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Puccini Songs – December 3, 2022

The Puccini Society of Dallas
in Collaboration with Voces Intimae


Saturday, Decmeber 3, 2022 at 3:00 PM

For the first time in DFW history, the Puccini Society of Dallas, in partnership with Voces Intimae: The Art of Song, is presenting ALL of Puccini’s songs. Best known for his 12 operas, listeners will have the opportunity to hear the origins of some of his most beloved operatic melodies encapsulated in these songs. No stranger to the Puccini society members, well known operatic coach, Stephen Dubberly, will offer an in-depth discussion on Puccini’s musical growth and lead the stellar ensemble of singers, all hailing from the DFW Metroplex.

Members $30 – Guests $40
Valet Parking provided

Kindy RSVP by Dec 1 to

Mail checks to:
Puccini Society of Dallas
P.O. Box 1782
Colleyville, TX 76034-1782

The great Master of Opera was also a Master of Art Song!

Explore and enjoy the complete art songs of Giacomo Puccini. Puccini is known for the beautiful melodies from his twelve operas. Several of the melodies were first used in his songs before he wrote them into his operas. The nineteen complete songs cover themes typical of lyric poetry including life, death, personal resolution, love, nature, home, and religious faith. These rare salon pieces were written between1875 and 1880.

Dr. Stephen Dubberly, Pianist, Lecturer, UNT Vocal Coach
Jay Gardner, Tenor, DFW Singers

Stephen Dubberly
Jay Gardner

Stephen Dubberly is a faculty member in the division of vocal studies at the University of North Texas, where he coaches singers and teaches courses in diction and vocal repertoire. He served as UNT Opera’s music director for19 years. He has conducted for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Fort Worth Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Knoxville Opera, San Antonio Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Abilene Opera, Amarillo Opera, Utah Lyric Opera, Red River Lyric Opera, Opera Breve, American Bel Canto Opera, Teatro Goldoni (Venice), Teatro Accademico (Castelfranco, Italy), University of Tennessee, Webster University, and Collin College.At UNT, he conducted performances of Alcina, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, La clemenza di Tito, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lucia di Lammermoor, L’elisir d’amore, La traviata, Roméo et Juliette, DieFledermaus, The Bartered Bride,The Pirates of Penzance, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Falstaff, Pagliacci, La bohème, Cendrillon, Werther, Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow, Suor Angelica,Gianni Schicchi, The Threepenny Opera, Street Scene, Albert Herring, The Mother of Us All, Regina, The Turn of the Screw, Les dialogues des Carmélites, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Crucible, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Our Town, and Tom Cipullo’s Josephine, After Life, and Glory Denied. From 2001 to 2011 he conducted frequently for Amarillo Opera,including productions of Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, The Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale, Rigoletto, The Pirates of Penzance, Falstaff, Pagliacci, La bohème, Gianni Schicchi, The Italian Straw Hat, the regionally-broadcast production of Gene Murray’s The Wage of Sin, and Carmen.

Stephen currently serves as artistic director of Dallas-based Opera in Concert and Opera in Concert in Italy. He has taught and coached extensively throughout the United States as well as in Canada, México, Costa Rica, Italy, and South Korea. He was associate conductor and chorus master for Fort Worth Opera for 8 years. He has frequently lectured for TheDallas Opera.

