Dallas Opera Returns With ‘Welcome Back’ Song Series

The Dallas Opera will be launching a new, three-event “Welcome Back” Song Series in the Winspear Opera House commencing March 31.

The company’s first event in the Winspear since it was forced to cease live performances last February because of COVID-19, the new series will feature four celebrated opera stars in three unique events: bass Morris Robinson on March 31; soprano Leah Crocetto and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton on April 3; and countertenor John Holiday on April 9. 

Sponsor for the “Welcome Back” Song Series is Ann Stuart, Ph.D., who is chairman of The Dallas Opera’s board of directors, and former chancellor and president of Texas Woman’s University.

Tickets, priced at $15, $25, and $50 for each event, are available now for TDO’s subscribers and donors, with general public sale commencing March 17.  

Ian Derrer, The Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, also announced that all subscribers (2020/2021 season) are being offered the opportunity to enjoy one of the recitals free.

“This is a no-strings-attached offer,” Derrer said. “We are so grateful to our subscribers for their loyalty and their patience in sticking with us through this tremendously challenging period—and we want to thank them by giving them the opportunity to see one of these events as our guest.”

Of course, we hope that season-ticket holders will also choose to purchase the other two events because these are great artists, and each program is completely different in style and repertoire.” 

He explained that the free offer was limited to one ticket per 2020/2021 subscriber, with a maximum of two per household. Because of the socially distanced seating protocols, Derrer stressed that seating is limited and urged subscribers to reserve quickly.

The “Welcome Back” Song Series opens with bass Morris Robinson at 7:30 p.m. March 31 The classical program, “An Evening in Song with Morris Robinson,” includes Mozart’s Mentre ti lascio, O figlia!, K. 513, andO, wie will ich triumphieren from The Abduction from the Seraglio; Hugo Wolf’s Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Michelangelo; Verdi’s Il lacerato spirito” from Simon Boccanegra; Bernstein’s Greeting; selections from Margaret Bonds’ Three Dream Portraits, and more.

Caren Levine is the pianist for Mr. Robinson’s program.

The world-renowned American bass appears regularly at the Metropolitan Opera, most recently in The Magic Flute and Salome. He has been a featured artist with virtually every major American opera company including The Dallas Opera, with European engagements at La Scala, the Vienna Volksoper, and France’s Aix-en-Provence Festival, among others. Morris will sing the role of Nourabad in The Dallas Opera production of Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers in the 2021/2022 season. He was to have sung in TDO’s Don Carlo in 2021, but the production was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Soprano Leah Crocetto and mezzo soprano Jamie Barton take center stage at 2 p.m. April 3. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear these two great artists in an “American Songbook” of favorites by composers including Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Jason Robert Brown, and more.  Selections will include “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Over the Rainbow,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Sentimental Mood,” and more. 

Mark Markham is the pianist for the program.

Soprano Leah Crocetto is admired for both her beautiful voice and her passionate acting.  Highly successful in a variety of dramatic soprano roles, Crocetto’s eminence especially in the Verdi repertoire has been confirmed by successes in Il trovatore (Bordeaux, Verona, Frankfurt), Otello (Frankfurt, Venice, and on the Teatro La Fenice’s tour of Japan), Luisa Miller (San Francisco, Tel Aviv), Aida (San Francisco, Seattle), and Falstaff (Frankfurt).

The critically acclaimed mezzo soprano Jamie Barton is a sought-after star at major opera houses everywhere. A huge audience favorite wherever she performs, she is the winner of the Beverly Sills Award, the Richard Tucker Award, both Main and Song Prizes at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and the BBC Music Personality of the Year Award.  

Both Miss Crocetto and Miss Barton were to have sung with TDO in Verdi’s Don Carlo in 2021, but all performances had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. 

Countertenor John Holiday concludes the series at 7:30 p.m. April 9 Lauded on the opera stage, he also created a sensation with fans of NBC’s “The Voice,” for which he was one of the finalists for the grand prize. In “The John Holiday Experience,” he will offer an array of hits by composers from a multitude of genres, including Stevie Wonder, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, and Beethoven. “Summertime,” “You are the Sunshine of My Life,” “’Round Midnight,” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” are just some of the selections audiences will enjoy in this eclectic program.

Pianists for his program are Kevin J. Miller and Neeki Bey.

Holiday has rapidly established himself as one of the most versatile artists of his generation. His operatic successes have ranged from Handel’s Xerxes (Glimmerglass Festival) and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (LA Opera) to Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei (Portland Opera, Holiday’s operatic stage debut), and Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice (LA Opera, world premiere). He will sing the role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight, scheduled for The Dallas Opera’s 2021/2022 season.

In addition to mandatory masks and social-distanced seating, a full range of meticulous COVID-19 precautions will be in place for the “Welcome Back” Song Series. The complete list is outlined at dallasopera.org in the visitor information section.

English supertitles will be used for all events.

Full biographies for all artists can be found in the links above or at dallasopera.org. Tickets may be purchased at dallasopera.org or by calling the box office at 214-443-1000.

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