It’s been three years since Graeme Jenkins stepped down as music director of the Dallas Opera, after a 20-year run unusual in the opera world. But he’s still a big Dallas booster.

“You’re in a city where you have one of the greatest concert halls in the world, one of the greatest opera houses in the world, great museums,” he says. “The city has transformed itself, and it should be recognized. The cultural boards of Fort Worth and Dallas should be doing more marketing nationally of the incredible cultural wares of the metroplex.”

Now music director emeritus, Jenkins, whose post-Dallas life has included conducting in some of the world’s major opera houses, is back in town to conduct the Dallas Opera’s Manon, opening Friday at the Winspear Opera House. One of the most enduring of 19th-century French operas, Jules Massenet’s portrayal of a tragic love triangle is getting some star casting.

Soprano Ailyn Pérez, who displayed a brilliant and glorious soprano as Tatyana Bakst in the company’s recent world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott, returns as the eponymous courtesan.

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