The enchantress Alcina has conjured a magical island from the souls of her former lovers. There she lures unsuspecting men, only to turn them into wild animals and inanimate objects when she tires of them. When she traps the knight Ruggiero, his fiancée, Bradamante – who is herself a knight, disguised as her own brother – comes to the rescue.
The resulting tangle of romantic conflicts and deceptions, and the complexities of how human beings suffer in love, form the story of Georg Friedrich Händel’s 1735 masterpiece, Alcina.
Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips, will present the Baroque opera as its Spring Term production. The show runs Feb. 8-11, 2018, in the Bob Hope Theatre. Ticket are $8 each for SMU students, faculty and staff.
Händel wrote the opera seria, which takes its setting and many of its characters from the epic poem Orlando furioso by Ludovico Arioso, for his debut season at the Theatre Royal in London’s Covent Garden. Dame Joan Sutherland performed the title role for the Dallas Opera in a November 1960 production by Franco Zeffirelli.
Meadows Opera Theatre will sing the performance in Italian with English projected titles.
SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts chooses the photos that sum up Spring 2017 – including spectacular shots from the Meadows Chamber Music Recital, the Meadows Opera production of The Elixir of Love, Regina Taylor’s Magnolia, the Temerlin Advertising Institute and Division of Journalism “Collaboration Room,” and the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
They also include the photo above – a stunning shot by Ace Anderson from the promotional video shoot for the Meadows 2017 Senior Dance Concert, running May 4-7 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
The Meadows Opera Theatre’s first show of 2017 opens tonight in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, featuring the Meadows Opera Orchestra and the slogan, “Never underestimate the power of true love and a little cheap Bordeaux.”
The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti is directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips. Performances are scheduled Feb. 9-12 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for students, faculty and staff.
The opera will be sung in Italian with English projected titles.
Donizetti’s enduring comedy focuses on a poor, uneducated young man who, though he thinks he’s a nobody, is hopelessly in love with the most popular, affluent girl in town. With the help of a flamboyant snake-oil salesman and a bottle (or two) of a special “love potion,” he sets out to win her.
First performed in Milan in 1832, the opera remains a keystone of the international repertoire and one of Donizetti’s most frequently performed works. The SMU production was inspired by the works of artists Jerry Bywaters and Romare Bearden.
SMU family members from across the country will join their students in celebrating 2015 Family Weekend Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The annual tradition is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.
For the third year, Student Foundation is partnering with Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization devoted to ending domestic violence against women and children. Families and students are encouraged to bring household items to donate. Collection boxes will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations.
Ticket pickup: Tickets ordered in advance can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 30 at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing, and from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Boulevard BBQ.
Family Weekend T-shirts: T-shirts will be sold in limited quantities on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing during ticket pickup. T-shirts are $10.
Engaged Learning Symposium: Stop by the Hughes-Trigg Student Center between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to listen to students present their achievements in research, service, internships and creative fields.
SMU Abroad ‘Get World Ready’: From 10 to 11 a.m. at the Blanton Building, families can learn about SMU Abroad’s 145 programs around the world.
Family Luncheon: Co-sponsored by Student Foundation and the SMU Mothers’ Club, the family luncheon takes place at noon in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. (Update October 19: Tickets for the Family Luncheon are no longer available; the luncheon has sold out.)
Meadows Opera Theatre Opera Free For All: The Meadows Opera Theatre will be performing an assortment of scenes from opera and musical theatre that delve into family dynamics at 1 p.m. in the Bob Hope Lobby.
Talent Show: The 40th Annual Family Weekend Talent Show begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Tickets remain available for the Family Weekend Talent Show, while they last, at Family Weekend ticket pickup (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing) and at the McFarlin Auditorium Box Office starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 30. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
Parent Leadership Council Meeting (current PLC Members only): The meeting welcomes parents of current students who support SMU with annual gifts of $2,500 or more. For more information and to learn about joining the PLC, please contact Christi Contreras at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-768-4746.
Boulevard BBQ: Join Student Foundation and the SMU Dads’ Club for this beloved tradition on the South Lawn of Clements Hall from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy Sonny Bryan’s BBQ before heading to Ford Stadium to watch the Mustangs against Tulsa. (Update October 19: Tickets are no longer available online but will be on sale at the event beginning at noon on the Clements Hall south lawn.)
SMU vs. Tulsa: The game begins at 3 p.m. at Ford Stadium. Football tickets may be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website. SMU students attend the game for free with their valid SMU Student ID.
Meadows Museum Special Exhibition Tours: The Meadows Museum will offer one-hour docent-guided tours of the special exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting, at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The two tours will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays (until 9 p.m. Thursdays), and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. SMU students attend free with a valid SMU ID.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
CHAS La Familia Luncheon: Families are invited to join the College Hispanic American Students for lunch and entertainment starting at 1 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.
George W. Bush Presidential Center: At the Bush Presidential Center, families can explore the interactive museum galleries, sit in the Oval Office, enjoy the Texas Rose Garden, eat lunch at Café 43, shop in the Museum store and stroll through the 15-acre park filled with native Texas prairie grasses and wildflowers. The Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online; SMU students attend free with a valid SMU ID.
