Dallas Opera returns to presenting fully staged works after a nearly two-year hiatus with its production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, reminding audiences that great opera lives on. The production, filled with some of the finest operatic music of all time, opens at the Winspear Opera House on Friday, February 18, 2022 at 8:00 p.m., with subsequent performances on Sunday, February 20 (2:00 p.m.), Wednesday, February 20, 23 (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday February 26 (7:30 p.m.).
The distinguished cast of Dallas Opera favorites and debuts includes 2005 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Latonia Moore (Cio-Cio-San), Evan LeRoy Johnson (Lt. BF Pinkerton, TDO debut), Kirstin Chávez (Suzuki), Michael Adams (Sharpless, TDO debut), Martin Bakari (Goro, TDO debut), Hyung Yun (Prince Yamadori) and Adam Lau (The Bonze). Music director Emmanuel Villaume conducts the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Laurie Feldman conducts, Michael Yeargan is set and costume designer, and Duane Schuler is lighting designer. Alexander Rom, chorus master, directs the Dallas Opera Chorus.
“It’s such a joy to be able to bring fully staged productions back to the Winspear Opera House,” said Ian Derrer, Managing Director and CEO of Kern Wildenthal. “We also look forward to sharing TDO Connections with our audience and community as we work to ensure these great pieces can be presented in a less stereotypical and more inclusive way. We are grateful to our partners in this collaboration and we look forward to sharing our findings.”
Overview of TDO Connections
Dallas Opera recognizes that the stories we present on our stages impact our audiences, staff, artists and communities. We invite our audiences and communities to join us in exploring the richness of opera as we strive to better tell stories as authentically and respectfully as possible through TDO Connections – our intentional storytelling process. human-centered opera designed by Education and Corporate Culture Manager Quodesia D. Johnson.
Each opera season, Dallas Opera will explore thematic elements relevant to our communities through selected opera productions. Through a collaborative effort, practitioners work closely with our staff and directors to align the intent and impact of our storytelling while participating in panel discussions and community conversations for collective learning.
This season, TDO connections explores performance and orientalism in opera through Madame Butterfly and The Pearl Fishers in partnership with Asian Opera Alliance. Although Asian Opera Alliance was not part of the initial process of selecting these productions for the stage, they worked behind the scenes with our directors to make these plays more respectful. The public component will begin in February with a pre-recorded panel discussion with Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformationthe Asian Opera Allianceand the Black Opera Allianceavailable now on The Dallas Opera website. The production season ends with a panel discussion with the directors, the Asian Opera Alliance and the Dallas Opera team.
Additionally, TDO also offers these interesting and informative pre-opera and post-opera talks:
- Joy and Ronald Mankoff Pre-Opera Talks are 30-minute interactive talks, one hour before the start of each opera, held at Margaret McDermott Performance Hall. Admission is free with your ticket to a Dallas Opera show. Hosted by Hank Hammett, Director of Opera at Meadows School of the Arts (SMU).
Note: There is no pre-opera lecture on the opening night, February 18, 2022.
- New! Post-Opera Talkbacks will immediately follow the Sunday matinee performances from the stage. These brief, informal Q&A sessions with cast members give the audience an opportunity to ask questions about the performance. Hosted by Kristian Roberts, Director of Education at the Dallas Opera.
In Nagasaki, Japan, a young woman, Cio-Cio-San, falls in love with a US Navy lieutenant, BF Pinkerton. For Cio-Cio-San, also known as “Madame Butterfly,” their impending marriage is one of longevity and love, but for Pinkerton, she’s nothing more than a wife to spend the days until he finds a “real” American wife. Three years later, Pinkerton is gone, and Butterfly continues to wait, holding out hope for her husband’s return. Not only has Pinkerton given up a wife, but now a child. Cio-Cio-San is thrilled to see that after all this time, her husband’s warship has finally returned to port. Butterfly prepares to find her love, but it’s a woman she sees – Pinkerton’s American wife. Filled with grief for what was, Butterfly is asked to give up her child. Quietly accepting, she regains her composure and retrieves her father’s dagger, reading the inscription: “Die with honor when you cannot live with honor.” Cio-Cio-San bids farewell to her son and stabs herself, dying as Pinkerton’s voice is heard outside.
- Program booklet available here
- Four performances: February 18 (8 p.m.), 20 (2 p.m.), 23 (7.30 p.m.), 26 (7.30 p.m.)
- 2h30 including an intermission
- Sung in Italian with English translations projected for each performance.
- Location: Winspear Opera House (2403 Flora St., Dallas, TX)
- Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased online at dallasopera.org or by calling 214.443.1000 (Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- $15 advance student tickets are available for the performance of Madame Butterfly on Wednesday, February 23.
- $15 Student Rush tickets are available at the Winspear Opera House 90 minutes prior to any Dallas Opera performance and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
- A valid student card is required for two tickets purchased.