On November 17, soprano Ren_e Fleming returns to the company for a gala event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Maria Callas concert that inaugurated the Dallas Opera in 1957.
Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow opens on November 30, starring soprano Ruth Ann Swenson in the title role of Hanna Glawari and baritone Rod Gilfry as Count Danilo Danilowitsch. The San Francisco Opera production, which will be conducted by Jenkins and directed by Lotfi Mansouri, also features baritone Andrew Shore in his company debut as Baron Zeta, soprano Nathalie Paulin as Valencienne and tenor Stephen Costello as Camille de Rosillon.
Perhaps the biggest event of the Dallas season will be the new production of Strauss's Salome, which was last staged at the company in 1976. Russian soprano Mlada Khudoley makes her company debut in the title role; co-starring will be mezzo-soprano Judith Forst as Herodias, tenor Allan Glassman as Herod Antipas, baritone Richard Bernstein as Jokanaan (John the Baptist) and tenor Garrett Sorenson in his company debut as Narraboth. The production, conducted by Jenkins, opens on January 31, 2008.
A revival of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess,, a co-production with Houston Grand Opera, opens on February 22. Wayne Marshall, best known as a virtuoso organist and pianist but increasingly active as a conductor, will make his company debut conducting the performances, which feature soprano Indira Mahajan and bass Gordon Hawkins in the title roles. Baritone Lester Lynch will sing Crown and soprano Angela Renee Simpson will sing Serena; making their company debuts are soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme as Clara, mezzo-soprano Bonita Hyman as Maria, baritone Leon Williams as Jake and tenor Victor Ryan Robinson as Sportin' Life.
The season concludes with a revival of the Giulio Chazalettes production of Puccini's Tosca, which opens on March 7 with soprano Catherine Naglestad making her Dallas Opera debut in the title role and veteran baritone James Morris as Baron Scarpia. (The tenor singing Cavaradossi has not yet been announced.)
(UPDATE, June 22: Wolfgang Brendel has replaced Morris in the role of Scarpia, and Massimo Giordano will sing Cavaradossi.)
The 2007-08 season will be the Dallas Opera's last in the Music Hall at Fair Park; the company intends to move into the new Winspear Opera House in the fall of 2009.