Stephen has collaborated with numerous singers, including Larry Alexander, Kelly Anderson, Kevin Anderson, Audrey Babcock,Thomas Barrett, Elizabeth Beers,Jennifer Black, Michelle Bradley,Stephen Mark Brown, Donna Bruno, Betty Buckley, Kevin Burdette, Jon Burton, Josué Bustos, Elizabeth Caballero, Kirstin Chavez, Martin Clark, Claire Choquette, Christopher Clayton,Rachel Cobb, Terry Cook, Edward Crafts, Duane Croft, Richard Croft, Jennifer Dudley, Mary Dunleavy, Mignon Dunn, Rachelle Durkin, Herbert Eckhoff, Kaaren Erickson, Kallen Esperian, Molly Fillmore, Carole FitzPatrick, Carroll Freeman, James Daniel Frost, Elizabeth Futral, Nereida García, Gabrielle Gilliam, Christine Goerke, Denyce Graves, Joyce Guyer, Brenda Harris, Keith Harris, Paul Hartfield, Clay Hilley, Weston Hurt, Ana Caridad Hurtado, Isaac Hurtado, Daisy Jackson, Shelley Jameson, Kristine Jepson, Anita Johnson, Anthony Rolfe Johnson,William Joyner, Jon Jurgens, Richard Lalli, Jennifer Lane, Guido LeBron, Victoria Livengood, Katherine Luna, Percy Martinez, Jeff Mattsey, Michael Mayes, Everett McCorvey, Robert McPherson, Matt Morgan,Stephen Morscheck, Karen Nickell, Marco Nisticò, Sarah Nordin, John Packard, Phyllis Pancella, Kevin Park, Leah Partridge, Kay Paschal, Mary Paul, Jossie Pérez, Susanna Phillips, John Pickle, Ava Pine, Elizabeth Pojanowski, Matthew Polenzani, Jerrold Pope, David Portillo, Tyler Carol Sparrow, Mary Henderson Stucky, David Sundquist, Lynette Tapia, Veronica Tyler, Mark Walters, Jeffrey Wells, Andrew Wentzel, Julia Ann Wolf, Arthur Woodley, Darren Keith Woods,and Stella Zambalis.

Stephen began his musical training in Mercedes and Montevideo, Uruguay, and received MM and DMA degrees from Yale University.

Jay Gardner‘s opera highlights include the Second Jew in Salome with the Dallas Opera, Canio in Pagliacci with Kansas Concert Opera, Judge Danforth in The Crucible with Rim Rock Opera, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette and Sam Polk in Susannah, both with the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theater. Featured performer in Side by Side By Sondheim at Circle Theater, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at Plano Repertory Theater and Spring Awakening, Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors at Oh Look Performing Arts. Solo concert performances include the Carnegie Hall Premier of Sing For The Cure, Salome and Verdi Favorites with the Dallas Symphony,Mozart’s Requiem at the Meyerson Symphony Center and Bernstein on Broadway at the Crested Butte Music Festival.

Cabaret include Coward and Cole in Words and Music for Sammons Cabaret and Every Song I’ve Ever Sung at the Balcony Club. Jay was honored to be a 2014 Cabaret Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret and Performance Conference.  As co-founder of Front Line Cabaret, Jay produced his own solo Christmas show, Holidazed: Alternative Songs For Christmas, as well as the multi-performer shows Testament: A Celebration of Carole King, A Simply Sondheim Birthday Celebration, Songs for a New Century and Do You Hear What We Hear: A Very Twisted Christmas. In addition, Jay regularly attends the St. Louis Cabaret Conference where he has studied with Faith Prince, Marylin Maye, Billy Stritch and Ann Hampton Callaway. 

Stephen Dubberly Presents – November 19, 2022

The Puccini Society of Dallas Presents:

Stephen Dubberly – UNT Opera Theater

PRESENTS [verb and noun]

Saturday, November 19, 2022
3:00 pm

Members $35 Guests $45
Valet Parking provided

Kindy RSVP by Nov 15 to

Mail checks to:
Puccini Society of Dallas
P.O. Box 1782
Colleyville, TX 76034-1782

or call Jana at (817) 999 – 5509 for credit card payment

From Stephen Dubberly:

It is my honor to present some wonderful singers as a present (thank-you gift) to the Puccini Society of Dallas.

The first half of the program will feature performances by a few of the local singers who participated in Opera in Concert’s 2022 program in Urbino, Italy. The Puccini Society of Dallas made a contribution to the scholarship fund for these singers; several individual members did as well! We are extremely grateful for this support and believe you will agree that the program has had a tremendous impact on the lives of these talented and delightful young people.

