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Summer Arias: JULY 13 at Umlauf Family Day

Summer Arias header image

Join us for the first of our Summer Arias, a series of solo and duet performances at Austin festivals, family days and more.

ALO Summer Arias
Umlauf Family Day
Sunday, July 13
2:00 – 2:30 pm

FREE!

More information about Umlauf Family Day here

Come here soprano Sara Ann Mitchell and baritone  Gregory Jebaily sing selections from A Masked Ball, Don Giovanni and more, accompanied by Nyle Matsuoka.

Sara Ann Mitchell

Sara Ann Mitchell

Gregory Jebaily

Gregory Jebaily

Mitchell and Jebaily are among the top opera performers based here in Austin, and both have sung on the Long Center stage as principals and in the chorus. Most recently, you heard and enjoyed Mitchell as Gianetta, the lovely friend of Adina in The Elixir of Love this past May.

Come for the opera, stay for the gorgeous setting of Umlauf, and bring the whole family!

Continue Reading | July 10, 2014

A MASKED BALL

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Austin Lyric Opera launches its 2014-15 Season with the rich drama, A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera) by Giuseppe Verdi.

Join us for this new production, featuring a haunting new set, sharp new costumes and amazing vocal talents. We set an unforgettable scene for Verdi’s classic drama about a king, Riccardo, in love with the wife of his best friend and closest adviser. When a fortune teller foresees his murder, Riccardo laughs it off, just as he has other rumors of his assassination. But as the plot unfolds we realize it’s now another person’s quest for power but rather revenge that will lead to his demise.

Stage director Leon Majors collaborates with world-renowned projection artist Wendall Harrington to set a stage that somehow dazzles while also focusing all of our attention on the music and voice. The magical setting will transport you out of The Long Center deep into the lives of these tragic characters you’ve just met. That’s the magic of opera, after all.

Based on the true-life assassination of the Swedish King Gustavo at a masked ball in Stockholm in 1792, the opera takes us through a full range of emotions with moments of lighter, comic scenes mixed with intensely emotional ones. At the end of the three acts, you’ll understand fully why this opera continues to stun audiences today.

Learn more About the Production, the Principal Artists,the Synopsis and how to Buy Tickets.

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To learn more about this production, we sat down with Leon Major, a Canadian opera and theater director, to preview his vision for A Masked Ball.

Leon Major directorALO: Give us an idea about your vision for the production.

Major: Essentially, A Masked Ball is about two people in love, a love that is not possible to satisfy because one of them is the wife of the best friend. So you’ve got private scenes and public scenes.

For this production, we’ll use a contemporary setting, and that has a basis in history. When Verdi first wrote Un ballo en maschera it was about the assassination of the king of Sweden in 1792. But he was forced to change it because the censors at that time would not allow you to display regicide on the stage.

So he changed it and set it in Italy, but again the censors rejected if because they would not allow the theatrical reenactment of any aristocracy or nobility being killed on the stage. So once again, he changed it, this time setting it in then-modern-day Boston, making the king the governor of a colony.

But really, you could set A Masked Ball in any country with almost any form of government because, as we well know, there are always factions within that government that want to destroy it.

ALO: This set for this production of “A Masked Ball” will be a projection design by Wendall Harrington, one of the world’s foremost and revered projection designers. What is it like telling a story with a such a spare set?

Major: Well, sometimes opera productions obscure what the story is. So the goal here is to make sure the story is clear, as told through the singers. So in the first scene, in the prelude, we’ll see the representatives of this government in their gray suits coming in for the early morning meeting, which is the first chorus of the opera. And you’ll see this space completely defined by light.

Once that meeting is over, Riccardo comes in and is greeted by the parliamentarians and given papers that he has to review. So he goes into his private office, again totally defined by light, and his page, Oscar, comes in and hands him a list of people who will be at the ball. Riccardo looks down this list and sees her name: “Oh, Amelia!” So immediately we establish who Amelia is and how Riccardo feels about her.

Then Renato comes into the Riccardo’s office, and we hear Riccardo think, “Oh my God, it’s her husband.” And that’s how we know who loves whom.

ALO: It’s interesting how you have to set-up such a complicated story so quickly and in another language! The English translation on the supertitles helps, but really it’s the work of Verdi to do it, right?

Major:Yes, Verdi masterfully sets-up the scene, the characters and their relationships before you. So what we learn in that early scene is that Renato is not only best friend and trusted advisor to Riccardo, but he also looks out for Riccardo by telling him that he has a list of conspirators who want to kill him. Riccardo answers this by saying he doesn’t want to see the list, he doesn’t care. He says “I’m the governor of all the people.”

Of course, by this time we’ve already met the conspirators, back in the first scene with the chorus as the parliamentarians. That’s where you meet this little faction that is talking about how they’re going to kill Riccardo.

