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The New Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

By Raul Barreneche

Texas expands its own brand of superlatives this month. The new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts(dallasperformingarts.org) becomes the most significant cultural complex built in the United States since New York’sLincoln Center. New performance halls, surrounded by a 10-acre park created by landscape designer Michel Desvigne, join existing buildings by I. M. Pei and Renzo Piano. The visionary Dallas Opera takes up residence in Foster & Partners’ 2,200-seat Winspear Opera House, a dramatic red-glass–clad oval that rises through a rectangular canopy of glass and steel. Verdi’s Otello opens on October 23. The 600-seat Wyly Theatre, designed by Rem Koolhaas of OMA and Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX, has a flexible stage and a rippling curtain-like skin of aluminum tubes. The audaciously modern space, home to the Dallas Theater Center, debuts with a classic: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lastly, City Performance Hall, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, welcomes 70 of the area’s smaller arts troupes beginning in 2011.