To observe the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, SMU is participating in a community collaboration that commemorates the event in music. Wading Home, an opera set against the backdrop of the historic storm, opens for a one-night-only free performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 in Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street. The show was performed in New Orleans on Sept. 12-13 at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall.
The story of a young musician’s struggle to find his missing father in the chaotic aftermath of the hurricane, Wading Home is based on the novel of the same name by Dallas author and violinist Rosalyn Story. The opera, composed by Dallas musician Mary Alice Rich, is produced in collaboration with several Meadows School of the Arts faculty members and students, as well as community members from Dallas and New Orleans.
The opera is a dream project for Meadows Professor of Voice Barbara Hill Moore, who is serving as producer and music director. The stage director is Meadows Director of Opera Hank Hammett, and the conductor is Constantina Tsolainou, former head of choral activities at the Meadows School.
“I am intensely proud of the amazing gifts of time, talent, and love of the human family and spirit, shared without compensation by SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni in this collaborative project with Loyola University and the people of New Orleans,” says Hill Moore. “The three performances of Wading Home are a community collaboration shared by Texans, Louisianans, New Yorkers, South Africans and a host of people from around the globe with the people of New Orleans and of Dallas.”
Baritone and Meadows alumnus Donnie Ray Albert (M.M. ’75) sings the role of the lost father, Simon. Other leading roles in the Dallas performance include established opera singers and Meadows alumni Leon Turner (M.M. ’92) as Julian, Simon’s musician son, and Bronwen Forbay (Artist Diploma ’04) as Velmyra, Julian’s former love who helps him reconnect with his Louisiana roots and his lost father. Also sharing the stage is Quintin Coleman (M.M. ’15, Performer’s Diploma ’17) as Julian’s trumpeter friend Grady, with whom Julian has lost touch during the years he has been performing around the globe as a famous jazz musician. Dance alumnus Jamal Story (B.F.A. Dance Performance and B.A. Corporate Communications ’99) will also perform.
The SMU Meadows new music ensemble SYZYGY, led by Meadows Director of Chamber Music and three-time Grammy winner Matt Albert, will play live. Also onstage for the Dallas performance will be the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.
Meadows Jazz Orchestra Brown Bag: Bring your lunch for a brown-bag concert by the Meadows Jazz Orchestra, directed by Dylan Smith, at 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. The concert will offer a sneak preview of the MJO’s 2015-16 season, and the ensemble features students from a number of degree programs and majors across Meadows School of the Arts and SMU. Admission is free.
The faces of Fra Angelico: Italian Renaissance expert Laurence Kanter, chief durator and Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art with the Yale University Art Gallery, examines the dual – and sometimes conflicting – images of Fra Angelico (ca. 1395-1455) as both a humble and spiritually inspired artist, and as a skillful businessman and a familiar of the powerful and politically connected. “Fra Angelico and the Early Renaissance in Florence” begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum. The lecture is free, and the Museum offers priority seating for members until 5:40 p.m. (Left, Fra Angelico’s The Virgin of the Pomegranate is on display as part of the Meadow Museum’s Treasures from the House of Alba through Jan. 3, 2016. Photo by Nancy George, SMU News.)
The master and Margarita: Meadows/Kress/Prado Fellow Rebecca Teresi discusses the story behind Diego Velázquez’ series of masterpieces depicting the Infanta Margarita Teresa of Spain in “Velázquez and the Infanta Margarita” at 12:15 p.m. Friday, September 18. The lecture is free, and you’ll also have a chance to view one of these masterworks, Infanta Margarita in a Blue Dress (1659, oil on canvas), on loan from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, through Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.
60-second songfest: SMU’s Opera Free For All series returns for 2015-16 with its popular season opener, which showcases every member of the Meadows Opera Theatre ensemble in 60-second arias and songs. “Bite-size Arias/Big-size Talents” begins at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free.
The award-winning Meadows Opera Theatre opens the 2015 opera season with Susannah, running Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 8, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Written by Carlisle Floyd in 1955, Susannahis based loosely on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders. Set in rural Tennessee where the fate of the young town beauty hangs, Susannah explores the plague of religious fundamentalism, intolerance, hypocrisy and prejudice. Weaving together folk tunes, country hymns and haunting melodies, Floyd’s American masterpiece tells the timeless tale of desire, lust, seduction and revenge.
The Meadows production is directed by Hank Hammett. American lyric baritone Hammett is an award-winning performer, director, teacher and coach. As an acting coach for singers, Hammett has worked for Broadway and Off-Broadway, in television and film, and the world’s most prestigious opera houses, ranging from The Metropolitan Opera to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Currently, Hammett serves as Director of Opera, Senior Lecturer and Chair of Ensemble Department in Meadows School of the Arts.
Under the baton of Maestro Paul Phillips, this main stage production is accompanied by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Phillips has served since 1996 as music director and conductor of the Meadows School of the Arts. A native of Dallas, Phillips completed his undergraduate studies at SMU where he studied with James Rives Jones.
