ARLINGTON — Tens of thousands of people packed Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night — not for football, but for Mozart.
The Dallas Opera's performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas was simulcast on the world's largest TV screens at the football palace in Arlington.
Opera executives said an estimated 15,000 people turned out for the event, setting a Texas record for largest Opera simulcast at a sports venue.
The U.S. record was set by the San Francisco Opera two years ago.
The performance from the Winspear was visible across the stadium on the massive screen in the center of the field. But unlike the Winspear, where patrons typically dress up, the crowd in Arlington was dressed in casual clothing — many with an adult beverage and a hot dog in hand.
It was an event designed to expose the whole family to the fine arts.
"The goal here is to start to develop a new audience for opera, and we thought Mozart's 'Magic Flute' was the ideal blend of comedy and more serious drama to take to a new opera audience," explained Keith Cerny, the Dallas Opera's general director and chief executive.