Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Winspear Opera House / Dallas

I'll say this for our friends to the east. They don't do anything in small scale and low budget.

The Dallas Arts District, east of Stemmons and south of Woodall Rogers, has been doing a lot of building and expanding in the last few years. The Myerson is twenty years old, but the Wyly Theater is new, as is the Winspear Opera House. Under construction is a 3,000 person outdoor ampitheater, and a five acre park that will cover the Woodall Rogers Freeway for a block. This is serious development given the times we are in, but I am happy for them and will be one of those who frequents from time to time.

I visited the Winspear last night with a friend and I liked it. It is large enough for a big-city audience, but not so large that operatic voices get lost. The acoustics seemed very good, at least from where I was sitting. It is a much more attractive building on the exterior than the Myerson, which is next door, and inside, it is what a good opera house is these days: comfortable, well-designed for sound, and light on ornamentation. The chandelier-effect lights  in the hall's center are reminiscent of the Metropolitan Opera and a nice touch.

We saw the final performance of Donizetti's, Don Pasquale, which I will not critique because I am not qualified to do so. I enjoyed it, especially the main character's voice and acting. The Don Pasquale role is the lead role and was performed by Donato DiStefano. He was the show.

The Seven/Eleven Building just east of the Winspear has five restaurants on the ground floor of the building, all with indoor and outdoor seating. That's a pretty cool place for a light dinner and drinks before or after the show. They also have valet parking. I parked a block away for $2, but I'm a cheapskate when it comes to parking.

My only disappointment is not being able to take the train to and from Fort Worth. The time schedules with the train and the opera were too uncertain to be comfortable.


Lynn said...

Well, it's definitely the right color. My favorite yarn shop is tucked away on the other side of Woodall Rogers. Has your lady discovered The Shabby Sheep?

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks Lynn, I am not sure but, I will pass it on.

Doohickie said...


Yeah, I think I heard someone mention that place once. ;)

There was a recent story on NPR comparing Fort Worth and Dallas culture & arts. Both sides of the Metroplex ably acquit themselves in that regard.

As someone who's taken the TRE to Dallas and back, I highly recommend it. It's even bike friendly.