Tickets for faculty, staff and students are $7 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787. A full cast list can be found below.
Libretto and Music by Carlisle Floyd
Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU
Producer/Director – Hank Hammett
Conductor – Paul Phillips
Choreographer – Danny Buraczeski
Scenic Designer – Sarah B. Brown (MFA ’15)
Costume Designer – Amanda Capshaw (MFA ’15)
Lighting Designer – Luther Frank (MFA ’15)
Vocal Coach/Répétiteur – Jason Smith
Supertitles – Opera Supertitles
Stage Manner – Suzanne Lavender
(in order of vocal appearance)
Fiddler – Jiah Kyun
Mrs. Gleaton – Julie Martinez* and Dallas Caulkins**
Mrs. Ott – Laura Gastinel* and JinYong Kwon**
Mrs. Hayes – Courtney Stancil* and Kristen Meyers**
Mrs. McLean – Moretta Irchirl* and Arielle Collier**
Elder McLean – Frank Rosamond
Olin Blitch, an evangelist – Raul Escalona* and Langelihle Mngxati**
Elder Hayes – Benjamin Roberts
Elder Ott – James Resch
Elder Gleaton – Quintin Coleman
Susannah Polk – Alissa Roca* and Audra Methvin**
Little Bat McLean – Jordan Hammons
Sam Polk – Jeawood Lee* and Myles Pinder**
First Man – Dennis Wees
Second Man – Charles Karanja
Townsfolk of New Hope Valley – Jordan Beranek, Regina Joi Branford, Laura Bumgarner, Dallas Caulkins, Arielle Collier, Shannon Conboy, Gabrielle Ferrari, Laura Gastinel, Maggie Harper, Moretta Irchirl, Jenilee Joan, Maya Jones, Charles Karanja, JinYoung Kwon, Vinnie Mahal, Julie Martinez, Kristen Meyers, Brandon Moore, Lauren Pinzás, Kelly Silverthorn, Courtney Stancil, Christian Thrailkill, Kiara Wade, Dennis Wees, Alison Wheaton
* Thursday and Saturday
** Friday and Sunday
All photograph in this article were taken by Kim Leeson.
• SMU Preschool and Child Care holds its annual Halloween Parade on the Boulevard 9:30-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Wear your friendliest costume and come out to Bishop Boulevard to treat the mini-Mustangs – wrapped candy, boxed raisins, fruit snacks, packaged graham and goldfish crackers, and small trinkets are all welcome.
• Meadows Opera Theatre explores the eternal battle between good and evil in its annual Halloween Opera Free For All. This year’s theme, “Singing Saints and Sinners,” features Meadows School of the Arts students performing scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Bizet’s Carmen. The free event begins at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby, Owen Arts Center. For more information, call the Meadows Division of Music, 214-768-1951.
It is time for the annual May Day Festival, but what happens when none of the girls are pure enough to be May Queen?
In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten, the Meadows Opera Theatre and Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring. The production runs Feb. 7-10, 2013 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Albert Herring is set in 1947, just two years after the end of World War II, in a time when youth were trying to pull away from traditions and live life in their own terms. This theme is explored through the title character, who is named May King after being lauded as the only virgin in town. Albert is embarrassed by his new title and seeks adventure and independence from his mother after unknowingly drinking rum-spiked lemonade at the May Day Festival. The opera is a story of triumph and having the right to be who we really are regardless of what others think and accept.
The opera was first performed in 1947, with a libretto by Eric Crozier. Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett had the privilege of studying with Crozier in his younger years, and they became good friends. “Eric and Nancy (Eric’s wife) fell in love during the writing of the opera,” Hammett says, “and that love is very much reflected in the music that Britten wrote for Nancy’s character. Nancy is one of the individuals who spikes the lemonade.”
Meadows student Julie Dieltz, playing Lady Billows, says, “Performing in an opera is one of the most exciting and terrifying experiences I’ve had. One must rely on specific personal experiences in order to develop a character. Through research into one’s life, the life of the character, and into history, the character comes alive.”
A unique element of Meadows Opera Theatre productions is that they are each fully designed by third-year M.F.A. students from the Division of Theatre. All sets, costumes and lighting are specially created by Meadows production, something that sets Meadows apart from other universities.
“This year’s production has surpassed them all. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by this kind of collaborative, interdisciplinary talent,” Hammett says.
First-time opera performer Daniel Bouchard, playing Mr. Gedge, also noted the collaborative nature of Meadows. “The true beauty of opera is that it is a collaborative art, bringing extremely talented musicians together on stage and in the pit to tell a story. Cooperation between these talented artists can be difficult sometimes, but we have worked so hard together that this interaction is almost second nature now.”
The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will be in the pit under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities Paul Phillips. The opera will be sung in English, with projected English text above the stage as well.
Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. The show begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 7-9 and 2 p.m. Feb. 10. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
(All images by Brian Hwu c/o Meadows School of the Arts)
Classical elements: The Meadows School of the Arts invites you to an afternoon of opera. The Meadows Opera Theatre will explore the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – through one-act operas and scenes from opera and musical theatre beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby.