SMU Division of Music, Meadows School of the Arts,
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Puccini Society of Dallas,
Temple Emanu-El Music Committee, Temple Shalom, Southwest Jewish
The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, and the
Wagner Society of Dallas
Cordially invite you to attend a musical preview of
by Simon Sargon
Featuring international artists
Donnie Ray Albert, Baritone
Clifton Forbis, Tenor
Stephen Morscheck, Bass
June 7, 2014 7:30 p.m.
Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Zale Auditorium
7910 Northaven Rd., Dallas, TX 75230
Adults $25 Students $10
Excerpts from Simon Sargon’s Opera “Saul”
will be performed at Aaron Family Jewish Community Center in
Dallas on June 7, 2014
May 11, 2014 – For immediate release:
Excerpts from ‘SAUL’ will be performed in concert Saturday
evening, June 7, 2014, at the Aaron Family Jewish Community
Center, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, Texas, at 7:30 p.m.
Twenty plus years in the making, ‘SAUL’, with
libretto and music by well-known and acclaimed composer, pianist
and educator Simon Sargon, tells the story of the biblical King
Saul, his friendship with David (of Goliath-slaying fame) and
his tragic descent into madness and paranoia stemming from
jealousy. Events are based on the biblical books of Samuel I and
The opera consists of 10 short scenes. It takes
place in ancient Israel about 1200 B.C. and is freely based on
the events in the biblical books of Samuel I and II. After a
dramatic orchestral prelude, the opera opens with the reluctant
Saul being anointed by the prophet Samuel. Saul quickly loses
God’s favor by disobeying His commands and Samuel anoints the
young shepherd David as the new king. After David slays the
Philistine giant Goliath, he becomes more popular with the
people than Saul. Psychologically fragile, Saul begins a slow
descent into madness and paranoia. This dramatic tension forms
the basis for a tragic ending and a cautionary tale for mankind.
Performers include internationally recognized artists of the
operatic stage Donnie Ray Albert, Baritone, as Saul, Clifton
Forbis, Tenor, as David, and Stephen Morscheck,
Bass-Baritone, as Samuel.
Donnie Ray Albert
What the Critics Say
Following a Dallas Symphony performance of a suite based on
musical themes taken from “Saul,” this review appeared in
The Dallas Morning News:
" Sargon's 'Tapestries'
is very much in recognizable biblical-epic manner. The
outer movements, 'Saul Among the Prophets' and 'The
Supreme Command,' work up dramatic clashes and turbulent
rhythms. The central movements, 'Sanctuary' and 'The
Oath,' weave haunting melodies, with a touch of
cantorial exoticism, through soft-focus textures.
(Presumably many of the suite's melodies have been
orchestrated from vocal lines.) The performance left one
curious to hear the opera, which has yet to be performed
in its entirety. There were numerous eloquent wind
solos..." Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News/
About Simon Sargon
Sargon’s compositions have been widely performed nationally
and internationally. For 27 years he served with distinction
as Director of Music at Temple Emanu-El. He was a member of
SMU’s music faculty for 32 years and was honored with the
prestigious Meadows Distinguished Professor Award in 2009.
His works span a wide variety of genres, including opera,
orchestral works, choral and chamber music. Two of his
works, “Symphony No. 1- Holocaust” and “Tapestries” -- an
orchestral suite with music adapted from "Saul"-- were
premiered to critical acclaim by The Dallas Symphony. He is
considered to be one of the most significant composers of
Jewish liturgical music in the country, and his liturgical
compositions are part of the worship of synagogues and
Temples across America. His secular works are performed at
universities and in concert halls around the world and are
the subject of numerous dissertations.
SMU Division of Music, Meadows School of the Arts; Temple
Emanu-El Music Committee; Puccini Society of Dallas; Jewish
Federation; Southwest Jewish Congress, Texas Jewish Post;
Wagner Society of Dallas
It's That Time Again!
Please Renew your Membership in
the Wagner Society of Dallas
Welcome to The Wagner Society of Dallas. You know, as Texans, we're
bound to strive for being the biggest and best of all the Wagner groups
in the world over.
My hope, in addition, is that we ensure your attendance and
participation by offering an interesting, stimulating, and enjoyable
array of meetings, recitals, and travel. Let us know if you have
suggestions for future activities, and do make an effort to join in
during the coming months with your membership, attendance, and above all
joy of being with fellow Wagner aficionados.
President of the Wagner Society of Dallas
The Wagner Society of Dallas - Virginia R.
Abdo and Dr. James T. Wheeler,
The Wagner Society of Dallas is devoted to furthering the enjoyment
and appreciation of the music of Richard Wagner. The Dallas group is one
of many Wagner Societies all over the world. It is a non-profit
organization open to anyone who enjoys the works of Richard Wagner and
who would like to participate in the Society’s activities.
The Wagner Society of Dallas has monthly meetings and programs which
feature recitals, lectures, video screenings, receptions for opera
singers and personalities, and trips to Wagner performances in other
cities. We welcome music lovers who are already familiar with Wagner’s
works as well as those who may want to become more knowledgeable about
Member Benefits include attendance at programs, our newsletter,
discount on books and CD’s, advance notice of events and selected ticket
services, receipt of the Membership Directory, ticket allotments to
Bayreuth, and an active link with fellow Wagnerians throughout the
Wagner Society of Dallas members fondly remember Sheila Jones Harms, who
was an active member of the organization, and who presented many
interesting programs and recitals over the years.
Now, WSD member Ed Flaspoehler has completed his biography of Sheila,
called The Cold War Soprano: Memoirs of a Singer-Spy.
If you are interested in opera and fine singing, Sheila's biography
will surely be of interest to you. Not only will you get an inside
glimpse of what it takes to become an opera singer, and learn about the
world of opera in Post- WWII Vienna, but, because Sheila and her husband
Werner, were also CIA agents, you will get a look at the Cold War from a
personal point of view.
You can get a copy of Ed's book on the internet at