In the second half of the program, I am introducing two truly remarkable local singers with whom I have recently had the privilege to work and who have not been widely heard in the DFW area. Soprano Esther Maureen Kelly and tenor Hao Hu will join me for a brief presentation of operatic favorites, including the stunning Queen of the Night’s aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Rodolfo’s “Che gelida manina” from La bohème, and several scenes from Verdi’s La traviata.

Women’s Voices III – October 23, 2022

The Puccini Society of Dallas in cooperation with St. Matthew Cathedral Arts presents

Women’s Voices III
Songs and Duets for Voices and Piano

Courtney Maina, Soprano
Christopher A. Leach, Tenor
Mary Dibbern, Piano

Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 3:00 PM

Collora Piano Recital Hall, 1451 Wycliff, Dallas, TX – Free Parking and Admission

Puccini Friends;

I want to thank Mary Dibbern and our singers, Courtney Maina and Christopher Leach for a lovely afternoon of charming and beautiful songs!  It was a delightful afternoon shared with the St. Matthew Cathedral Arts Series.  Mary recently premiered a new CD of songs by Mary Howe, a well know and respected professional pianist and composer from the mid-1900’s.  Howe, along with other women in her field, had slipped into obscurity until the release of this new CD by our outstanding Dallas musicians.  The Puccini Society is proud to have been a sponsor of the production of this recording.

Included on our program were songs by other women composers, Amy Beach being the most well known, and songs with lyrics by women poets (Emily Dickinson and others).  Did you know Victor Hugo’s prose on the subject of La Esmeralda became an opera by Louise Bertin?  The program was enlightening as well as beautiful.

Our next program is scheduled for Nov. 19 at the home of Barbara Bradfield on White Rock Lake.  Details will follow in our invitation.  Stephen Dubberly from the opera department of UNT will feature singers he is very enthusiastic to present.  Stephen always brings us a wonderful program and we can look forward to another outstanding afternoon.

In the meantime we can enjoy the Dallas Opera production of Hansel and Gretel with an outstanding cast of singers.

Best wishes to all,

Marilyn Halla

Founders Day Event – Sept. 25, 2022

Happy Birthday to Puccini Society Founder Bettie Francis

Congratulations to Bettie Francis on the Occasion of her 90th Birthday!

Puccini Friends:  How exciting to begin our new season with a tribute to our founder, Bettie Francis by a big crowd of well wishers!  Our singer, Andrew Simpson, made his Puccini Society debut with a beautiful program of bass songs and arias.  Brian Bentley is always a wonderful collaborator.  Andrew’s mom, Tina, has been a member of our group for some time and we were delighted to have Andrew’s whole family attend yesterday. We look forward to following Andrew’s opera career with great interest.  I’m sure his mom will keep us informed. 

Sue Prideaux and her daughter Wendy Kumpf offered us a warm welcome into their beautiful home.  We appreciate their generous hospitality.

It always takes an efficient committee to organize one of our events and we have just the committee that does that well!  Patsy and Bob Brooks were key to this event; choosing Crescendo Catering and planning the menu,  providing and serving wine, and furnishing additional seating for this large group. Patsy also insured we had the lovely cake to celebrate Bettie’s 90th birthday.  Our sincere “bravi!” to you both!!

Jana sends our invitations and takes reservations each time and takes care of all the treasurer’s duties.  She is certainly an essential member of the team.  I want to mention how nice it is to have so many pay in advance as it makes check-in run smoothly and quickly.  Thanks to all and paying by credit card is very easy and convenient;  thanks Jana for making this possible.  

Our membership renewals are coming in well and I urge everyone to be sure they have taken care of renewing.  Thanks to Judy and Martin who always make renewing convenient and timely.  Marion always arranges for parkers, whom we have come to rely on.  We all appreciate this service.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming fall events.

Marilyn Halla

Schedule for fall:

Oct. 23; St. Matthew’s Cathedral Arts Series will present Mary Dibbern with Courtney Maina, soprano and Christopher Leach, tenor, in Songs of Mary Howe.  These will be taken from their newly released CD, Songs by Mary Howe, which The Puccini Society helped underwrite.  We will be at the Collora Piano Studio.

