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Fort Worth Opera Leader Returns To The Stage

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - It has been 15 years since Darren Woods performed in an opera, but he is ready to get back on the stage as if he never stopped singing. Woods has been the general director of the Fort Worth Opera for the past 13 years — leading the prestigious company, but never performing with it.

Spend just a couple of minutes inside of the Benbrook man’s home, and it is easy to see that his world is filled with all things opera. “Some people say your life is opera, and it really is,” Woods said. “It’s reflected in the stuff in the house, too.”

It has been 15 years since Woods was last on stage. But he finally returned to the lights and glory earlier this year, taking on a role in the annual Fort Worth Opera Festival. “I’m performing in ‘The Daughter of the Regiment,'” Woods explained. “I am the hapless, long-suffering valet of the Marquise of Birkenfield, Cartonsius.”

Woods said that he is not nervous about his comeback, as familiar faces both on and off of the stage are helping him stay comfortable. “It really feels like getting back into an old suit or an old coat,” he said. “Put it back on again.”

Woods is the person who came up with the Fort Worth Opera Festival’s format. One of his favorite possessions is a poster from the event’s inaugural year, which proudly delcares “a new festival takes flight.”

“What I loved about this,” Woods said, “it was such a historic moment for the whole company, these are all the singers that sang there that season.”

Woods will reach a new milestone now, singing alongside the performers who, he believes, are part of what helps make the Fort Worth Opera widely respected and unique.

The Fort Worth Opera Festival continues until next weekend. There are five different operas to see, and people from 27 states and four countries are expected to be in North Texas for the event.

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