Fort Worth Opera presents Amahl and the Night Visitors

Fort Worth Opera presents Amahl and the Night Visitors

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Opera

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a one-act opera composed by Gian Carlo Menotti. It tells the heartwarming story of a young boy named Amahl and his mother who are visited by three kings – Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar – on their way to see the newborn baby Jesus.

The story takes place in their humble home in Bethlehem, and although the kings bring gifts for the newborn king, Amahl and his mother have nothing to offer but their hospitality. Through their kindness and humility, they ultimately provide the kings with the greatest gift of all: the realization of the true meaning of generosity and love.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an inspiring and uplifting story that celebrates the spirit of the holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Opera

Fort Worth Opera presents La Bohème

Fort Worth Opera will present a semi-staged version of La Bohème, a timeless story of young love, set in the heart of 19th century Paris. The opera follows the lives of a group of Bohemian artists, including the poet Rodolfo and his seamstress lover Mimi, as they navigate poverty, friendship, and romance.

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Opera

Fort Worth Opera presents dwb (Driving While Black)

dwb (Driving While Black) is a montage of poetic and haunting moments examining the trials and triumphs Black mothers experience as their children come of age in a society plagued by racism and inequality.

In the central narrative, we meet the Mother in her home. The dangerous world outside, however, is out of the Mother’s control, and anxiety builds in her mind and heart as her “beautiful brown boy” approaches manhood and the realities of modern life as a Black person in America.

The performance on February 16 will be at Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU, while the February 17 performance will be at Kimbell Art Museum.

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Opera

Fort Worth Opera presents La Médium

La Médium (The Medium) is a one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti set in the early 20th century. The story revolves around Madame Flora, a fraudulent medium who pretends to communicate with the dead, along with her two assistants, Monica and Toby.

Madame Flora begins to experience a series of terrifying events during her seances, including physical contact from an apparition she cannot see. In a desperate attempt to prove her sanity, Madame Flora stages a fake seance with Toby disguised as the ghost of a murdered child. However, the real ghost of the child appears and Madame Flora is driven to the brink of insanity.

The opera is performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

Photo by Ellen Appel

Fort Worth Opera returns to Bass Hall with La Bohème in 2023-24 season

Season announcement

Fort Worth Opera is moving in a new-new direction for its 2023-24 season, and landing somewhere between the hefty "festival years" of the 2010s and the leaner, post-COVID seasons of the early 2020s. No, the Fort Worth Opera Festival is not coming back, but fans will be glad to know a performance of a beloved work in Bass Hall (where FWO has remained a resident company) is back on the new season.

This is the first full season under the direction of new FWO general and artistic director Angela Turner Wilson, who says in a June 8 release that the 2023-24 slate "embodies both the legacy and future of this beloved art form."

Puccini's La Bohème will be the first FWO performance in Bass Hall since 2022's semi-staged La Traviata. The classic tale of love and tragedy (voted No. 2 on BBC's list of Greatest Operas of All Time) will be a semi-staged performance directed by Chuck Hudson and will feature the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of former music conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. FWO last programmed La Bohème in 2013 to great critical and audience acclaim (note: this writer saw it twice). It had been scheduled as part of FWO's 2020 Festival, which got canceled due to COVID. Cast includes lyric soprano Elizabeth Caballero as Mimi, tenor Alok Kumar as Rodolfo, and bass Kofi Hayford as Colline.
Date: April 5 & 7, 2024
Tickets: $22-$195

The rest of the season consists of:

Dinner with the Stars, a fundraising dinner of musical performances, hosted by Joe Illick, FWO music director emeritus, and featuring soprano Vanessa Becerra, mezzo-soprano Siphokazi Molteno, tenor Alok Kumar, and bass Kofi Hayford. The special event kicks off the season in the fall.
Date & location: September 22, 2023 at Fort Worth Club
Tickets: TBA (not included with season packages)

