BREAKING: Dallas Opera announces 2015-16 season

Jake Heggie

Keith Cerny, general director of the Dallas Opera, announced the upcoming season for the company (its 59th) at Hamon Hall inside the Winspear Opera House this afternoon.

Among the guests present were out composer Jake Heggie, pictured, who wrote the world premiere Moby-Dick for the DO, which closed the company’s inaugural season in the Arts District in 2009-10. As had been previously announced, Heggie has reteamed with librettist Terrence McNally to compose a new opera, Great Scott, which will launch the 2015-16 season on Oct. 30.

For the first time in the DO’s history, a Broadway musical — not an actual “opera” — will be on the slate: Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s 1927s hit Show Boat. The show is best remember for the song “Old Man River,” which has often been a signature performance for powerful operatic baritones, including Paul Robeson and William Warfield, who performed it memorably in the MGM film adaptation in 1951. (See a video of Warfield’s rendition after the jump.) It will be performed April 15-May 1. It will close out the season.

Among the other productions slated for the new season: Puccini’s Tosca, Nov. 6-22; a second world premiere, Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus, Dec. 4-12; Manon by Jules Massenet, March 4-12.

The current season continues later this month with two one-act opera: La Wally and the new creation Everest, both set on mountaintops.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: Chef Matt McCallister to open second Dallas restaurant, Filament

Matt McCallister

Matt McCallister

Matt McCallister — the former protege of Stephan Pyles who gained national fame after opening his Design District restaurant FT33 — has finally announced his sophomore effort. Filament will open “in spring 2015,” according to a release, in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. Focusing on simple Southern ingredients — “items that I eat on my own time,” McCallister says — it will be approachable, but with surprises. We’re used to surprises from him, and this is a happy one.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The art of accurate emailing

I’ll start by saying The Dallas Opera‘s next production, the premiere of Everest — about the fateful expedition in 1996 — sounds captivating to me. I can’t wait to see. So I was excited last week when I got an email whose subject line sounded prime for a human-interest story:

Screen shot 2015-01-09 at 11.30.43 AM

“Wow!” I thought. “What are the chances?” I opened the email and this was what the inside said:

Screen shot 2015-01-09 at 11.31.13 AM

 If you haven’t figured it out, January 14 is this Wednesday. “Wed,” for short, it seems (not, as I might do, “Wed.”). So no nuptials involved. I replied to the mass email thusly:

Screen shot 2015-01-09 at 11.32.56 AM

 A few hours later, I got the same email, only with the following subject line:

Screen shot 2015-01-09 at 11.31.36 AM

 They called me Friday to thank me for the correction, and had a good sense of humor about it. Oh, and you should go to the chat if you can. I bet it’s a great discussion … even if not romantic.

And later today, the Dallas Opera will make its season announcement for the 2015-16 season. Look back here to see what’s up this season. Hint: There’s a world premiere from a gay team and a genuine historic first in Dallas Opera’s long history.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Marriage equality hits where it matters: The jewelry store

TiffanyOn Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about marriage equality in states including Texas. How they rule could set the stage for whether same-sex couples can legally wed in the largest red state in the union. But a much more important decision was made before that about marriage: Where you can get a ring.

We joke. But Tiffany & Co. — which is, I mean, the Tiffany of jewelers — launched an ad campaign for wedding rings, which includes a (very smokin’) same-sex male couple. So no matter what the courts do, we’ve been blessed by a kind of pope of consumerism and prestige.

Of course, Tiffany isn’t the first — readers of Dallas Voice know many advertisers here have long supported marriage equality and courted the gay market, including Dallas’ own Joe Pacetti and Dian Malouf — but we’re pleased to see yet another mainstream embrace of our rights in a way that matters most to conservatives: Economically.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Bianca del Rio at The Brick Saturday

IMG_8896She didn’t go on til nearly 1 a.m. and her set lasted just half an hour, but Drag Race winner Bianca del Rio nailed her comedy set at The Brick last night, with help from fellow Drag Racer Alyssa Edwards and others. She brought a number of locals onstage with her (including Dallas Voice contributor and goofy fangirl Chaka Cumberbatch) but her quick wit was what sold the set. (You can download and watch a brief clip below.)

