The forward-thinking life of the Dallas Opera’s music director comes with moments of confusion, such as when he’s planning future performances and someone asks what he’s doing next season.
“I know the titles we’re doing for 10 years, but then I don’t know what I’m doing next year,” Emmanuel Villaume explained on an afternoon in late January. “And I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow.”
A day earlier, he was out of town.
“I was not in New York, I was in Chicago, where we are singing Faust, and I literally didn’t remember what was the opera I was there to rehearse,” Villaume said. “Faust? Oh! That’s good.”
His joking aside, Villaume knew recently the planned main stage performances for 2018-2019 as he joined interim general director and CEO Kern Wildenthal in announcing “Swept Away,” a season that promises many Dallas debuts and some of the most popular operas.
“This season is the result of years and years of work,” Villaume said.
The season, sponsored by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger family, features Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Georges Bizet’s Carmen, Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and La Bohème, and Verdi’s Falstaff.
“The 62nd International Season, filled with captivating stories and unsurpassed music performed by some of the world’s greatest opera stars, will provide superb entertainment for patrons from across North Texas—as well as the many people who travel to Dallas these days, in order to experience opera at its best,” Wildenthal said.
Performers will include American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, French mezzo-soprano Stephanie d’Oustrac, American soprano Kristin Lewis, French tenor Jean-François Borras, South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, and American bass-baritone Mark Delavan.
“The next season when it comes to the level of casting is without precedent in Dallas,” Villaume said. “I say that with confidence. And it’s again because we have established ourselves… as one of the most important players in the field. Today we have artists who are approaching us, who want to sing with us, who would not have even answered our phone calls a few years ago.”
2018 – 2019 Season:
The Flying Dutchman
Oct. 12-Oct. 20, 2018
Oct. 19-Nov. 4, 2018
March 1-March 9, 2019
March 15-March 31, 2019
April 26-May 4, 2019