Fort Worth Opera Announces 2019 Festival Casting

By Francisco Salazar

Fort Worth Opera has announced the casts and creative teams for the 2019 Festival season, including the world premiere of composer-librettist Rachel J. Peters’s opera, “Companionship.”

Adapted from the short story by author Arthur Phillips, the opera was selected as the 2018 FWOpera Frontiers showcase and will be fully staged at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. It is the first opera written by a woman to be produced by the company in its 73-year history and it will be led by acclaimed opera director Beth Greenberg, who started her career at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

“Companionship” stars soprano Maren Weinberger, mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh, Baritone Samuel Schultz, mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther, and bass Benjamin Sieverding. Soprano Jeni Houser and tenor David Walton  will also star.

The 2019 Festival will also showcase Francesca Zambello’s celebrated revival of George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” The work will star Indira Mahajan, and rising young baritone Thomas Cannon. The opera will also star Jermaine Smith (Sportin’ Life), Karen Slack (Serena), Norman Garrett (Crown), John Fulton (Jake), Meroë Khalia Adeeb (Clara), Chaz’men Williams-Ali (Robbins | Crabman), and Martin Bakari.

The final work showcased in the festival will be the world’s second mariachi opera, “El Pasado Nunca se Termina.” The work stars American tenor Daniel Montenegro, Puerto Rican soprano Abigail Santos, as well as Paul La Rosa, Ricardo Rivera, Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo, Luis Ledesma, Cassandra Zoé Velasco, Miguel Nuñez, and Mexican baritone Octavio Moreno.

The festival opens on April 26, 2019.