La Médium, a one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti, a Spanish language production making its national premiere, FWO says (the work previously premiered in Spanish in Puerto Rico in 1989). Timed to Halloween, the work explores a woman's descent into madness and "delves into themes of sanity and the supernatural," FSO says. Directed by Malena Dayen, the production stars Janara Kellerman and Cristina María Castro.
Date & location: October 20-23, 2023 at Rose Marine Theater
Tickets: Start at $50

Amahl and The Night Visitors, a holiday favorite and FWO tradition, is the one-act opera composed by Gian Carlo Menotti that tells the story of a young boy named Amahl and his mother, who are visited by three kings to see the newborn baby Jesus. The performances will star the FWO's Hattie Mae Lesley Resident and Studio Artists.
Date & location: December 8-10, 2023 at Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)
Tickets: TBA (not included with season packages)

Wintersong: A Musical Holiday Celebration & Sing-a-long, a community concert featuring "Christmas songs, timeless carols, holiday favorites, opera classics, and more performed by Fort Worth Opera's Hattie Mae Lesley Resident and Studio Artists," FWO says.
Date & location: December 16, location TBA
Tickets: Free

dwb (Driving While Black), being presented in collaboration with the Kimbell Art Museum and Texas Christian University during Black History Month, this modern work makes its regional premiere in Fort Worth. Composed by Susan Kander and librettist Roberta Gumbel, it is described as a "deeply affecting ...montage of poetic and haunting moments examining the trials and triumphs Black mothers experience as their children come of age in a society plagued by racism and inequality." An accompanying symposium on February 17 will examine the themes in the opera.
Date & location: February 16-17, 2024 at Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU and February 24, 2024 at the Kimbell Art Museum
Tickets: $20-$55

An Evening with Morris Robinson, a one-man show performed by All-American college football player and 2022 Grammy Award-winning bass Morris Robinson, which will feature "works from the classic cannon and as well as traditional Black spirituals in honor of Juneteenth," FWO says.
Date & location: June 18, 2024, location TBD
Tickets: $50

Season subscription renewals are on sale as of June 8, and individual tickets will be available in mid-July; for more information and subscriptions, see the FWO website.

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

These are the 12 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

This weekend across Fort Worth features an eclectic series of events, the biggest of which will be the national tour of a Broadway musical and a major bull riding competition. Other choices include a local monthly outdoor concert series, a tour of an historic neighborhood, intimate performances from local arts groups, a taco festival, and more.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events. Looking for a restaurant to treat Mom for Mother's Day? Find that list here.

Thursday, May 11

Broadway at the Bass: Tootsie
Tootsie is a laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater, based on the Oscar-nominated film. It tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. The national tour of the Tony-winning musical runs through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Friday, May 12

Magnolia at the Modern: Carmen
In the new film Carmen - directed by dancer/choreographer Benjamin Millepied in his feature directorial debut - a woman (Melissa Barrera) on a quest to find freedom embarks upon a dramatic and life-altering journey from Mexico to Los Angeles. Co-starring Paul Mescal, the film will screen seven times through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Near Southside Inc. presents Friday on the Green
Friday on the Green is a free monthly concert series that features live music, food and drinks from Near Southside eateries, and the fun and relaxed atmosphere of a big neighborhood picnic. Performers this month at Magnolia Green Park include Jake Paleschic, Cool Jackets, Jaybirds, and Ginny Mac, as well as DJ Woodywood.

PBR World Finals: Unleash the Beast
The sport of bull riding will be taking over Fort Worth for the next 10 days as the 2023 PBR World Finals: Unleash the Beast comes to Dickies Arena through May 21. The biggest event in the sport will crown the PBR's next champion rider and bull. There will also be a series of post-event concerts at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall to go along with the competitions, starting with Kenny Feidler & The Cowboy Killers on Friday and Red Shahan on Saturday.

