Fort Worth Opera announces 2014 festival

Posted 9:17pm on Friday, Apr. 19, 2013

A day before the 2013 Fort Worth Opera Festival begins, the company announced its 2014 season, the 68th.

Two of the 2014 works, both from this century, were previously announced: the regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night and the world premiere of With Blood, With Ink.

The rest of the season comprises one warhorse, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and Bizet's second-best-known opera, The Pearl Fishers (he also composed Carmen). Neither has been presented by Fort Worth Opera in recent years; Cosi was last produced in 1995, The Pearl Fishers in 1983.

"Fort Worth Opera is proud to present engaging, inspiring works -- both contemporary and traditional -- in compelling, modern productions that offer memorable experiences, and which make a connection for our audiences," General Director Darren K. Woods said in a news release. "Our goal is to inspire and provoke, to create opportunities for shared experiences and conversations about the human condition in all its myriad facets."

The 2014 festival will include a second installment of the Frontiers showcase for new works, which runs April 19-May 11, 2014.

With Blood, With Ink will be performed in the McDavid Studio, the other three in Bass Hall.

The Pearl Fishers opens the 2014 season, with three performances April 19 and 27 and May 2. It will star Hailey Clark, Sean Panikkar, Lee Poulis and Justin Hopkins, and will be directed by John de los Santos and conducted by Joe Illick. The libretto, by Eugene Cormon and Michel Carre, weaves themes of friendship, honor, jealousy, betrayal and sacrifice. The opera will be sung in French with English supertitles.

Cosi fan tutte, with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, has three performances, April 26 and May 3 and 11, and features Jan Cornelius, Kathryn Leehmuis, Scott Quinn, Paul Scholten, Kerriann Otano and Tyler Simpson. It will be directed by David Gately and conducted by Garrett Keast. It will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Silent Night, which has music by former Fort Worth Symphony composer-in-residence Kevin Puts and libretto by Mark Campbell, is based on the 2005 Oscar-nominated French film Joyeux Noel, about British, French and German troops who ceased fighting in the middle of War War I to celebrate Christmas. It will have two performances, May 4 and 10, and is sung in English, French, German, Italian and Latin with English supertitles. The cast includes Ava Pine, Chad Johnson, Morgan Smith, Craig Irvin and Dan Kempson, and the production will be directed by Eric Simonson with conducting by Joe Illick.

The world premiere of With Blood, With Ink features music by Daniel Crozier and a libretto by Peter M. Krask. The nine performances at McDavid Studio are April 20, 26, 27 and 29, and May 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10. The opera, which will be performed in English, is based on the true story of 17th-century Mexican nun Sor (Sister) Juana Ines de la Cruz, an intellectual, poet, theologian and champion of women's rights who was forced by the Inquisition to sign an oath in blood renouncing her life's work.

Recent TCU graduate Vanessa Becerra will play the role of Young Juana, with Sandra Lopez as the Dying Sor Juana. Ian McEuen and Audrey Babcock also star. Dona Vaughn directs and Tim Myers conducts. And as previously announced, the star designer of the festival will be its costumer, Austin Scarlett, a contestant on the first season of Project Runway.

Information, ticket orders: or 817-731-0726.


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