The August issue of Opera News (apparently, not yet online) has a cover story on the 25 ‘most important’ people influencing the future of opera in the next decade. Among the singers and conductors, there are three company leaders — one of whom is Darren K. Woods of Fort Worth Opera. The article cites Woods’ championing of contemporary works while being “a strict fiscal watchdog.”
The full release follows:
Opera News Names Fort Worth Opera’s Darren K. Woods as One of Industry’s Key Influencers in Next Decade
FORT WORTH, Texas – Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) General Director Darren K. Woods is featured in Opera News magazine’s August issue as one of 25 important influencers for the opera industry in the upcoming decade. In the article “Opera’s Next Wave”, Woods is one of only three opera company leaders featured in the list, which also includes singers, conductors, directors, and other industry professionals. After praising Woods for widening the company’s approach to repertory by championing contemporary opera, the article continues, “Woods’s talents extend beyond being a courageous programmer; he also has a reputation for being a strict fiscal watchdog. …As other regional companies are collapsing under the weight of moribund programming and bad debt, Fort Worth continues to move forward. Recently, the board extended Woods’s contract through 2018.”
“When Darren came to Fort Worth more than a decade ago, the board knew they had found a star. During my tenure, it has been a privilege to witness firsthand his rare gift to combine an innovative artistic vision with a firm grasp of fiscal responsibility,” FWO board president Dr. Natalie Brand Murray said, congratulating Woods on the honor. “With two world premieres behind us and two ahead of us, Darren is at the forefront of creating new opera for the twenty-first century.”
As leader of Fort Worth Opera since 2001, Woods has elevated the company to a leadership role in the field of American opera, with the world premieres of Thomas Pasitieri’s Frau Margot in 2007 and Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls in 2010 (both of which were released on the Albany label), and with the world premieres of Daniel Crozier’s With Blood, With Ink and Libby Larsen’s A Wrinkle in Time planned for future seasons. Woods’ other accomplishments range from the Fort Worth Opera Studio (a year-round training program for emerging young artists) to the Opera Unbound series, the company’s newly named alternative-venue chamber opera series that includes the company’s past performances of Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America (2008), Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox (2011), Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers (2012), plus the upcoming regional premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied (2013). Woods also recently established the company’s new-works showcase, Frontiers, which will premiere in 2013 with excerpts from six to eight unpublished operas by composers from the Americas, giving lesser-known composers a platform for their works and allowing opera fans a rare peek into the creative process behind new works.
Last month, Fort Worth Opera completed its 66th season/6th Festival to critical acclaim, offering a balance of traditional and contemporary operas: Puccini’s Tosca, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, and the regional premieres of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. In addition to the regional premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied and the company’s inaugural Frontiers performances, the 2013 Festival will also include Puccini’s La Bohème, Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment, and the company premiere of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. The 2013 Festival will run in its new time slot, April 20 – May 12, a month earlier than usual. Single tickets will be available starting August 1, 2012. For more information or tickets, visit www.fwopera.org or call 817.731.0726 or 1.877.396.7372.