This week the Dallas Opera is set to world premiere “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
The opera was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19. For the production, Grammy Award–winning baritone Lucas Meachem will star as journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby who awakes from a coma unable to move or speak. Based on a memoir from 1997, the opera will feature music by Joby Talbot.
In a statement to OperaWire regarding the new work, Meachem noted, “I’ve immersed myself into the life of Jean-Do and he’s affected me personally more than any character I’ve ever played. The hard times he experiences are buffered by his resilient spirit, something truly inspiring. I’ve brought those lessons into my personal life and I now have more gratitude for the joys I experience. The small, simple things are amazing. The full use of my body is a gift.”
He added, “Jean-Do is a pillar of a man, who overcame more than most people could imagine, to then go on to impact the hearts of millions. I’m proud to tell his story.”
For those not in Dallas for the opera, the company is set to livestream one of the performances. Meachem is also set to appear at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Staatsoper Hamburg, the Teatro Real, and the Metropolitan Opera.
Over the years Meachem recorded an array of diverse music from Tchaikovsky, Corigliano, Bernstein, and Purcell. He has also recorded a solo album entitled “Shall We Gather.”
Here are selections from Rossini and Giordano.