The announcement was made Tuesday. Villaume is only the third person named to the position in the company's 56-year history.
Villaume's career has included engagements with New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden and Washington's National Opera.
After opening the Dallas Opera's 2013-2014 season by conducting "Carmen," he'll return to the Royal Opera House for performances.
Villaume also will maintain a schedule of symphonic performances, including concerts with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovenian Philharmonic.
Dallas Opera General Director Keith Cerny says he believes Villaume "will prove an excellent ambassador for the company while attending to his many national and international conducting engagements."