The Dallas Opera has announced the six-work line-up for its 14th season. In it you'll see a blend of popular moneymakers, like Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, starring Italian bass-baritone Mirco Palazzi and Austrian soprano Beate Ritter, and the thrill of new with the world premiere of Everest.
We've been curious about Everest since its commission was announced in 2012. Penned by British composer Joby Talbot with a libretto by Gene Scheer (Moby-Dick), the English-sung one-act will follow its cast on a doomed journey through altitude. Pitch, tone and characters' sanities will adjust as they climb higher and further away from base camp, proving that nothing is more terrifying than the chilly isolation that accompanies being marooned at 29,000 feet.
Making Everest more alluring is its conductor, Nicole Paiement, who whirled and spun The Lighthouse's chamber music through the Wyly in 2012, and who is set to conduct next month's contemporary robot opera The Death and The Powers. Everest will star tenor Andrew Bidlack, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, bass Kevin Burdette and baritone Craig Verm. Adding old to new, those performances will be a double feature, with Alfred Catalani's La Wally (Act IV). The 1892 deep cut is set on an Alpine mountaintop, and we'll get the tastiest bits of it in this final climactic act. (Opens January 30, 2015)
The Marriage of Figaro kicks off the "Heights of Passion" series on Friday, October 24, at 8 p.m. Other season productions include Richard Strauss' Salome, known for its saucy (operatically speaking) "Dance of the Seven Veils." Adapted from Oscar Wilde's play of the same name, this 20th century work will be sung in German and end with a kiss on John the Baptist's decapitated head. (Opens October 30, 2014)
If there's such a thing as a blockbuster in opera, La Bohème is it. Grabbing the season's fourth spot is this Puccini heavy-hitter, bolstered further by Grammy Award-winning Latin American soprano, Ana María Martínez. New Orleans native tenor (and Maria Callas Award-nominee) Bryan Hymel, will portray the poet Rodolfo. (Opens March 13, 2015)
Closing out the season is the lesser-performed Iolanta, Tchaikovsky's final opera, which premiered in 1892. It's a sweet-hearted thing, centering around a romance, self-discovery and a well-kept secret. (Opens April 10, 2015)
Existing subscribers may renew now. New season subscription seekers may select their packages starting on June 1, 2014. Those looking for single tickets can grab 'em in July.