Tracy Lawrence in concert
Country singer Tracy Lawrence was part of the early 1990s boom for the genre, with six of his first 12 singles going to No. 1, including "Sticks and Stones," "Alibis," and "If the Good Die Young." Lawrence reflected on his 30 years in the business with his last three albums, each of which started with the appropriate title Hindsight 2020. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Saturday, May 13

Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Arthur Dove: "Miniature Laboratories"
Drawn primarily from the Carter’s collection, Arthur Dove: "Miniature Laboratories" examines for a selection of work from the last years of Dove’s life (1940-46). During this time, he created hundreds of works on paper, most measuring three-by-four-inches, experimenting with various mediums and techniques. An in-depth examination and analysis of these works by the Carter’s conservation team reveals new insight into Dove’s creative process. The exhibition will be on display through August 27.

Fairmount 40th Anniversary Tour of Historic Homes
The Fairmount National Historic District and the Fairmount Neighborhood Association will present Fairmount’s 40th Anniversary Tour of Historic Homes, featuring six historic properties. (Preview them here.) On Saturday, there will be a a neighborhood parade at 10 am, after which visitors can head over to Fairmount Park to browse vendors and artists, and enjoy a bite from one of the food trucks. Arts Fifth Avenue will also be hosting several artists during a one-day special show on Saturday only. Tickets for the two-day event can be purchased at SiNaCa Studios.

Fort Worth Opera presents Love Quarrels
Fort Worth Opera will conclude their 2023 season with Love Quarrels, in which resident artists will showcase their talent in scenes from opera classics and new works, like La Bohéme, Les pêcheurs des perles,and The Crucible. Featured performers include soprano Adia Evans, tenor Nathaniel Catasca, and baritone Malcolm Payne Jr. The performance takes place at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Dallas Cowboys Tacos & Tunes Festival
The Dallas Cowboys Tacos & Tunes Festival at Miller Lite House at AT&T Stadium will feature a variety of tacos and food truck options, cold drinks, and live music. Performers include Squeezebox Bandits, Western Rewind Band, Don Stalling & The Divided, and DJ Elusive.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents "Three American Tenors"
Three of the most sought-after tenors of the 21st century - Michael Fabiano, Bryan Hymel, and Matthew Polenzani - will perform an exciting and varied program of classic opera arias, Broadway favorites, and American standards. The concert, taking place at Will Rogers Auditorium, will be conducted by Robert Spano.

Dustin Lynch in concert
Country singer Dustin Lynch has been big since his debut in 2012, going straight to No. 1 with his self-titled album. Each of his four subsequent albums, including 2022's Blue in the Sky, reached the top 10 and he's had a string of top 10 hits to go along with them. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Sunday, May 14

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents "Three Chamber Music Masters: Mozart, Poulenc, and Lutosławski"
This intimate Kimbell Chamber Series concert will feature pianist Robert Spano, FWSO musicians, and guests performing a variety of selections, including Mozart's "Kegelstatt" trio for clarinet, viola, and piano, Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet, and a selection of chamber works by the 20th-century master Lutosławski. The concert will be at Kimbell Art Museum.

Payton Reilly and Drew Becker in national tour of Tootsie
Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

The musical Tootsie will play at Bass Performance Hall through May 14.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

These are the 14 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

This weekend in and around Fort Worth is music-heavy, with five big concerts in the area and a couple more at everybody's favorite honky tonk. There will also be three theater productions, including the national tour of a Broadway play; screenings of both a new documentary and acclaimed short films; the start of haunted house season; and a dance production.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events. Oh, and the State Fair of Texas starts this weekend in Dallas; if you plan on going, make sure you don't pay full price.

Thursday, September 28

Theatre Wesleyan presents Playmarket: Premiere Productions
Theatre Wesleyan will present the continuation of its long-running Playmarket program with the premiere of four original short plays. Playmarket: Premiere Productions will include The Death of Seneca by Jonathan Burt, Dime Store Dinos by Parker County Theatre Company executive producer Lori Coughlin, The Ramifications of a Changed Man by Alexandra Flurry-Powell, and Somewhere Between Floors by Lily Seavey. The production, taking place in the Thad Smotherman Theatre at Texas Wesleyan University, will have four performances through Sunday.

