Originally The Dallas Opera’s Viva Diva! featuring mezza-soprano Joyce Didonato scheduled in November 2020 suffered a couple of postponements due to those tricky pandemic restrictions. Instead of just throwing in the towel, Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director/CEO Ian Derrer “reimagined” the one-night-only special event into a fundraiser that would be celebrated for three days in May sponsored by The Eugene McDermott Foundation benefiting TDO’s artistic and learning programs.
The trio will kick off with Viva Opera! streaming on Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m. It will feature Joyce, soprano Ailyn Pérez, countertenor John Holiday and baritone Lucas Meacham performing selections from “The Barber of Seville” and “Great Scott.” Co-Chairs Lisa and David Genecov and Honorary Chair Mary McDermott Cook have not only provided for the event to be viewed free, they’ve also arrange for it to be available on-demand through Friday, June 4.
On the following Sunday, May 9, at 2 p.m., the DVD premiere of Jake Heggie’s and Terrence McNally’s 2015 “Great Scott” starring Joyce, Ailyn, Frederica von Stade and Nathan Gunn will take place at the Winspear Opera House. While the event will be free for TDO subscribers, general admission tickets will be going for $20 for reserved, distanced seating.
The finale of the trio will take place on Monday, May 10, at 7 p.m. for “Viva Diva!” It will have Joyce on the Winspear’s Shannon and Ted Skokos stage and Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director Emmanuel Villaume conducting The Dallas Opera Orchestra. The evening’s program will include Berlioz’s “La Mort de Cléopâtre,” Beethoven’s “Coriolan” overture and Heggie’s “Camille Claudel: Into the Fire.” Tickets will range from $30 to $325 with limited audience capacity.
According to Ian, “This past year has presented a challenge at every turn. But I am so very proud of the way our staff and artists have found creative solutions to each of those challenges. This weekend of fundraising efforts is one of those opportunities that we have to showcase our art and artists in new ways, and I’m grateful to Joyce DiDonato and all of our soloists who have agreed to participate. I hope our audiences here in Dallas, as well as those far and wide, enjoy these offerings.”
The accessibility to these performances and other programs provided by The Dallas Opera are made available thanks to the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations.