Bohème
March 15-March 31, 2019

April 26-May 4, 2019

Full season subscriptions start at $100 and go on sale to new subscribers April 4. Visit dallasopera.org for details on these as well as Family Performance Series performances.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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