The DCPA Opens in 100 Days

Mark your calendars, buy your tix, wash your fine-arts pants — it’s almost Dallas Center for the Performing Arts time. Also of important note: the weeklong grand opening celebration (Oct. 12-18) ends on my birthday. Bring. It. Full release after the jump:


Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Opens in 100 Days

New Center for Music, Theatre, Dance and Opera Opens with
Weeklong Celebration October 12-18, 2009

DALLAS (July 6, 2009) – The much-anticipated Grand Opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is just 100 days away. The most significant new performing arts complex to be built since New York City’s Lincoln Center, the $354-million Center opens with a weeklong celebration from October 12 through 18, 2009 to launch its Inaugural Season. Daily outdoor performances, concerts and public art installations will be free and open to the public throughout the week, as will architectural forums with Center architects Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas. Other highlights include events throughout the Dallas Arts District in recognition of its cultural completion.

“Nearly a decade in the making, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts will complete the vision of a downtown arts district that will act as a cultural cornerstone for the region and drive creative vitality,” said John Eagle, Center Board of Director member and Chair of the Center’s Grand Opening Committee. “The Grand Opening celebrations will not only acknowledge the success in making the dream of the Center a reality, but will also look to the future, giving North Texas and beyond a taste of all the Center will offer. Kids can bring their families, and friends can stop by after work or over the weekend to celebrate. We look forward to including the entire community in one of the most important happenings in our region’s history.”

The Grand Opening celebrations will begin on the morning of Monday, October 12, 2009, with a civic dedication. Held in the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, the 10-acre public park that unifies the venues of the Center, the civic dedication will launch the week of celebratory events. This event will be free and open to the public.

Following the civic dedication and each day throughout the Grand Opening week will be a series of outdoor performances and performance art. Mass Ensemble, a multi-media performance group, will install a large-scale interactive instrument known as the Earth Harp on site, stretching strings from the ground to the roofline of the Center’s neighbor to the east, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Mass Ensemble will perform on the instrument throughout the week and the public will be invited to participate and play. Grand Opening week will also feature light shows by Luma and gravity-defying acrobatic performances by Anti-Gravity.

Other highlights of Grand Opening week are two architectural forums presented by the world-renowned architects who designed the venues of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and in association with the Dallas Architectural Forum and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas, one of the designers of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, will discuss the future of theatre design on the afternoon of Thursday, October 15 in the innovative Wyly Theatre. On Friday morning, October 16, Norman Foster, also winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, will present his designs for the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and Annette Strauss Artist Square. Both of the architectural forums will be free and open to the public.

On Friday evening, October 16, the entire community will be invited to Sammons Park for a free concert by renowned GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist David Sanborn. The Grand Opening week will be capped off with the Grand Finale on Sunday, October 18, when the public will have the opportunity to tour the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theatre, as well as experience a sampling of performances in each venue and in the Park with artists such as Latin GRAMMY® Award-winning flutist Nestor Torres.

Other Celebratory Dallas Arts District Events

In recognition of the cultural completion of the Dallas Arts District, special visual and performing arts events will take place throughout 68-acre district celebrating the opening of the Center. The Nasher Sculpture Center will feature The Art of Architecture: Foster + Partners with a nod to one of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts’ primary architects. The Dallas Museum of Art will present Performance/Art, an exhibition showcasing the work of contemporary artists who have taken inspiration from the theater and opera in the creation of their painting, sculpture, video, and photography. The exhibition includes work by David Altmejd and Yinka Shonibare, among others, as well as Guillermo Kuitca, whom the Center has also commissioned to design the curtain for the Winspear Opera House. The Crow Collection of Asian Art will host Tibetan lamas, who, painting with sand, will create a mandala in the museum. The Dallas Center for Architecture will present a retrospective of the creation of the Dallas Arts District and the new Center. The Dallas Arts District, in association with the Center for Architecture, will also host walking tours of the District.

On Sunday, October 18, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present a free afternoon concert, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. Additional soon-to-be-announced activities will also take place at the Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, the prized arts magnet high school located in the heart of the Arts District.

“The creation of a world-class Arts District in the heart of downtown Dallas has been a project in the making for three decades, and the Grand Opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts completes the vision for the cultural facilities in the District,” said Veletta Forsythe Lill, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District. “The week of October 12 will be a celebration throughout the entire District, showcasing all of the institutions in the District. This week will truly be an historic time for the region-something for our entire community to enjoy.”

Fundraising Events

Act III, the fundraising portion of Grand Opening week, will take place on the evenings of October 15 through 17. All of the proceeds from Act III ticket sales will fund the free, public Grand Opening events. Act III includes three performances designed to showcase the art forms that will be presented at the Center-theatre, opera, ballet and Broadway-in unique programs created specifically for the Grand Opening. This once-in-a-lifetime series of performances will not be repeated anywhere else in the world, and will feature star-studded casts, including renowned opera soprano Denyce Graves and baritone Thomas Hampson, as well as a world premiere piece by contemporary dance company Morphoses, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

News and updates on Grand Opening Week at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts will be posted on
About the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts:

The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a new multi-venue Center for music, opera, theatre and dance will open in 2009, completing the 30-year vision of the Dallas Arts District. The $354 million Center will provide multi-state-of-the-art facilities woven together by an urban park covering more than ten acres to create a dynamic cultural destination that will be unparalleled in the world. The Center will feature the following:
· The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, designed in a modern horseshoe configuration, will seat 2,200 (with capacity up to 2,300), designed by Foster + Partners.
· The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre will serve as a gateway to the Dallas Arts District from the downtown Dallas business center and will seat 600, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas.
· The completely new Annette Strauss Artist Square will be the Center’s outdoor entertainment venue, which can accommodate audiences of up to 5,000, designed by Foster + Partners.
· The City Performance Hall will provide main stage production space for many of Dallas’ smaller performing arts organizations, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
· The Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park will unify the venues and will create a dynamic cultural destination in downtown Dallas.
· Two underground parking structures will accommodate more than 850 vehicles.

More information on the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is available at


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