Jul 20, 2021
Dan Wallace Miller
Buckle your seatbelts and get settled in for a wild ride through an EPIC Show Notes post! Director Dan Wallace Miller dropped so many references to movies, opera productions, and other tangential goodies during his interview, many of which you'll be able to find below, not necessarily in the order mentioned in the episode. Here we go!
Dan started off by sharing how he first saw Wagner's Ring Cycle at Seattle Opera when he was four years old. One of the leading opera companies in the United States, Seattle Opera has been producing the Ring Cycle since 1975, with the most recent production in 2013. Click here to read more about the company's history with Wagnerian opera.
The first production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas that Dan directed was with his former company Vespertine Opera Theater in 2011. He staged it in the Sylvan Grove Outdoor Theater on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. You can see all the production photos of this imaginative production here.
Gilpin Room in our Lanny and Sharon Martin Foundry Rehearsal Hall in Central City was where Dan thought he was going to stage his CCO production of Dido.
Ken Cazan's Acis and Galatea, Central City Opera, 2018. Photo by Amanda Tipton
Instead, the 2021 production of Dido and Aeneas is in the Opera Garden, just downhill from the Central City Opera House.
Opera Garden, Central City. Photo by Amanda Tipton
Dan pulls a lot of inspiration from film, having a degree in comparative literature (film studies) from the University of Washington, and the movie that inspires this summer's Dido and Aeneas is the 1976 Carrie, directed by Brian De Palma.
Dan has also been inspired by Italian giallo horror movies (read this blog post about the 10 best giallo movies for beginners), and currently is "obsessed" with Jacques Demy's 1963 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. You can watch this entire French movie here, with English subtitles, and join in Dan's self-proclaimed obsession!
I brought up Dan's recent production of The Combat with Seattle Opera and his interview on the Seattle Opera Blog. Read that interview here, and click on the video below to see an excerpt from that production.
He also very recently directed Seattle Opera's filmed version of
Tosca, which streamed live this past June. I've included
the trailer below, and you can read another interview with Dan
about this reimagined version of one of the most beloved operas of
Some tidbits mentioned in this episode:
Finally, here's an excerpt from Dan's production of the Britten adaptation of Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias, which he directed for Vespertine Opera Theater in 2013, vaudeville-style.
A huge thank-you to director Dan Wallace Miller for being on the Central City Opera Podcast this season! This was a fascinating interview. Dido and Aeneas will be performed on July 17, 20, 22, and 28, 2021 in the Opera Garden in Central City. Although the shows are sold out at the time of this post, call the CCO Box Office at 303-292-6700 or email email@example.com to see if you can snag last minute tickets.
-Emily Murdock, Host & Producer