JUST IN: The Dallas Opera Has Its New Music Director — Emmanuel Villaume

Emmanuel Villaume

Emmanuel Villaume

The Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny arrived at work this morning with a big smile on his face. He had good reason. After months of searching, he revealed TDO’s new music director — Emmanuel Villaume.

Scott Cantrell

Scott Cantrell

While media artistic types like Lawson Taitte, Scott Cantrell, Peter Simek et al were focused on the maestro’s musical abilities and experience, the fundraising segment of the press immediately were nodding approval at the Hermes-tie wearing conductor’s ability to “work the room.” And this factor was part of Keith’s priority list in finding his new music director.

According to Keith, “The Music Director’s role encompasses three vital elements. One, of course is to conduct main-stage performances for the company, at least two productions per year. The second is to work closely with me and members of the company’s artistic staff, on artistic planning, auditions, and other major musical decisions. The third is to spend time in the North Texas community — meeting donors and community leaders, and helping the Dallas Opera to achieve the highest possible levels of artistry and impact.”

It was pretty obvious from Emmanuel’s interaction with the media this morning that the 49-year-old will have no problems fulfilling the #3 requirement. There is a refreshing candor, charm and mischievous sense of humor about him and he’s already got a full agenda this week. Just a couple of the dates include dining with the top TDO friends like TDO Board of Directors Chair Peter Townsend and lunching with Margaret McDermott.

In its 56-year history, Emmanuel is only TDO’s third music director, following Nicola Rescigno (1957-1990) and Graeme Jenkins (1994-2013).

Emmanuel will make his official debut as TDO music director at the season’s opening performance of “Carmen” on Friday, October 25.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Closer to his new home in North Texas, Emmanuel Villaume’s first press conference at TDO seemed to spark optimism–even enthusiasm–from the normally cautious classical music press corps.  The Observer’s Katie Womack offered helpful advice, much of which Villaume already knows in his bones.  Art&Seek Producer/Reporter Jerome Weeks noted the Maestro’s taste in repertoire in his report, Dallas Morning News Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell called him “well respected in the opera business and critically acclaimed,” while Arnold Wayne Jones of Dallas Voice may have snagged the best photo of the day, although it’s a toss-up with these photos by My Sweet Charity’s Jeanne Prejean who also commented on the new music director’s gift for “working the room.” […]

  2. […] articulate, flirtatious . . . and, yes, you guessed it. He’s French. From the moment he was introduced as the Dallas Opera’s music director in April, the brown-eyed maestro’s enthusiasm was so […]

  3. […] it just a year-and-a-half ago that charming Emmanuel Villaume was named the Dallas Opera Music Director? Leave it to Keith Cerny to spot and snatch a winner! In the opera world, the DO was showing its […]

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