Nov.19; Stephen Dubberly will present two outstanding young singers and will also report on the Craft’s Opera in Concert program in Italy, which we help sponsor.  Location TBA.

Dec. 3; Joint program with Voces Intimea (art song organization), Christian Bester, General Director.  We will hear all of Puccini’s  songs which will be narrated by Stephen Dubberly and held at the home of Enika and Richard Schulze.

Party with Puccini – May 1, 2022

The Puccini Society of Dallas & UNT College of Music Present:

Party with Puccini at the Magnificent Estate of Harlan Crow

Sunday, May 1, at 2:30 PM

Tickets $75/person

Valet Parking | Refreshments

Puccini Friends;

What a wonderful event we had on May 1st!

We were forced by the pandemic to postpone this program twice, so I was delighted to arrive on a beautiful spring day to finally present this concert by the talented young artists from UNT. We can all thank Jonathan Eaton for the delightful program with clever staging and gifted singers! We certainly got our Puccini ”fix”! And once again we can all thank Mr. and Mrs. Crow for their generous and gracious hospitality. Their home is probably the most extraordinary home in Dallas. I think everyone appreciates their collection of historic American treasures along with their art and antiques. There is so much to be admired. Perhaps a few of us will want to thank them personally with a note.

UNT School of Music Dean, John Richmond, assured me they are happy to collaborate with us in the future. And I think we will plan to feature some of these fine singers on programs next year. Several of them told me they would be happy to sing for us again.

I was very happy that members of the Opera and Symphony Guilds joined us, contributing to a capacity crowd. Several members of the DSO Guild were delighted to learn about us and will probably join us again or perhaps become members.

As always, Jana and Mac Irwin get a lot of credit for their preparation for our event. Jana sent invitations and received reservations and then emailed confirmations which was a big undertaking since they were away with family in Colorado the week prior to our program. Patsy and Bob Brooks were also on the planning committee, working with the caterer and providing the wine. Both these couples get credit for all our events and receptions. We are all so grateful to them for their ongoing work on behalf of the Puccini Society.

Our DSO friend David Stubblefield took lots of great pictures which I’ll share and ask pur webmaster, Ed Flaspoehler, to post on our web site. I know others took some good photos too, and I am happy to share those with everyone if you send them to me.

Thank you for your wonderful support of yesterday’s event!

Marilyn Halla, President
Puccini Society of Dallas

Photo Gallery

Photos by David Stubblefield

Josefina Maldonado Dec 4, 2021

Puccini Society of Dallas presents

Josefina Maldonado, Mezzo-soprano

Josefina Maldonado
Mezzo Soprano

Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 3:00 P.M.

Members $25 Guests $35
Valet Parking Provided

RSVP by Dec 1 to

Pay at Door or mail check to
Puccini Society
PO Box 25105,
Dallas, TX 75225

For credit card charges, please contact
Jana at 817-999-5509

Josefina Maldonado, Mezzo-soprano

Emerging Dallas-born artist, Josefina Maldonado has been critically acclaimed by The Texas Classical Review and Theater Jones as ‘vocally superb’ with a ‘remarkably rich timbre’. Ms. Maldonado was a young artist with The Dallas Opera Outreach Program in the role(s) of Veronica/Dr. Miracle and Dorabella/ Così Fan Tutte, for Bremen Town Musicians.

For her European debut, Ms. Maldonado was a principle artist in two modern world premieres of serenatas by Johannes Schmelzer; Le veglie ossequiose and Die sieben Alter stimmen zusammen, for the Olomouc’s Baroque Festival held in the Czech Republic.

Ms. Maldonado holds a B.M. from the University of North Texas where she was a frequently featured soloist alongside the UNT Symphony Orchestra. Her major roles with UNT Opera included Dorabella/Così Fan Tutte, Ruggiero/Alcina, Cherubino/Le nozze di Figaro, Siébel/Faust and Mother Marie/Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Photo Gallery

Schollmaier Scholars – November 13, 2021

The Puccini Society of Dallas presents


with the Foote Foundation Schollmaier Scholars and graduate students of


Presented in memory of:
Cecile Bonte, Eleanor Krebs, Marigny Lanier, Ed Lynch, and Jody Reed

Saturday, November 13, 2021

3:00 p.m.