Then a judge comes in asking Riccardo to sign papers that would exile a fortune teller for, according to him, corrupting the youth. But Oscar intervenes to defend the fortune teller, asking Riccardo not to exile the fortune teller because she brings the people comfort.

This is when Riccardo decides to investigate this fortune teller himself, and he invites the parliamentarians to take off their suits and come to the carnival.

ALO: And now the intrigue begins…

Major:Now we set the second scene, which normally takes place in some remote location… but we set it at a carnival, kind of like a Coney Island setting with the Ferris wheel and those tawdry ring-toss games and fortune teller booths. We see Amelia come to the fortune teller, who also has a reputation for magic, and she says, “I’ve got this ache in my heart that I must get rid of,” and “How do I do that?”

ALO: There’s room in the opera for some interpretation, right?

Major: Yes, right. In the various writings about Verdi’s A Masked Ball, there’s a discussion about Ulricha, the fortune teller, and whether her character is a charlatan or an actual seer. But I’ve taken the view that she’s a charlatan – a very astute charlatan. And the description in the text is really interesting because he describes her as being astute enough to know that if Amelia really wants to get rid of Riccardo and that ache in her heart, Amelia will try whatever she tells her. So she gives her this advice to go to this remote place and find this particular herb, and that if she tastes this herb at midnight, she will be over Riccardo.

Well, that’s poppycock of course. But really what it really does is test the will of Amelia, and if she really wants to get rid of that ache, she’ll go.

So Riccardo overhears all this and follows her. Again, in other productions the setting has been different, but we’ve set this scene in a kind of collapsed, overgrown glass nurseries, again all by projection. Renato, who had originally come to warn Riccardo about his assassins, realizes what’s going on and take Amelia home where he threatens to kill her.

But then he changes his mind. He decides not to kill her but to kill Riccardo and join the conspirators. Riccardo meanwhile is having terrible second thoughts and decides to send Renato and Amelia to England to be the ambassadors.

Finally, in the last scene at the masked ball, Renato shoots Riccardo right in front of Amelia, and he dies.

ALO: Do you think we’ll feel sorrier for Riccardo, Renato or Amelia?

Major: The audience should feel for all of these characters. Nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong. After all, no human being can deny what the heart says. A year later you may not love that person anymore, but at that moment you do. And at that moment you should be treated kindly. None of the characters here can help it. There’s no deliberate collusion, nobody’s saying, “Ha-ha, we’ll fall in love and run away.” They can’t avoid each other. That’s not a bad thing, that is something to be sympathized with.

ALO: What are the specific arias or moments you think will be the most memorable?

Major: A Masked Ball is a funny opera in that there’s this mix of high opera and very funny, very frothy music. For example, there is no froth in Don Carlo… unless you count the Catholic priest. That’s how frothy that opera is.

The Oscar character has two arias that are a great deal of fun, and Amelia has two incredibly gorgeous arias. But the most famous is probably Renato’s “Eri tu che macchiavi quell’anima”, which means “It was you” who caused this, meaning Riccardo.


 

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi | Libretto:  Antonio Somma | Conductor: Richard Buckley | Stage Director: Leon Major| Projection Design: Wendall Harrington | Chorus Master: Mark Erck

Sung in Italian with English translation projected above stage, in three acts.

Featuring the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus and the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra.

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Watch as Debut Artist Dominick Chenes performs a selection from A Masked Ball. Austin Lyric Opera is proud to introduce rising opera stars like Chenes to the Austin audience.

Dominick Chenes

Austin Lyric Opera 2014 Debut Artist

Dominick Chenes, tenor singing Riccardo – Dominick Chenes opens ALO’s 28th season by singing the role of Riccardo in Verdi’s A Masked Ball.  Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Chenes studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where his debut role was Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera.  Upcoming engagements with AVA include Gherman in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame and Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata.

In 2013, Chenes won second prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation competition as well as a grant award from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competition.  That same year, Chenes attended the Russian Opera Workshop under the direction of Mr. Ghena Meirson.  He also enjoyed three years of success at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Mr. Chenes makes his professional debut with ALO and A Masked Ball.

REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Francesca da Rimini, Russian Opera Workshop: “Mr. Chenes sang the challenging tenor role of Paolo with unflagging energy and masterful technique. As his music modulated ever upward in the love duet, the beauty of his voice, his stentorian tone, and his passionate performance had me sitting on the edge of my seat!”  – Ralph Helms, Philadelphia Fans of Classical Music 2013

Un ballo in maschera, AVA: “A breakout star is Dominick Chenes as Riccardo…his vocal quality just kept giving.”  – Lew Whittington, Huffington Post 2013

Jason Howard baritone

Jason Howard, baritone singing Renato – Jason Howard is known as one of the United Kingdom”s leading performers on the international operatic stage. Upon leaving his first career as a fireman he took up studies in London at Trinity and the Royal Colleges of music with John Wakefield and Norman Bailey respectively. He commenced his career at Scottish Opera, subsequently singing with all the major UK opera companies and orchestras. In the past fifteen years as well as his UK performances he has sung to critical acclaim throughout Europe and North America.

REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Tosca, Frankfurt Opera: “His ‘declaration of love’ to Tosca was even so convincingly fervent, that every Tenor ought to be jealous.”

Die Walküre, Longborough Festival Opera: “Jason Howard was an exceptional Wotan by any standards. His voice itself has something poised and patrician about it, a distinctive elegance and gravity which he deployed to establish the complexity and depth of Wotan.”

mardi byers 3

Mardi Byers, soprano singing Ameilia – Mardi Byers is best known in Austin for her performance in the title role of last season’s Tosca. Hailed as one of the most exciting and talented artists to have emerged from the United States in recent years, Byers is making her mark on international opera and concert stages including the Hamburg State Opera, Bregenz Festival, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, New York City Opera, Opera Frankfurt, and Finnish National Opera. Her triumphant opera debut as Floria Tosca at Theater Lübeck in 2003 earned her both critical and public acclaim, prompting invitations from leading opera houses to sing the major roles of her repertoire.

REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Tosca, Austin Lyric Opera: “Her aria “Vissi d’arte” is astoundingly sung and acted, and her unspoken moment of fear and uncertainty at the end of the act is chilling and suspenseful.”

Tosca, Austin Lyric Opera: “The piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well deserved standing ovation from the audience.”

Sara Ann Mitchell

Sara Ann Mitchell, soprano signing Oscar – Austin audiences enjoyed Mitchell last season in her role as Gianetta in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love. Mitchell, an emerging coloratura soprano, is known for her shimmering voice and engaging stage presence.

REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Kiss Me Again, Ohio Light Opera: “Sara Ann Mitchell is a delicious Fifi…Kiss Me Again lies low in Mitchell’s voice, too, but she makes the low notes as alluring as her coloratura top.”

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the piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/vai-tosca#sthash.opCHB3Zn.dpuf
the piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/vai-tosca#sthash.opCHB3Zn.dpuf
the piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/vai-tosca#sthash.opCHB3Zn.dpuf
the piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/vai-tosca#sthash.opCHB3Zn.dpuf
the piercing power of Byers made for a spectacular conclusion that provoked a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/vai-tosca#sthash.opCHB3Zn.dpuf

Synopsis courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera

Act I
At the royal palace, courtiers await an audience with King Riccardo, including a group of conspirators led by Counts Horn and Ribbing. The king enters. He notices the name of Amelia, wife of his secretary and friend, Count Renato, on the guest list for a masked ball, and thinks about his secret love for her. Left alone with Riccardo, Renato warns the king of a conspiracy against him, but Riccardo ignores the threat. The young page Oscar tells the king about the fortuneteller Madame Ulricha, who has been accused of witchcraft and is to be banished. Deciding to see for himself, the king arranges for his court to pay her an incognito visit.

In a building by the port, Madame Ulricha invokes prophetic spirits and tells the sailor Cristiano that he will soon become wealthy and receive a promotion. The king, who has arrived in disguise, slips money and papers into Cristiano’s pockets. When the sailor discovers his good fortune, everybody praises Madame Ulricha’s abilities. Riccardo hides as she sends her visitors away to admit Amelia, who is tormented by her love for the king and asks for help. Madame Ulricha tells her that she must gather a magic herb after dark. When Amelia leaves, Riccardo decides to follow her that night. Oscar and members of the court enter, and the king asks Madame Ulricha to read his palm. She tells him that he will die by the hand of a friend. Riccardo laughs at the prophecy and demands to know the name of the assassin. Madame Ulricha replies that it will be the first person that shakes his hand. When Renato rushes in Riccardo clasps his hand saying that the oracle has been disproved since Renato is his most loyal friend. Recognizing their king, the crowd cheers him as the conspirators grumble their discontent.

Act II
That night, Amelia, who has followed Madame Ulricha’s advice to find the herb, expresses her hope that she will be freed of her love for the king. When Riccardo appears, she asks him to leave, but ultimately they admit their love for each other. Amelia hides her face when Renato suddenly appears, warning the king that assassins are nearby. Riccardo makes Renato promise to escort the woman back to the city without lifting her veil, then escapes. Finding Renato instead of their intended victim, the conspirators make ironic remarks about his veiled companion. When Amelia realizes that her husband will fight rather than break his promise to Riccardo, she drops her veil to save him. The conspirators are amused and make fun of Renato for his embarrassing situation. Renato, shocked by the king’s betrayal and his wife’s seeming infidelity, asks Horn and Ribbing to come to his house the next morning.

Act III
In his apartment, Renato threatens to kill Amelia. She asks to see their young son before she dies. After she has left, Renato declares that is it the king he should seek vengeance on, not Amelia. Horn and Ribbing arrive, and Renato tells them that he will join the conspirators. The men decide to draw lots to determine who will kill the king, and Renato forces his wife to choose from the slips of paper. When his own name comes up he is overjoyed. Oscar enters, bringing an invitation to the masked ball. As the assassins welcome this chance to execute their plan, Amelia decides to warn the king.

