Opera Festival Time
The annual Fort Worth Opera Festival is back. Taking place mostly at Bass Performance Hall over the next several weeks starting this weekend, the event will feature a mix of old and new operas, including Puccini’s La Bohème, Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment, Richard Straus’ Ariadne auf Naxos, and the regional premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied.
Based on the bestselling book of the same name by Tom Philpott, Glory Denied traces the tragic life of Col. Jim Thompson, the longest-held American prisoner of war in Vietnam. Baritone Michael Mayes will sing the older version of the hero and David Blalock the younger Thompson. Tyson Deaton will conduct.
But the big hit will most likely be La Bohème. Metropolitan Opera soprano Mary Dunleavy and Sri Lankan tenor Sean Panikkar will sing the star-crossed lovers Mimi and Rodolfo. David Lefkowich, who directed the successful Il Trovatore here two years ago, has staged the opera, and Fort Worth Opera music director Joe Illick will conduct.
A new series of eight unpublished works by composers of the Americas called Frontiers will also be presented, at McDavid Studio, May 6-11. –– Leonard Eureka