Members $30             Guests $35

Please RSVP to by Nov. 10

Puccini Friends

What a big group we had yesterday to enjoy Barbara Hill-Moore’s wonderful students.  Some of these singers are young artists to watch!  Prosper is really getting some wonderful opportunities with both Dallas and Ft. Worth Operas.  Others may well be singers to watch in the future.  

Our fall Puccini event featuring the students of Barbara Hill Moore, Senior Associate Dean, SMU. Barbara sponsors these international students through the Foote Foundation. It was an amazing event. So good to be meeting in person again.
Photo by Mac Irwin

To enjoy their beautiful singing in the stunning surroundings of Bill Cornog’s home was a double pleasure; and what a gracious and accommodating host he is.  All in all the afternoon was a lovely tribute to our past members Cecile Bonte, Eleanor Krebs, Marigny Lanier, Ed Lynch and Jody Reed. They were each valued and loved members of the Puccini Society.

A proud teacher: Barbara Hill Moore.
Photos by Josephine Dewaal

To enjoy their beautiful singing in the stunning surroundings of Bill Cornog’s home was a double pleasure; and what a gracious and accommodating host he is.  All in all the afternoon was a lovely tribute to our past members Cecile Bonte, Eleanor Krebs, Marigny Lanier, Ed Lynch and Jody Reed. They were each valued and loved members of the Puccini Society.

We continue to welcome new members to our group:  Mary Lou Alford has just joined us along with a number of others who were introduced at our Sept. meeting. Mary Lou is delighted to find that she has a number of friends and acquaintances in our group. New members this fall include:  Mary Lou Alford, John Shriner, Anna Morini, Yvonne Sage, Carl Schieffer, Dona and Michael Watson, and Mary Ellen Winborn. Also Brian Hackfeld, Joey Meirtschin, and Mark Landson. Welcome to all! Guest are always welcome and we were happy to have several yesterday as well.

I hope everyone will remember that these beautiful receptions are spearheaded by Mac Irwin and Patsy Brooks.  Special thanks to Rosemary O’Neill and Josephine DeWaal for their special home baked Irish Tea Bread and Stollen.  We appreciate them all so much!  Bob Brooks makes sure we all have a wine of choice and graciously serves as bartender.  Our whole Board is a great team as each member reliably does their job.  Thanks to Jana Irwin for keeping our reservations and checking everyone in.  The Tobys sent membership renewals and many have responded.  You can still renew and now Jana can take your payment via credit card (817-999-5509) or a check to P.O. Box 25105, Dallas, 75225. Laurie Pan took very nice pictures which will be posted on our web site. Many thanks to all.

Yesterday’s guest Robin Green will host our Dec. 4 program in her lovely home.  Josefina Maldonado, soprano will present our program.  We had Josefina scheduled to sing for us just as we were asked to curtail our in-person meetings, and I’m really delighted to reschedule her now.  She is a very accomplished young singer whom we will be thrilled to finally hear. Invitations will be sent out soon with meeting details.
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving,

Marilyn Halla

Event Photos by Laurie Pan

Julie Liston Johnson – December 14, 2019

The Puccini Society of Dallas presents

Julie Liston Johnson, soprano
Molly Fillmore, mezzo soprano
with Szu-Ying Huang, pianist

At the home of

Linda and Tom Smith
6614 Forestshire Drive
Dallas, Texas 75230

December 14, 2019, 3:00 P.M.

Members $25 – Guests $30 – Valet Parking

Please RSVP to

P.O. Box 25105
Dallas, Texas 75225
puccinisociety @

Puccini Friends;

I want to share with you my enthusiasm for our upcoming program next Saturday at the home of Linda and Tom Smith.