Riccardo, alone in his study, resolves to renounce his love and to send Amelia and Renato to Finland. Oscar brings an anonymous letter warning him of the murder plot, but the king refuses to be intimidated and leaves for the masquerade. In the ballroom, Renato tries to learn from Oscar what costume the king is wearing. The page answers evasively but finally reveals Riccardo’s disguise. Amelia and the king meet, and she repeats her warning. Refusing to leave, he declares his love one more time and tells her that he is sending her away with her husband. As the lovers say goodbye, Renato shoots the king. The dying Riccardo forgives his murderer and admits that he loved Amelia but assures Renato that his wife is innocent. The crowd praises the king’s goodness and generosity.

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Season Tickets for the 2014-15 Season are now on sale and are always your best value. Save up to 40% off the price of three Single Tickets when you become a Subscriber, plus enjoy Subscriber-only benefits all season long.

Single Tickets and Duets (a 15% savings off the price of two Single Tickets) go on sale in October 2014. Learn more about Austin Lyric Opera’s 2014-15 Season.

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Continue Reading | July 9, 2014

The New Classico

New Classico small

The Elixir Projects Presents The New Classico
Discover the Opera in Unexpected Places

Experience drama, comedy, passion y más in a modish setting. Join us for The New Classico, an on-the-go opera experience that is turning heads with food, family-friendly activities and entertainment.

#NEWCLASSICO

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Mexican-American Cultural Center
600 River St, Austin, TX 78701
RSVPs requested on Facebook

 

Mil gracias to The New Classico Leaders:

Erica and Victor Saenz
Celeste and Adrian Quesada
Claudia Yumi Coronado and Thomas Miranda
Marisa Limón and Alberto Jimenez
Ruth and Greg Hughs
Enrique Romo, Ph.D.
Laura Merritt and John Philip (JP) Kloninger
Fely Garcia & Rick Amador
Linda Medina and Joe Lopez

Continue Reading | April 9, 2014

Opera On The Town – The Elixir of Love

Ann richards Elixir Project PerformanceOne of the world’s most frequently performed operas, The Elixir of Love is cherished for its whimsical wit and endearing characters, not to mention the many intoxicating duets and “Una furtiva lagrima,” one of the most hauntingly beautiful of all tenor arias.

Join us for this insight into The Elixir of Love and learn more about Gaetano Donizetti, who also composed the beloved yet darker Lucia di Lammermoor. Austin Lyric Opera continues to expand its partnership with the University of Texas this year, as Bethany McLemore and Matthew Bell, doctoral students from the Butler School of Music, will lead our discussion.

Plus: Enjoy a performance of The Elixir Project, our fun, free community-wide opera production, based on The Elixir of Love. You won’t want to miss this one!

Bring a friend and enjoy a night of food, fun and enlightening presentations!

OPERA ON THE TOWN
A community education program of Austin Lyric Opera

WHEN:
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHERE:
Chez Zee Restaurant
5406 Balcones Drive

TIME:
6:30 p.m. Appetizers and Cash Bar
7:00 p.m. Presentation

COST:
$20

RSVP: Call Patron Services 512-610-7684 or email Dianne VanHulle dvanhulle@austinlyricopera.org

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Still need tickets for The Elixir of Love, May 1-4? It’s not too early to get great seats. Tickets start at just $24.

 

Continue Reading | March 27, 2014

Amplify Opera!

It’s time to AMPLIFY OPERA!

Everybody knows we never use microphones in opera, but on March 20 we’re going to AMPLIFY OPERA and crank up the giving!

Amplify Austin is a citywide, online giving event. Last year’s event raised almost $2.8 million for hundreds of local charities. This year the goal is $4 million! And you can help us meet it!

Austin Lyric Opera would not exist without the generosity of donors just like you. Your donations help us produce world-class, main stage operas and also fund our education and community outreach programs like Opera Treasure Chest and The Elixir Project. Every donation you make goes towards ensuring that opera lives on in Central Texas. Thank you!

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WIN A VIP OPERA EXPERIENCE!

All AMPLIFY OPERA donors who give $25 or more will be entered to win a VIP OPERA EXPERIENCE, including…

Opening Night Box Seats to The Elixir of Love, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. | Complimentary Parking
Invitation for Drinks in the VIP Lounge at Intermission

 Just make your online donation to the Austin Lyric Opera’s Amplify Austin webpage between March 20 at 6 p.m. – March 21 at 6 p.m. See Rules and Details below.

Nashes and Halbrooks

WHY GIVE TO AUSTIN LYRIC OPERA?

