| Arts |

Dallas Center for the Performing Arts to Get a Big Harp, David Sanborn for Grand Opening

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

All apologies to the Friends of Unfair Park trying to post comments -- the server decided to take a late holiday break, and, for two hours, well, that was that. (And, no, we didn't shut 'em down, as many of you have wondered.) So, that said, back to business.

The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts just sent word of its Grand Opening Week celebration, scheduled for October 12 through 18, beginning with a dedication to be held in the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, after which MASS Ensemble will install "a large-scale interactive instrument known as the Earth Harp on site, stretching strings from the ground to the roofline of the Center's neighbor to the east, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Art." Among other items of interest is an architectural forum, during which those who designed the various DCPA buildings will talk about their venues. We really should get our old pal David Yearsley an invite.

The full schedule of events follows. But, really, David Sanborn? Apparently, the grand opening's scheduled for October 1986. I kid. Ish.

New Center for Music, Theatre, Dance and Opera Opens with Weeklong Celebration October 12-18, 2009

DALLAS (July 6, 2009) - The much-anticipated Grand Opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is just 100 days away. The most significant new performing arts complex to be built since New York City¹s Lincoln Center, the $354-million Center opens with a weeklong celebration from October 12 through 18, 2009 to launch its Inaugural Season. Daily outdoor
performances, concerts and public art installations will be free and open to the public throughout the week, as will architectural forums with Center architects Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas. Other highlights include events throughout the Dallas Arts District in recognition of its cultural completion.

"Nearly a decade in the making, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts will complete the vision of a downtown arts district that will act as a cultural cornerstone for the region and drive creative vitality," said John Eagle, Center Board of Director member and Chair of the Center¹s Grand Opening Committee. "The Grand Opening celebrations will not only acknowledge the success in making the dream of the Center a reality, but will also look to the future, giving North Texas and beyond a taste of all the Center will offer. Kids can bring their families, and friends can stop by after work or over the weekend to celebrate. We look forward to including the entire community in one of the most important happenings in our region¹s history."

The Grand Opening celebrations will begin on the morning of Monday, October 12, 2009, with a civic dedication. Held in the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, the 10-acre public park that unifies the venues of the Center, the civic dedication will launch the week of celebratory events. This event will be free and open to the public.

Following the civic dedication and each day throughout the Grand Opening week will be a series of outdoor performances and performance art. Mass Ensemble, a multi-media performance group, will install a large-scale interactive instrument known as the Earth Harp on site, stretching strings from the ground to the roofline of the Center¹s neighbor to the east, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Mass Ensemble will perform on the instrument throughout the week and the public will be invited to participate and play. Grand Opening week will also feature light shows by Luma and gravity-defying acrobatic performances by Anti-Gravity.

Other highlights of Grand Opening week are two architectural forums presented by the world-renowned architects who designed the venues of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and in association with the Dallas Architectural Forum and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas, one of the designers of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, will discuss the future of theatre design on the afternoon of Thursday, October 15 in the innovative Wyly Theatre. On Friday morning, October 16, Norman Foster, also winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, will present his designs for the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and Annette Strauss Artist Square. Both of the architectural forums will be free and open to the public.

On Friday evening, October 16, the entire community will be invited to Sammons Park for a free concert by renowned GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist David Sanborn. The Grand Opening week will be capped off with the Grand Finale on Sunday, October 18, when the public will have the opportunity to tour the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theatre, as well as experience a sampling of performances in each venue and in the Park with artists such as Latin GRAMMY® Award-winning flutist Nestor Torres.

Other Celebratory Dallas Arts District Events

In recognition of the cultural completion of the Dallas Arts District, special visual and performing arts events will take place throughout 68-acre district celebrating the opening of the Center. The Nasher Sculpture Center will feature The Art of Architecture: Foster + Partners with a nod to one of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts' primary architects. The Dallas Museum of Art will present Performance/Art, an exhibition showcasing the work of cntemporary artists who have taken inspiration from the theater and opera in the creation of their painting, sculpture, video, and photography. The exhibition includes work by David Altmejd and Yinka Shonibare, among others, as well as Guillermo Kuitca, whom the Center has also commissioned to design the curtain for the Winspear Opera House.  The Crow Collection of Asian Art will host Tibetan lamas, who, painting with sand, will create a mandala in the museum. The Dallas Center for Architecture will present a retrospective of the creation of the Dallas Arts District and the new Center. The Dallas Arts District, in association with the Center for Architecture, will also host walking tours of the District.

On Sunday, October 18, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present a free afternoon concert, featuring Beethoven¹s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.  Additional soon-to-be-announced activities will also take place at the Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, the prized arts magnet high school located in the heart of the Arts District.

"The creation of a world-class Arts District in the heart of downtown Dallas has been a project in the making for three decades, and the Grand Opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts completes the vision for the cultural facilities in the District," said Veletta Forsythe Lill, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District. "The week of October 12 will be a celebration throughout the entire District, showcasing all of the institutions in the District. This week will truly be an historic time for the region‹something for our entire community to enjoy."

Fundraising Events

Act III, the fundraising portion of Grand Opening week, will take place on the evenings of October 15 through 17. All of the proceeds from Act III ticket sales will fund the free, public Grand Opening events. Act III includes three performances designed to showcase the art forms that will be presented at the Center‹theatre, opera, ballet and Broadway‹in unique programs created specifically for the Grand Opening. This once-in-a-lifetime series of performances will not be repeated anywhere else in the world, and will feature star-studded casts, including renowned opera soprano Denyce Graves and baritone Thomas Hampson, as well as a world premiere piece by contemporary dance company Morphoses, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.