Also on hand was Dallas designer Rey Ortiz (whom we profiled recently here) who presented del Rio with his “tip” — a custom-designed dress.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Sapphire Peach Collins

Sapphire collinsThe traditional Tom Collins is made with gin (sometimes with vodka), but if you wanna make it unique, try this recipe, which gives a Southern twist on a long-time classic.

2 parts (1 jigger) Bombay Sapphire gin

1 part fresh lemon juice

2/3 part simple syrup

2 parts peach iced tea

Black pepper

Club soda

Peach and/or lemon slices for garnish

Making it: Build with ice in a Collins glass, adding just a pinch of pepper and topping with a splash of soda.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Michael Sam announces engagement to Vito Cammisano

kissingTMZ is reporting that former Dallas Cowboys recruit Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player drafted by the NFL, is now engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Vito Cammisano. This could very well make him the first NFL player this year to get engaged without first being accused of assaulting his intended or their children.

Seriously, though, we are pleased as punch for our Texan of the Year honoree. If things go well at the 5th Circuit today, they might even be able to hold the ceremony here in Texas. Maybe Dale Hansen will be asked to serve as best man?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Embracing your inner — and outer — daddy

Is gay culture shifting away from its obsession with youth?

I was sitting at JR.’s having a beer once, waiting for a friend to arrive. I turned and caught the eye of the young man sitting next to me. I estimated he was about 26. “Hey,” I said with a nod. He gave me the “gay sigh” — you know it, the “not this again” force of air that says “Calm down!”

“Sorry, not into daddies,” he said.

Jones, Arnold WayneI was 32.

In gay culture, as we mostly know, over 30 is “old.” And gays are all about young’uns, right?

Well, sort of.

True, a lot of 20somethings like to date other 20somethings. Some are OK with 10 years up … max. And of course, there have always been chasers — chubby-, daddy-, bear-, leather- or other. At 32, I felt too young to be a daddy. I also didn’t take too much offense (I had a boyfriend) because I knew, in four years tops, this kid was gonna be 30 and someone was gonna give him the gay sigh.

Karma’s a bitch, y’all.

What was strange was, at 32 — and 35, and 39 — I was not getting many complimentary stares (I was also not on the market, and Grindr was still years away). Then, at 44 — single and looking to mingle — I started getting hit on. There were older guys (50s and 60s) who would hit on me of course, but far and away the most propositions came from men in their 20s and early 30s.

I was officially a daddy. And I liked it.

I created a word for myself — a “cougay” — to reflect my dating of younger men. But the truth was, I was not one of the youth-obsessed gays. I wasn’t seeking them out, they were seeking me. Some were close to my age (late 30s/early 40s); none I was seriously interested in happened to be older. And they kept coming at me.

I don’t know why that is. I was always very clear: I am not your sugar-daddy; I am, at best, a Splenda-daddy. I won’t pay your rent, but you can be my plus-one to opening night of the symphony, though you have to rent your own tux.

I was happy to share, but not looking to support another human being. There was a reason I didn’t have kids, and I didn’t want one now, especially one with expensive tastes. But if you wanna call me daddy (or, just as often, papi)? Knock yourself out.

I don’t know if I was too young at 32 to be considered a “real” daddy (maybe that twink at JR.’s was worried I didn’t look enough older than him that his friends would think he was just dating older), and I have no idea whether every 40-something goes through this. I somehow don’t think so. In any event, I have long enjoyed my cougay status. (When people ask me, “What do you talk about with a 22-year-old?” I usually say … well, I won’t say what I say, except that I know plenty of 50-year-olds who can’t carry on a conversation, either.)

New York magazine just wrote about this phenomenon
, so I know it’s not just me, but it does raise the issue: What makes a daddy? And why are you attracted to them or not? I’m not specifically looking for a man in his late 40s (an age I am now) but I wouldn’t say no to a date with such a man if we hit it off. (I’ve also routinely dated outside my race, but interestingly enough, virtually no one will ask, “What do you have in common with a black guy?” Funny how age is a fair topic of “appropriate” dating and not race.)