GRAND OPERA
Nine full-scale performance of grand opera at The Long Center.
BEAUTIFUL MUSIC
A world-class conductor leading the ALO orchestra and chorus and internationally acclaimed principal artists.
THE ELIXIR PROJECT
A free spring opera festival performed for families and the community.
ALO EDUCATION OUTREACH
Programming for students and adults to enrich their knowledge of classical music and opera

AND MORE! THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS GIFT!

 
*To enter, you must donate to the Austin Lyric Opera online via the Amplify Austin website between 6 p.m. March 20 and 6 p.m. March 21, or you must have scheduled a donation for that time. Only donations of $25 or more are eligible to enter. Tickets are limited to box seats for the May 1, 2014, performance of The Elixir of Love. Offer cannot be combined with any other special offers, promotions, or coupons. May not be applied towards previous purchases. Tickets, parking voucher and VIP Lounge pass are non-transferable. Winner will be announced at least one week prior to the performance.

 

 

Continue Reading | March 14, 2014

The Elixir Project

Elixir Project bottle ribbon companies

The Elixir Project is a series of free “street opera” performances throughout the city. Everyone is invited! For the second year in a row,  Austin Lyric Opera  and the UT-Austin Butler Opera Center are proud to collaborate on this community-wide arts event.

Taking place in nine locations across the city,  The Elixir Project is an adaptation of the famous Italian opera The Elixir of Love. Each of theseperformances will be provided to the public free of charge and take place in a wide variety of locations and times.

Locations include:
Mexican-American Cultural Center | Central Market North | SFC Farmers’ Market East | The Domain | Twin Liquors and more!

See the DATES & TIMES tab for more details. Children and their families are invited to join us for three performances just for kids! See the FAMILY PERFORMANCES tab for more details. RSVPs may be required.

ABOUT THE ELIXIR PROJECT

Nemorino and DulcamaraThe Elxir Project has been months in the making, devised and directed by Bruce Taylor, a visiting artist hosted by ALO. Taylor is an industry leading stage director, arts educator, and administrator. Four BOC graduate students will earn college credit for their participation in The Elixir Project. The Elixir Project provides these students with invaluable performing opportunities as well as training from industry professionals.

The Elixir Project is our chance to give back to the community and share opera with a broad audience—in places they would least expect—at no cost. Our goal is to reach an audience as diverse as Austin itself,” says ALO General Director, Joseph Specter. “We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Butler Opera Center and its talented young singers in such an innovative way as we build toward opening night of our main stage production of The Elixir of Love this fall.”

Says Director and Creator, Bruce Taylor, “The characters in this work are timeless and each one of them can be found in our contemporary lives.  Indeed, this introductory performance of The Elixir of Love takes as its premise that those who bring these characters to life come straight out of the audience; a young man whose object of affection couldn’t be bothered paying attention to him, a boastful braggart whose self-regard knows few bounds, and a charming huckster whose ‘magic potion’ inadvertently brings the story to happy and joyous conclusion.”

The Elixir Project strives to make a lasting connection with the greater Austin community, fostering an appreciation for opera and the arts, and allowing the Butler Opera Center and Austin Lyric Opera to engage new audiences in Central Texas with this vibrant art form. The project will also raise public awareness for ALO’s fully-staged production of The Elixir of Love, taking place at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in May 2014.

The Elixir Project is made possible by the generous support of Sandra and Walter Wilkie, and The Arts Education League of Austin Lyric Opera.

DATES & TIMES

Ann richards Elixir Project Performance

DATE: Wednesday, March 19
LOCATION: Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
This is a closed performance for Ann Richards School community. The Ann Richards School is an all-girls public school in the Austin Independent School District founded to educate 6th – 12th graders and give them the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in college, in their careers, and in their communities.

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Austin Beerworks cans

DATE: Friday, March 28
TIME: 4:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.
LOCATION: Austin Lyric Opera Office, 3009 Industrial Terrace, Suite 100, Austin 78758
Children and families invited! Please RSVP if you’re planning to bring children. Stay for the Austin Beerworks Brewery Tasting next door from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. For $10, you’ll get a pint glass plus three free fills.  The Be More Pacific food truck will be on site for dinner. Make it an evening of opera, beer and great food!

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the-domain-01

DATE: Sunday, March 30
TIME:
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
LOCATION:
The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Join us right in front of Starbucks for a fun, outdoor performance.

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Nemorino and Dulcamara

DATE: Sunday, April 6
TIME:
3:00 p.m.
LOCATION:
Austin Lyric Opera Office, 3009 Industrial Terrace, Suite 100, Austin 78758
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – Children and families invited! Please RSVP if you’re planning to bring children.

