The Dallas Opera announced today that the key role of Juliana Bordereau in the company's 25th Anniversary production of Dominick Argento's THE ASPERN PAPERS will be sung by Canadian-born French soprano Alexandra Deshorties. Ms. Deshorties made her Dallas Opera debut in October of 2009 as Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, in the production that opened the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
Raised and educated in Marseilles, France (prior to studies at the Manhattan School of Music), the singer scored a major triumph during last summer's Glimmerglass Opera Festival in the title role of the rarely performed Cherubini masterpiece, Medea. William Burnett of "Opera Warhorses" wrote: "…granting they are different artists in many respects, I found that Deshorties approached the role, both through its phrasing and vocal dynamics and in its incisive acting, in a way that I can imagine (Maria) Callas in 1957 having done it onstage."
"Alexandra is an artist of singular intelligence and beauty," explains Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell. "However, despite an appearance so glamorous that she's been the subject of a fashion magazine spread, this soprano is utterly fearless and without vanity in pursuit of the truth of the characters she portrays. I know that our audiences will find her charismatic and compelling onstage, and she will interact brilliantly with her internationally renowned co-stars, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, and Joseph Kaiser.
The pivotal role of the long-retired opera singer in James' evocative tale had originally been planned for soprano Carol Vaness. However, Miss Vaness was reluctantly forced to withdraw from the new production (commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Dallas Opera 1988 world premiere of Argento's work-as well as the 125 Anniversary of the publication of Henry James' novella in book form) on the advice of her doctor. She is currently recovering from abdominal surgery.
Argento's opera, about a writer obsessed with uncovering a long-lost opera score and willing to do nearly anything to obtain it, will close the Dallas Opera's 2012-2013 "Pursuits of Passion" Season in the Winspear Opera House, April 12, 14(m), 17, 20 & 28, 2013. Subscriptions are on sale now, starting at $75. Single tickets for the spring season productions will go on sale later this year.