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We're Still Discovering the Winspear


by Jerome Weeks 28 Oct 2009

I’ve already seen all the images of the Winspear Opera House that have appeared over the past three weeks — and I’ve seen ’em a half-dozen times in several different formats. I’ve been to the ‘attic’ (the lighting grid), I’ve been backstage, under the stage, in the offices. You think you’re tired of  the bloody […]

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I’ve already seen all the images of the Winspear Opera House that have appeared over the past three weeks — and I’ve seen ’em a half-dozen times in several different formats. I’ve been to the ‘attic’ (the lighting grid), I’ve been backstage, under the stage, in the offices.

You think you’re tired of  the bloody thing?

But even I was struck by Karen Almond’s photos. They’re featured on the Dallas Opera’s newly redesigned website — and on Almond’s own site. The shot she took of the exterior at dusk with the entire front lit up and mirrored in the reflecting pool — that’s going to be a much-copied angle. The thing glows like a cyclotron. But what’s a reflecting pool for? And check out her flying saucers. A photographer’s eye can let us see what’s right in front of us.

At any rate, the new online digs for the opera only make sense. Suzanne Calvin, associate director of marketing for the DO, says that their website has been getting record-breaking numbers of visitors — wonder why — and we should expect more videos, more podcasts and the like — including, believe it or not, an interactive Madame Butterfly game from their educational department. Maybe you’ll be able to have Cio-Cio San become a female ninja.

It should be noted that the Dallas Opera isn’t the only organization with a spiffy new home — real and virtual. The Dallas Theater Center will also be launching a redesigned site sometime soon. My advice: Hire someone like Almond and make a visual tour of the Winspear/Wyly an integral part of the sites. I can’t tell you the number of people I ran into during the open house who wished they could have seen more, spent more time in the new facilities.

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