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SFC Farmers Market East

DATE: Tuesday, April 8
TIME: 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: SFC Farmer’s Market East, MLK Blvd and Miriam Ave
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Twn Liquors from TastyTouring

DATE: Friday, April 11
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION:
Twin Liquors at Hancock Center, 1000 E. 41st Street, Austin TX 78751
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Central Market North Little Austinite

DATE: Sunday, April 13
TIME: 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION:
Central Market North, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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MACC Austin

DATE: Tuesday, April 15
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION:
Mexican-American Cultural Center, 600 River St, Austin, TX 78701
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

CAST & CREW

Bruce Taylor pic

Bruce Taylor (Director & Creator) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and has been an arts professional for more than thirty years as director, manager, and designer.  Concurrently, his avocation is working with teachers and students. He was the originating source of numerous programs for Education at the Met, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Royal Opera House, London.  He currently runs his own arts in education company, Arts For Anyone, with schools in New Jersey, New York, andPennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

Hannah LeeHanna Lee Soprano (Adina), a native of Korea, is a first year Master’s student in Opera Performance studying with Professor Darlene Wiley. She recently holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Korea National University of Arts where she graduated as the top student of the music school and received Full Merit scholarship for all semester. She has performed Papagena and Erste Knabe (Die Zauberflöte), Ida (Die Fledermaus), Annina (La traviata). She was invited to perform in the “Une soiree de melodie Francaise” Concert, “5th Composer KeungSu Lim Peace Concert”, “Mozart Opera Gala concert”, “Music World KMS Rising Concert.”

 

 

Juan Carlos RodriguezJuan Carlos Rodriguez Tenor (Nemorino) is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He is presently undergoing his doctoral program in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin.  Juan Carlos obtained his Master’s degree in Music from Andrews University in Michigan, where he was also an Adjunct Voice Teacher, and received a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico; where he was awarded the Voice Performance Medal.  His tenor voice has favorably impressed audiences around the world.  Juan Carlos has been given the title of “Distinguished Tenor” by the Mayor of Caguas, Puerto Rico, and has received recognitions from the Puerto Rico Senate.

 

 

Chance EakinChance Eakin Bass-baritone (Dr. Dulcamara & Narrator), is a second year doctoral student and studies with Professor David Small. He recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music in Voice and he received his Bachelor of Music, cum laude, from Baylor University. Eakin was a 2012 Apprentice Artist at Opera Saratoga, where he sang Marullo in Rigoletto and the Foreman in Trial by Jury. Earlier this year, he sang Teddy in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s A Woman in Morocco as well as Leporello in the Butler Opera Center production of Don Giovanni.  Eakin appeared as Tonio in the Butler Opera Center/Austin Lyric Opera’s outreach production of The Pagliacci Project. This past February, he performed the title role in the Butler Opera Center’s production of Sweeney Todd.

 

Rae Wyman (Production Touring Manager) is a graduate from Texas State University with a BFA in Performance and Production with an emphasis in Stage Management. Recent credits - Zilker Theatre Productions: Stage Manager for Little Shop of Horrors and Production Stage Manager for The Sound of Music. Austin Shakespeare Company: Production Stage Manager for The Winter’s Tale, Stage Manager for Twelfth Night and Arcadia, and Assistant Stage Manager for Pride and Prejudice.  Summer Stock Austin: Stage Manager for The Producers. Texas State University: Production Stage Manager for A Little Princess, Noises Off, All Shook Up, The Servant of Two Masters, Bat Boy: The Musical, and Macbeth. Rae was also awarded First Alternate in Stage Management for KCACTF Region VI in the Spring of 2011 and the Meritorious Achievement in Stage Management for KCACTF Region VI in the Spring of 2010.

Families are invited to join us for three special performances of “The Elixir Project”. Bring the kids and enjoy an afternoon of live opera and fun!

MARCH 28: “The Elixir Project” Family Performance

APRIL 6: “The Elixir Project” Family Performance

At The MACC – All welcome! No RSVP required. More information to come.
DATE: Tuesday, April 15
TIME: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION:
Mexican-American Cultural Center, 600 River St, Austin, TX 78701

 

Continue Reading | March 12, 2014

Tosca – La Noche de Opera

Lilliana Garcia & Laura Gutierrez-Witt

Lilliana Garcia & Laura Gutierrez-Witt

Please join ALO’s community group, La Noche de Opera, for a reception  for Austin Lyric Opera’s Tosca.

Friday, January 24, 2014
Cambridge Tower-Colorado Room
1801 Lavaca Street
Austin, TX 78701
7-9 pm

Hosted By Laura Gutiérrez-Witt

La Noche members free/Guests $20. RSVP to Erin Hanson at ehanson@austinlyricopera.org

Special Musical Guest: Natalie Cummings accompanied by Cynthia Wilson

Cynthia and Natalie at Chez Zee for TOSCA

Cummings has recently advanced in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. Hundreds enter and only a handful will win! For the semi-finals,  she’ll sing on the Metropolitan Opera stage in March. See her in this intimate performance before she becomes a big star!

Wine generously provided by Twin Liquors

Continue Reading | January 14, 2014

NOV. 21: Meet the Cast After-Party

Meet the cast of Don Carlo!

