About Us

We’ve been featuring the best of Texas talent since 2014!

We support professional Texas singers by creating performance opportunities and we provide scholarships for students to study in Italy, the birthplace of opera!  Here in Dallas, we’ve presented seldom-heard operatic masterpieces, such as Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Donizetti’s Il Campanello, Sullivan’s Cox and Box, Holst’s Savitri, Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, Boris Blacher’s Die Flut and El Barbero de Sevilla by Gimenez/Nieto. This year we feature rarities by Gilbert & Sullivan and “Marvelous Massenet”, presenting excerpts from lesser-known operas by the French master.

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<h3><strong>Our People</strong></h3>
<p><strong>Edward Crafts</strong> (Artistic Director) is known not only for his impressive professional career as a leading baritone with the world’s premiere opera companies, but also as a teacher, producer and director. He has headed university opera departments (University of Nebraska, University of Arkansas at Little Rock), served as a guest stage director for educational and professional organizations (Peabody Conservatory, Oberlin in Italy, Seoul Opera Festival), and been active as a clinician and adjudicator. Mr. Crafts  has over 10 years experience teaching in and administering summer study programs.</p>
<p><strong>Simona Giuggioli</strong> (Board of Directors) is a native of Naples, Italy and currently lives in Dallas, where she is the founder of The Italian School of Dallas. She has been teaching the Italian language since 1996, and recently became a citizen of the United States. Simona provides logistical help with the summer study program in Italy and consults on matters of translation.</p>
<p><strong>Marilyn Halla</strong> (Board of Directors) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from UNT, and worked for ten years as a music teacher. For the past thirty years she has been the Chair of the Dallas Opera Adopt-An-Artist Program, organizing volunteers providing hospitality and transportation to guest artists. She has also served as President of the Dallas Opera Guild, and is a member of the Women’s Board of TDO, the DMA League, the Dallas Symphony Guild and the Dallas Theater Center Guild. She is the President of the Puccini Sociey, a Dallas organization presenting concerts featuring local professional and emerging singers. She and her husband, Ward Halla, have been honored on multiple occasions for their service to The Dallas Opera.</p>
<p><strong>Heather Ross</strong> (General Director) has an extensive background in performance and in music administration – she served as the General Director of the Maryland Lyric Opera, as the Artistic Director of the Jacksonville Opera and for seven years she was the head of the Fine Arts Department at the American International School of Budapest, Hungary. A graduate of the famed Curtis Institute of Music and Indiana University, she has worked as a professional singer and director in the United States and Germany, and has taught at a number of universities.</p>
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