COMMANDOpera has long wondered when a soap opera, the staple of stay at home housewives and gay men who do shift work, would find its way back to the original melodrama. Perhaps one might figure only one such melodrama of sufficient importance existed. DALLAS. There was a time for easily 10 years where the series itself overshadowed the city. Perhaps the city did not mind so much given the extraordinary boost the series gave to the city globally. For years there has been table talk of turning the famed night time drama into an actual opera; particularly in Texas. The cities of Dallas and Houston have a rivalry not dissimilar to Rome and Milan. Houston being the place where old Texas money resided, while Dallas was where new (oil) money lived. Both cities sport top tier opera houses with international reputations who continually trade places in pre eminence. COMMANDOpera has attended both houses over the years and has always come away impressed by the high level of production these companies unfailingly offer.
The imagination would run wild what the plot would be like, what the vocal ranges for the various leads would be, and would it include the infamous ‘who shot J.R.’ sequence…. Not to mention how certain international houses would choreograph the work. If the production were mounted in say Hamburg, you could rest assured much bull urine would be used, alongside of the usual gore which such German theatres feel adds suitable shock value. In Milan or Paris, they would have Sue Ellen and Pam in a bikini cat-fight slathered in crude oil. The Royal Opera would engage a Swedish conductor to oversee the work, While The Metropolitan would engage a vertically challenged Polish baritone to play J.R. None the less, these are only ruminations of an addled post new years eve party mind…. Here is how COMMANDOpera would cast the work;
J.R. Ewing; baritone. Marius Kwiecien is the most brilliant baritone on the planet today. No one does evil like this man.
Bobby Ewing; tenor. Michael Fabiano is a romantic leading man non pareil, with the correct white glove metal edge you would expect for Bobby Ewing.
Sue Ellen Ewing; dramatic soprano. Deborah Voigt because no one could pull off a drunken sultry Sue Ellen like she could.
Pamela Ewing; coloratura soprano. Diana Damrau does waif well, yet has the power to give Pam the hard edge a Barnes is known for.
Lucy Ewing; mezzo soprano. Kate Aldrich simply because it would be the only time I will ever get to see her with as few garments on as possible.
Cliff Barnes; tenor. Richard Margison is brilliant enough to pull off the music which Cliff would have to sing.
Miss Ellie Ewing; mezzo soprano. Dolora Zajik has the authority to order all of the above characters to behave.
Jock Ewing; bass. Samuel Ramey… who else?
Video clip from the original DALLAS. Excellent orchestration in the background.