The company announced last November that it would condense its fall-winter season into a four-week spring festival; the first such festival will take place this May in lieu of the 2006-07 season.
The summer lineup of this 60th anniversary season for the company features the premiere of Thomas Pasatieri's Frau Margot on June 2. In 1981 FWO commissioned a children's from Pasatieri; Frau Margot marks his return to opera after 20 years of orchestrating Hollywood movie scores. Frank Corsaro, who is writing the libretto (based on an earlier play he wrote) will direct.
Lauren Flanigan sings Frau Margot, a former diva; Morgan Smith is Ted Steinert, a composer; Patricia Risley sings Kara S‹ndstrom, Margot's companion; Allan Glassman is Walter Engelmann, Margot's agent and Daniel Okulitch is Gert Osterland, a detective. Joseph Illick conducts; sets are by Alison Nalder and costumes by Steven Bryant.
The season opens on May 19 with Puccini's Madama Butterfly, featuring Angela Maria Blasi as Cio-Cio-San, David Pomeroy as B.F. Pinkerton, Robynne Redmon as Suzuki, Ryan Taylor as Sharpless and Jonathan Green as Goro. Joseph Rescigno conducts and Tim Ocel directs. The sets are from Virginia Opera.
The lineup also includes Verdi's Falstaff, which runs May 25-June 9. The cast includes Kim Josephson as Falstaff, Michael Chioldi as Ford, Brenda Harris as Alice Ford, Eugenie Grunewald as Mrs. Quickly, Jonathan Green as Dr. Cajus and Seth Keeton as Pistola. Christopher Larkin conducts; David Gately directs; sets are from the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform for each opera. Other scheduled events include a concert version of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, produced with the Van Cliburn Foundation, on May 26 and a Marilyn Horne Foundation Recital on June 2.
The FWO decided to establish a shorter season for several reasons: more efficient and cost-effective use of time in Bass Performance Hall, where the company performs; the opportunity to schedule performances on weekends without using multiple casts; and to eliminate scheduling conflicts with nearby Dallas Opera.