All ticket holders for the Thursday, Nov. 21, performance are invited to come meet the cast in the Long Center’s Kodosky Lounge. Have an after-opera drink and get autographs, take photos and “Bravo!” the cast from that evening’s performance.

Still haven’t purchased your tickets for Don Carlo or our other two operas this season? Click hereto get a great price.

Please use the form below to RSVP. Space is limited.

 

Continue Reading | October 28, 2013

LIVE: Inside the 2013-14 Season

Join us for a preview of the 2013-14 Season!

Will Berger Event Email header

 

This year, we have invited Will Berger, renowned author, commentator and host of the Metropolitan Opera Radio broadcasts, to come to Austin to give us an Insider’s Look at the coming season of Austin Lyric Opera. Berger provided an Insider’s Look for our Season Brochure.

Now you can hear Berger LIVE along with panelists Richard Buckley, ALO Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and Mary Phillips, acclaimed mezzo-soprano and a cast member from our season opener, Don Carlo. This fascinating panel will be moderated by Robert Faires, arts critic for the Austin Chronicle.

Panelists will discuss each of our three operas, the composers and the reason for the selection of these operas this season. You’ll learn what to expect from each performance, what to look for as an opera patron and what makes these operas timeless in their music and story. You’ll also gain an understanding of the historical significance of each opera and learn what it takes to produce and perform these operas.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required.

LIVE: Inside the 2013-14 Season
Sunday, Nov. 3
The Contemporary
700 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

2 pm: Panel Discussion in Community Room
3 pm: Wine Reception on Roof Deck

RVSP BELOW

Special thanks to The Contemporary Austin and Twin Liquors

 

 

Continue Reading | October 23, 2013

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

OPENING NIGHT SPECIAL: Save $10 off any seat in the house, Thursday, May 1, performance only. Discount cannot be combined with other offers and applies only to new purchases. To buy online, click here and use CODE: 10OFF. Or call Patron Services at 512-610-7684 today!

 

ABOUT THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

ALO ELIXIR BANNER for FacebookAustin Lyric Opera rounds out its season with Donizetti’s delightful The Elixir of Love.

You’ll love this romantic comedy, perfect for spring! It features a fun cast of characters, a gorgeous music and a lots of memorable moments. Watch Nemorino, a simple peasant, fall hopelessly in love with Adina, a beautiful, feisty and fickle landowner who also happens to be the most eligible bachelorette in town. Nemorino is sweet but completely broke and lacking the swagger of Adina’s other suitor, the dashing Sergeant Belcore.

Enter the “elixir of love”, peddled by the traveling quack, Doctor Dulcamara. Though it’s only cheap table wine, Nemorino is convinced this “magical tonic” has now empowered him to win Adina’s affections — even as her wedding to Sergeant Belcore leaps into full swing! Might Nemorino’s newfound confidence and uninhibited charm melt her heart after all?

One of the world’s most frequently performed operas, The Elixir of Love is cherished for its whimsical wit and endearing characters, not to mention the many intoxicating duets and “Una furtiva lagrima,” one of the most hauntingly beautiful of all tenor arias. Featuring non-stop twists and turns, Donizetti’s masterpiece is a beguiling combination of romance and comedy. Another first for ALO, The Elixir of Love remains a wildly popular and enchanting opera.

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti | Libretto by Felice Romani | Sung in Italian with English translation projected above stage

WATCH Luciano Pavarotti perform to the famous tenor aria, “Una furtiva Lagrima”, from The Elixir of Love.

OPERA OVERTURES: All guests are invited to join us for a free “Opera Overtures” lecture one hour before curtain. Come inside the theater at Orchestra Level to learn a bit about the composer, the music and what to look for during the performance.

SPECIAL COCKTAIL: Guests are also invited to treat yourselves to a special “Love Potion No. 9″ cocktail, created especially for The Elixir of Love. Just visit a Lobby Bar on any level.

Learn more about parking, accessibility and more here.

Make your opera experience even more special with one of these fun add-on events.

ALO Thursday thumbnailTHURSDAY, MAY 1
5:30 – 7
Opera Meet-Up in the Green Room at the Long Center – ALMOST FULL!
Space is limited. To RSVP, please click “OPERA MEET-UP” tab above.
Join us for complimentary wine, hors d’ oeuvres and an intro to The Elixir of Love in the Green Room, an exclusive lounge for our Thursday guests interested in making new opera friends. If you’ve ever wanted to meet someone to come to the opera with, please join us!

ALO Saturday thumbnailSATURDAY, MAY 3ALMOST FULL!
5:30 – 7
Pre-Opera Dinner in Kodosky Lounge
Guests for the Saturday,“Black Tie” performance are invited to the Kodosky Lounge for a seated dinner, hosted by our Austin Lyric Opera Guild. For more information, contact Angie Bonnici at 512-610-7684.