Broadway at the Bass presents To Kill a Mockingbird
Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, small-town lawyer Atticus Finch (played by Richard Thomas). The cast of characters includes Atticus’s daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker, Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, and a mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley. The touring production, adapted by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, will run through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Friday, September 29

Magnolia at the Modern: Carlos
The documentary Carlos follows rock legend Carlos Santana’s journey from 14-year-old street musician to a 10-time Grammy-winning global sensation. The film features unseen archival materials, including home video recordings made by Santana himself, concert footage, and behind-the-scenes moments. There will be seven screenings through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Pink in concert
It can be difficult for a singer to maintain a certain image over a long period of time, but Pink - or, if you prefer, P!nk - has managed to do just that. She's stuck with her version of pop/rock for over 20 years, and her fans have rewarded her by pushing her to the top of the charts with every album, including the new Trustfall. She'll play at Globe Life Field in Arlington as part of her Summer Carnival Tour, joined by Brandi Carlile, Grouplove, and KidCutUp.

The 26th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival
Over 100,000 film lovers unite in over 500 cinemas across six continents to view and vote on the finalists’ films in the 26th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. Manhattan Short is not a touring festival; rather, it is an instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. Screenings will take place on Friday and again on October 5 at Palace Arts Center in Grapevine, as well as twice on Saturday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Luke Bryan in concert
Since his debut album in 2011, country singer Luke Bryan has been as consistent as they come, with each of his five albums featuring all-original songs going to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts and making at least the top 5 on the Billboard 200. He's also upped his profile by appearing on The Voice and, since 2018, serving as a judge on American Idol. He'll play at Dickies Arena in support of his 2022 compilation album, Prayin' In A Deer Stand.

Loona Assemble in concert
K-Pop sensation Loona Assemble will take the audience on a new journey beginning with the Loona Assemble Debut Ceremony, in which “in the year of great chaos, Hyunjin, YeoJin, Vivi, Go Won and HyeJu boarded the Loosemble spacecraft. A new world unfolds here, starting with a long voyage to find their friends.” They'll perform at Will Rogers Auditorium.

Jubilee Theatre presents East Texas Hot Links
It's summer 1955 in the piney woods of East Texas where local men wander into Charlesetta's Top o' the Hill Café almost every night for comfort, solace, and companionship. Times are changing, the Klan is active, and young black men have been disappearing or turning up dead. This night, Delmus wants to celebrate getting a new job, but the other regulars are skeptical. They try to warn him as they joke, feed the jukebox, and play cards until betrayal catches all of them and life at Top o' the Hill is changed forever. The production runs through October 29 at Jubilee Theatre.

Haunted houses
This weekend officially kicks off Halloween season in and around Fort Worth, with four big haunted houses opening their doors. Friday brings Hangman's House of Horrors in Fort Worth and Moxley Manor Haunted House in Bedford, each of which feature three separate haunted attractions. Starting on Saturday are Cutting Edge Haunted Housein Fort Worth, located in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant, and The Parker House in Denton, with two main attractions. All of the haunted houses will be open on weekends through at least Halloween.

Ned LeDoux in concert
Kids following in their parents footsteps has a long tradition in the entertainment industry, although few manage to outshine their mother or father. Ned LeDoux is the son of cowboy musician Chris LeDoux, whose work inspired Garth Brooks and others. Ned, touring in support of his 2022 album, Buckskin, will play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Saturday, September 30

Ballet Frontier of Texas presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ballet Frontier of Texas' A Midsummer Night's Dream is based on William Shakespeare’s play, a happy tangle of plots and subplots about the loves and adventures of mortals and mystical beings. The play features the iconic characters Puck, Titania, and Oberon, with fairies and wood nymphs, magical potions, and mistaken identities abounding. There will be performances on Saturday and Sunday at I.M. Terrell Academy.