Linda suggested we invite soprano Julie Liston Johnson to perform, and when I contacted her she was happy to accept our invitation. She received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she held a teaching fellowship and is currently on the voice faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington while also finishing her DMA at the University of North Texas. She has sung solos at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street as well as prestigious halls in Italy and England. A frequent performer in the Metroplex, many of you may have heard her performances. Favorite opera roles include Donna Anna, Dido, and Madama Butterfly as well as concert performances of The Queen of the Night’s vengeance aria and Gilda in Rigoletto. She lives in Dallas with her husband Bart Johnson and their daughter Ava Grace.

Julie has invited mezzo soprano Molly Fillmore to join her for our program. Molly made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Helmwige in Die Walkure, conducted by James Levine. During her seven seasons at the Met she also appeared in Philip Glass’ Satyaraha; both of these were broadcast worldwide in movie theaters and on PBS television. She sang over 25 roles at the Cologne Opera, performed title roles with San Francisco Opera, and Arizona Opera as well as appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Spoleto Festival and Tanglewood Festival. She is now Chair of the Division of Vocal Studies and Professor of Voice at the University of North Texas College of Music.

Taiwanese pianist Szu-Ying Huang will perform with Julie and Molly. She has performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, China and Taiwan. She will soon receive her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas where she held assistantships in opera accompanying, collaborative piano and choral accompanying.

This promises to be a truly memorable program as well as a festive holiday celebration. Linda and Tom live at 6614 Forestshire Dr., 75230 and we meet at 3:00 p.m. If you haven’t replied please do so now in order for us to have adequate seating. I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Marilyn Halla

Puccini Society 2019/2020 Season

Hello friends!  We’re definitely at the end of summer this weekend, and most groups are well into their plans for the coming year.  While I was in Santa Fe I contacted several singers whom we want to have this year, and whom I had talked with previously.  It looks like another good year of programs.  I sent out our dates and the singers made their choices. We can still book one more program if anyone has suggestions.

This is what it looks like so far:

  • Oct. 19;  Francisco Bedoy, tenor
  • Nov. 16; Rachel Davies, mezzo
  • Dec. 14; Julie Johnson, mezzo at the home of Linda and Tom Smith
  • Jan. 18 or 25; Mary Dibbern with Gabby Gifford and Malcom Payne, baritone
  • Feb. 15 or March 21; hopefully Lauren McNeese, sop. singing Strauss songs
  • April 18; Josefina Maldonado, soprano

I look forward to seeing everyone again soon, and welcome any suggestions. 

I hope everyone has had a good summer,

Marilyn Halla

Wind Song Trio – January 13, 2019

The Puccini Society of Dallas Presents

The Wind Song Trio
Haley Sicking, Soprano,
Robin Korevaar, Clarinet, and
Jonathan Tsay, Piano

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 3:00PM

Hosted by Bill and Leslie Cornog
6812 Hunter’s Glen Road
Dallas, TX 75205

Valet Parking
Guests $30 – Members $25

R.S.V.P. to Bettie Francis
P.O. Box 25105
Dallas, TX 75225 or
puccinisociety @

Haley Sicking

Puccini Friends:  Happy New Year!  We begin the new year with a program presented by the Wind Song Trio on Sunday ( not the usual Sat.) afternoon, Jan. 13.  You may recall this trio presented our program a few years back at the home of Faye Briggs and were enthusiastically received by all.

Haley Sicking, soprano recently sang on the program given in conjunction with the Dallas Opera’s Women Conductors Symposium with the Dallas Opera Orchestra under the direction of Emmanuel Villaume.  She will sing for us along with Robin Korevaar, clarinet and Jonathan Tsay, piano.  This fine professional trio has presented various programs throughout the community, among which is the Basically Beethoven summer series at the Moody Performance Hall.

Our program is given in memory of our well remembered member, Gus Hoehn.  Gus was a music enthusiast and life long clarinet player in addition to being a successful engineer.  Many of Gus’ friends will join us to remember and honor him.

We meet at the lovely, art filled home of Bill and Leslie Cornog, 6— Hunter’s Glen, 75205, at our regular 3:00 time.  I hope to see you there!

Marilyn Halla