I think I look fairly young for my age (not too many crows feet, and I’m energetic and active), but I know I will not be mistaken for a 32-year-old anytime soon … though 32 didn’t do much for me at the time.

I look older, and that’s OK, especially since I have an enviable head of hair. They say 50 is the new 40 (sometimes even the new 30!), which I can get behind. I’ve been called daddy in bed a lot, and it never bugs me; it doesn’t sound “incestuous” as some people have suggested. It’s something of a fantasy role, and if I fit it well, and it fits me? I’m comfortable with that. I wonder why so many folks aren’t?

Arnold Wayne Jones is the executive editor of Dallas Voice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 9, 2015.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Russell Tovey: The gay interview

LOOKINGSeason 2Episode 02Day 05

Russell Tovey of ‘Looking’

Despite roles in the BBC supernatural drama Being Human and The History Boys, both on stage and screen, it’s the HBO dramedy Looking that has presented Russell Tovey with considerable exposure. Premiering one year ago, the show centers on a group of gay friends in San Francisco as they navigate relationships, family and sleeping with your boss. When Kevin (Tovey) and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) finally got down to business during a steamy lay at the end of the first season, the hunky Londoner revealed more than his acting chops.

As Looking returns to the network this Sunday,  Jan. 11, the openly gay  33-year-old opened up on a variety of topics: his mom’s reaction to his thigh thump with Groff, the advantages to shooting a sex scene with a fellow gay actor and how, despite his famous butt, fans of the show who meet him aren’t “rape-y.”

Chris Azzopardi for Dallas Voice: The Season 1 finale set the stage for a whole lot of drama. What does that mean for this upcoming season?  Tovey: Season 2’s gonna pick up three months on with the fallout from that experience with Patrick, Kevin and Richie (Patrick’s boyfriend played by Raúl Castillo). They go away on a big adventure and it all unravels. What it means is there’s gonna be tension, and what unfolds is going to be very good television. And I love it. I love seeing hashtag Team Kevin / Team Richie. People are really loyal to Kevin or Richie. They’re like, “Sorry — I really like you, Russell, but I’m Team Richie.” “Kevin’s a cheat!” “Leave Patrick alone!”

What’s your hope for Kevin and this love triangle he’s gotten himself into?  I want Kevin to be happy, but I want him to find his way to happiness with a lot of drama that’s gonna be entertaining for an audience watching an HBO show. [Laughs] But he has to fuck things up, and I think that’s part of his personality. The more Patrick gets to know him, that’s gonna unravel.

Soooo: Team Kevin or Team Richie?  Hmm … would I fuck myself? Or would I fuck Raúl? If I could have a threeway, it’d be quite nice. You know, a bit of both. But in reality, you’d want a boyfriend like Richie because he could cut your hair, and that’s great — you don’t have to worry about that expenditure every month. He’d do that for free! And he can play guitar, so he can entertain you.

Or, of course, there’s Kevin, who appears to be at least from the Season 1 finale experienced in bed.  Oh yeah, he’s very good. A lot of me went into that!

I hear you’re a method actor  Totally. I’ve done all the research.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

New Lower Greenville restaurant Remedy opens over New Year’s

Remedy_©Marple_MARP0082In the current issue of Dallas Voice, I pick my top new restaurants of 2014, and on the list is Clark, one of the latest entries in the Lower Greenville foodie scene, which is undergoing its first real renaissance in 20 years.  My 2013 list include H&G SPLY Co. on the top, also along the strip. Now as further proof that this is a hip place to be, the latest place to open, Remedy (owner by H&G’s Elias Pope), made a surprise debut on Jan. 2. The kitchen is led by Danyele McPherson, a one-time Top Chef contestant who used to star in a kitchen just up the street, at The Grape, long one of Dallas’ most cherished bistros.

Remedy bills itself as modern dining with a hospitality-driven approach, and among the draws will be the beverage program, let my Mate Hartai, pictured. Currently opened for dinner and late-night, it plans to open for lunch “within the month” (famous last words, but we’ll burn a candle).

Before too long, Remedy and the rest will have another neighbor when Clark’s owner opens C’viche Tequila Bar.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones