It’s hard to imagine a more promising lineup for a new opera.
The composer is probably the most successful living American composer of operas. The librettist is one of the best-known and most honored playwrights around — and an ardent opera lover.
The opera stars one of the hottest singers on the international scene and has other headliners as well. The stage director is a Broadway legend. And the story, set in the present, is about that most American of civic conflicts, between the arts and sports.
That’s the lineup for Great Scott, co-commissioned by the Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera and getting its world premiere Friday at the Winspear Opera House. It’s the work of composer Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick) and librettist Terrence McNally (Dead Man Walking, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman). Staged by Jack O’Brien, it’s being conducted by Patrick Summers, music director of Houston Grand Opera.
The opera stars Joyce Di- Donato as Arden Scott, a singer who returns to her hometown to help revive the company that got her started, by performing a newly discovered bel canto opera. But opening night conflicts with the Super Bowl featuring the local football team, owned by the husband of the opera company’s founder. Scott also faces competition from an ambitious young singer from Eastern Europe, Tatyana Bakst, sung by soprano Ailyn Perez.
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