The Wagner Society 
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Wagner Society of Dallas

Saul by Simon Sargon



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 Conference,
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

Buy Saul Tickets

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.

Purchase tickets online at through (search SIMON SARGON if you link directly) and are just $25 and $10 Students w/valid ID when presented at the door.

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 II.

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

Clifton Forbis

Stephen Morscheck

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/ September 2011

About Simon Sargon

Simon 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

Sponsors: 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

Annual Membership Fee is $35 Per Person

Click HERE for PDF Membership Form

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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.

Roger Carroll
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 Wagner’s music.

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 world.


The Wagner Society of Dallas

PO Box 25201
Dallas, TX 75225-0201
(214) 363-6070

Virginia R. Abdo and
Dr. James T. Wheeler

email: WSD@

Digital Photos on this website, unless otherwise noted,
copyright Edward P. Flaspoehler, JR

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Many 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

The Wagner Society of Dallas
is a Member of
The International Association of Wagner Societies

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