The Puccini Society of Dallas – Programs for 2015-2016
Portrait of Giacomo Puccini by Anne Cushing Ganz
Our Puccini Society board met recently to work on plans for the coming year.
Our new season will begin October 10 at Enika and Richard Schulze’s lovely home, with an event announcing the release of Jared Schwartz’s new CD by Toccata Classics/London of Gabriel Faure’s Songs for Bass Voice and Piano. Accompanying Jared on the CD is Roy Howat, Scottish pianist and musicologist, who is known worldwide for his concerts, broadcasts and lectures. Our own renowned Mary Dibbern is Artistic Director for the album, which is scheduled to be released in late September.
In addition, we will feature Mary Dibbern’s latest book, “Massenet and his Letters,” by Pendragon Press. The original book of the composer’s letters was published in French in 2001 by his descendant, Ann Massenet. Mary has translated the book into English. It features letters and documents from the composer’s son-in-law and wife, whose long and frequent spa cures forced Massenet to experience unbearable solitude. Our gathering will celebrate French composers and art songs.
On March 19 we are planning a joint meeting with The Wagner Society of Dallas, featuring noted opera lecturer Desiree Mays from Santa Fe. Many of you may have attended her pre-performance lectures during The Santa Fe Opera season. In addition, Ms. Mays gives pre-performance lectures at The Metropolitan Opera and The San Francisco Opera and leads opera tours for Act I Travel. She also publishes “Opera Unveiled” each spring, giving an overview and synopsis of The Santa Fe Opera season.
Ms. Mays has prepared a new lecture on the recently discovered story of the actual Madam Butterfly and her real son. She will lecture on this at The Metropolitan Opera later in March. Our program will feature her Puccini lecture followed by our usual reception and then a lecture, “Wagner’s Women,” which she presented to The Wagner Society in San Francisco in 2014 to great acclaim. Everyone is welcome to attend both lectures.
On April 3 we will co-sponsor a very special event with The Dallas Opera Guild and The Dallas Theater Center Guild. It will be at the home of Kathy and Harlan Crow in their Presidential Library and concert hall. With The Dallas Opera production of “Show Boat” just ready to open, our program will compare Broadway musicals with opera. The Dallas Theater Center is presenting two musicals this season: “Moonshine” and “Dream Girls”. Broadway pianist and conductor David Geist of Santa Fe will present a program, which he wrote for The Santa Fe Opera Guild last year. Stay tuned for details and information on this very special collaboration.
Of course, we will also present outstanding singers, who will sing Puccini arias in our other programs this season. One of these programs will feature Edward and Heather Crafts’ young area students whom we helped sponsor in their summer program Musica Nelle Marche in Urbino, Italy, this year. Please plan to join us for all these outstanding programs next season.