Friday, March 24, 2017

A Creative Revolution in Frisco!

Something magical happened on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 in Frisco, TX. 

It was a beautiful, 75-degree evening, and about 4,000 people congregated outdoors at a football facility's outdoor pavilion on a Saturday evening. . . to watch the Dallas Opera's LIVE Simulcast of Madame Butterfly.

They started arriving around 5pm and brought lawn chairs, blankets, strollers, and my goodness, LOTS of kids!  Before the opera started, the children enjoyed face painting, butterfly crafts, games, behind-the-scenes interviews with KLUV's Jody Dean.  

As the sun began to set, the excitement and anticipation for the opening of the Opera was palpable.  Not a square inch was available on the football turf, and people were spilling onto the concrete to find a spot to sit.  

Then suddenly, projected on the big jumbotron, was the stunning, massive chandelier inside the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.  It truly felt like we were right there with our arts friends in Dallas.  We could hear the audience's chatter inside the Opera House, and the orchestra's instruments warming up.  

The announcer began speaking, and the chandelier slowly disappeared into the ceiling, as it does before every performance.  After the National Anthem was performed beautifully by the orchestra, the crowd cheered, and then everyone settled back into their blanketed seats and lawn chairs.  A hush came over the crowd; we were ready to step into another world, told through the art of musical storytelling.

As the opera began, I wondered, "Would people stay for at least the first act?  Would they be fidgety and bored?  Would they decide after 10 minutes they had tried enough?"  To my amazement, almost everyone sat in rapt attention.  The videography brought you close up on stage, so you could see every expression, emotion, and nuance of color.  The audience was quiet, respectful, and engaged.  And it was a vastly diverse crowd- young, old, single, married with kids, all walks of life and all cultures.  But this group came with a singular purpose; they had all chosen to give up their entire Saturday night to attend the Opera, and that's exactly what they did.  Almost all 4,000 people stayed for the entire 3 hours. 

What this event showed so clearly is the NEED, not just a want, for greater performing arts programming in Frisco.  I'm not talking Jimmy Buffett concerts, which are still great to have.  But entertainment is different from performing arts, which includes opera, symphony, choir, Broadway, and more.  The size of the audience at the Opera Simulcast in Frisco was the first tangible proof that if you build it, they will come.  Actually, they are already here!!

Frisco is known for its hotels, office parks, malls, sports facilities, and great schools.  But we CAN have more and expand the pie, bringing balance and something for everyone.  Someday, Frisco will be a destination for the ARTS, and I won't stop until we get there!


Mike said...

You know how I feel about this. My feerlings haven't changed since 2002.

Isabel Sem said...

I agree Tammy. Frisco is ready for the true Arts. Thank you for all you are doing to make this possible.

Corley D. said...

Great recap. Could not have be more inviting. Felt as if I was amidst the eager crowd of on-lookers, waiting for the opening act. As for fune arts here in fair-Frisco, where do I sign?