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Tomorrow: North Texas' Two Opera Heads on What's New

For the first time ever, Darren Woods, general director of Fort Worth Opera, and Keith Cerny, general director of Dallas Opera, will be talking in public rogether about the high stakes and the high drama of commissioning new works. It’s part of “Conversations with Keith,” the Dallas Opera’s series of evening talks (co-presented by KERA’s Art&Seek).

I hope to ask the two directors about finding new artists, budgets, the future of opera and — only because Halloween is near — backstage horror stories.

Since 2007, with the premiere of Frau Margot, Woods has helped FWOpera make a name as one of the more adventuresome companies in the country — commissioning such works as Before Night Falls and instituting its new Frontiers showcase, where eight unpublished new works are given short stage presentations, the better for their composers and librettists to see and hear their operas sung and played. Cerny took over the reins at the Dallas Opera only a few weeks after it presented Moby-Dick in 2010 — the company’s first world premiere in nine years and only its third in its entire existence. Since then, the Dallas Opera presented the area premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse — a first-time collaboration with the Dallas Theater Center and the start of a chamber series for the DO.

The free event starts at 6:30 p.m. in Hamon Hall in the Winspear Opera House (reservations are requested: rsvp@dallasopera.org.)