Joji in concert
Japanese singer/rapper Joji first made his name as YouTuber, where he made comedy videos under the name of Filthy Frank. Transitioning to music in 2017, he's made a significant impact in the R&B/lo-fi world, with each of his first three albums making the top 5 on the Billboard 200. He crossed over to the mainstream with the hit "Glimpse of Us" off of his 2022 album, Smithereens. He'll play at Dickies Arena.

RBD in concert
Mexican Latin pop group RBD was huge in their native country and across Latin and South America in the 2000s, starting with their 2004 debut album, Rebelde. The group, which gained popularity due to them starring on the telenovela of the same name, would go on to release five albums (including versions in both Portuguese and English) before disbanding in 2009. Now they've reunited to celebrate that first album and more with the Soy Rebelde Tour. They'll perform at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Easton Corbin in concert
Country singer Easton Corbin was among the fastest rising artists in the genre in the early 2010s, releasing three albums in five years, including 2015's About to Get Real, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. After a long dormant period, he finally released his first new album in eight years, Let's Do Country Right, earlier this year. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Richard Thomas in the national tour of To Kill a Mockingbird
Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The national tour of To Kill a Mockingbird will be at Bass Performance Hall through October 1.

Beloved Arlington developer earns nod for revitalizating old buildings

Vintage News

Developers tend to view the world as a place to tear down and build anew. But Arlington resident and longtime financial visionary Alan Petsche often has different ideas in mind.

"A love for, and a respect of history," he calls it.

Petsche is the man responsible for thoughtful projects such as the restoration and reopening of Arlington's famous Candlelite Inn, the 1957 restaurant said to have served the first pizza in town; and Joe's Radiator Service, a 1963 structure at 200 N. East St. in Arlington that's now home to pizzeria Cane Rosso.

For those efforts, Petsche was named the 2023 Dream Builder by the Downtown Arlington Management Corp., who presented the award at the Arlington association’s annual meeting and luncheon on September 20.

“A restored building has memories in its walls. You hear and feel them,” Petsche said as he recounted a Candelight memory. “You know what kids? Your grandma and grandad had their first date here. Same booth we’re in now!”

The award honors individuals who've contributed to revitalizing downtown Arlington; previous recipients include developer Ryan Dodson, whose Dodson Commercial Real Estate did the Urban Union development in Arlington, and former Arlington mayor Jeff Williams.

Alan PetscheFrom left: John Arnot from DAMC, Alan Petsche, Maggie Campbell DAMC President/CEO, and Jim Minge, Texas Trust Credit UnionDAMC

A long-time resident of Arlington and graduate of Lamar High School and UTA, Petsche has a legacy of building successful businesses and helping others in the community. He was only nine when he began working for his father, who started the A.E. Petsche Company in the family garage. Petsche eventually became the COO of the family business, which served the aerospace industry for more than 40 years before it was sold in 2009.

A release calls him a "serial entrepreneur" who has owned and operated an eclectic variety of businesses ranging from a comic book store he started in high school to a computer company, commercial real estate organizations, and restaurants. He is highly regarded in Arlington and beyond for his generosity, business acumen, integrity, musical talent, and service to the community.

At the Candlelite Inn, his team serves lunch to 150 volunteers of Mission Arlington weekly. The Court at the College Park Center Special Events Arena is named in his honor as a major donor to the University of Texas at Arlington.

He was also the biggest investor in the Urban Union development, helping drive major re-investment and bringing dozens of new businesses into downtown Arlington. Urban Union currently has 24 storefronts within eight buildings.

In a prior life, he was in a '70s power-pop band called The Pengwins, which toured and sold records throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He keeps the music flame alive with a record label called Spyder Pop Records (initially created under the name Aaron Avenue Records) which has been called "a textbook model of how to do musical community right," as well as "rightly renowned for their spectacular presentation of vinyl and CD releases."

Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of the Downtown Management Arlington Corporation said, "Alan’s love for his hometown of Arlington is evident in the investments he has made, such as restoring the Candlelite Inn, and his passion for making downtown Arlington a prime destination for living, work, and entertainment that appeals to residents and visitors."