When The Dallas Opera decided to stage Death and the Powers, Tod Machover's challenging modern sci-fi opera, they called on conductor Nicole Paiement to handle the complex score. Paiement was a smart choice: as Artistic Director of San Fransisco's Opera Parallèl, a professional company dedicated to producing contemporary operas, she's made a name for herself as a conductor, interpreter and champion of new music. If you're looking for a conductor who isn't intimidated by the work required to master a new, strange or obscure piece of music, Paiement is exactly who you want in the pit.
This is why it is good news to hear from The Dallas Opera today that Maestra Nicole Paiement has been named the company's first ever Principal Guest Conductor. Paiement's new role begins immediately. She is, in fact, already scheduled to conduct the world premier of Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer's forthcoming Everest at the Winspear Opera House in January of 2015.
Paiement first appeared as guest conductor with The Dallas Opera in 2012 when she made her company debut conducting Maxwell Davies' obscure 1979 thriller, The Lighthouse. In both that production and last season's Death and the Powers, Paiement proved herself to be a thoughtful and meticulous conductor who tackles the challenges of learning new material with enthusiasm and precision.
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Paiement's new appointment with TDO indicates this company is dedicated to continue bringing new, obscure and hopefully even experimental opera to North Texas. With a conductor like Paiement on board, this company can tackle new works with confidence. Now we just have to wait and see what they have planned for the future. And, in the meantime, get excited for next season's world premier of Everest.