Music Camp Kids Group SILLYSUNDAY, MAY 4
2:00 – 6 pm
Matinee Music Camp in AT&T Room, Ground Floor – 3 SPOTS LEFT!
Parents of young children are invited to take advantage of our special family package: while you enjoy the performance, your children can enjoy a kid-friendly musical experience of their own! Our on-site Music Camp for kids ages 5-12 is better than a babysitter — and just $20 per child. Located in the AT&T Room, this is not mere babysitting, but a fun learning environment for kids to learn about the art of the opera. Learn more about Matinee Music Camp here.

ABOUT THIS PRODUCTION

We’re proud to round out the season with this lovable Italian opera, a first for ALO.

ALO Conductor Richard Buckley and Stage Director Joseph Evans will lead a cast of in-demand principal singers along with the ALO orchestra and chorus on The Long Center stage. Stage director Joseph Evans This production is owned by New Orleans Opera with costumes from Utah Opera.

Performed in two acts with one intermission.
ACT 1 – 66 minutes
Intermission – 25 minutes
ACT 2 – 52 minutes
TOTAL TIME 2:23

Conductor: Richard Buckley | Stage Director: Joseph Evans | Set Design: Constantinos Kritikos | Sets and props are a production of New Orleans Opera| Costumes: Utah Opera

Scene from a recent rehearsal of The Elixir of Love, with Principal Conductor Richard Buckley, tenor Rene Barbera and soprano Sara Gartland. All photos by Leah Overstreet.

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Synopsis courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera

Act I
Italy, 1836. While peasants rest from work, Nemorino, a young villager, watches the beautiful farm owner Adina read a book. He loves her but wonders if she is now beyond his reach. The peasants ask Adina what her book is about, and she tells them the story of how Tristan won the heart of Isolde by drinking a magic love potion.

A drum roll announces the arrival of Sergeant Belcore and his men. He promptly introduces himself to Adina and asks her to marry him. Adina declares that she is in no hurry to make up her mind but promises to think over the offer. Left alone with Nemorino, Adina tells him that his time would be better spent in town, looking after his sick uncle, than hoping to win her love.

Or he should do as she does: change her affections every single day. Nemorino reminds her that one can never forget one’s first love.

Dulcamara, a traveling purveyor of patent medicines, arrives in the village, advertising a potion capable of curing anything. When the doctor has finished his routine, Nemorino shyly asks if he sells the elixir of love described in Adina’s book. Dulcamara claims he does and pulls out a bottle of Bordeaux. Though it costs him his last ducat, Nemorino buys it and immediately drinks it; Dulcamara explains that he has to wait until the next day for results (by which time Dulcamara will be gone).

When Adina appears, Nemorino begins to feel the effect of the “potion.” Certain he will be irresistible to her the next day, he feigns cheerful indifference. To punish him, Adina flirts with Belcore. The order arrives for the sergeant to return immediately to his garrison, and Adina agrees to marry him at once. Shocked, Nemorino begs her to wait one more day, but she ignores him and invites the entire village to her wedding. Nemorino desperately calls for the doctor’s help.

Act II
At the pre-wedding feast Adina and Dulcamara entertain the guests with a barcarole. Adina wonders why Nemorino is not present. She doesn’t want to sign the marriage contract until he appears.

Meanwhile, Nemorino asks Dulcamara for another bottle of the elixir. Since he doesn’t have any money with him, the doctor agrees to wait at the inn for an hour so Nemorino can borrow the cash from someone. Belcore is bewildered that Adina has postponed the wedding. When Nemorino tells him that he needs money right away, the sergeant persuades him to join the army and receive a volunteer bonus of 20 scudi.

Having bought more of the elixir, Nemorino returns to find himself besieged by a group of girls. Unaware of the news that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he believes the elixir is finally taking effect. Adina enters, feeling responsible for Nemorino’s enlistment, but when she sees him with the other girls, she reacts jealously. Nemorino and the girls leave, and Dulcamara boasts to Adina about the power of his elixir, offering to sell her some as well. She replies that she will win Nemorino in her own fashion.

Nemorino, having noticed a tear on Adina’s cheek when she saw him with the girls, feels sure that she cares for him. When she returns to tell him that she has bought back his enlistment papers, he again feigns indifference.

Finally, she confesses she loves him. Belcore appears to find the two arm in arm and takes his leave, declaring that thousands of women await him elsewhere. Dulcamara reveals to the crowd the news of Nemorino’s inheritance and brags about how his miraculous potion can make people fall in love and even turn poor peasants into millionaires

Sara Gartland soprano

Adina – Sara Gartland, soprano

Gartland is a former Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, where she has appeared in numerous roles. She has recently performed with Utah Opera and Des Moines Opera among others. In 2011, a writer in for San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, “Gartland is a star through and through… she was stunning, both vocally and physically, in Massenet’s ‘Me voilà seule … Dis-moi que je suis bell’ from Thaïs. Beautifully floating some of her softer notes, and setting her highs afire, Gartland was sensational.”

Listen to Gartland in a snippet from a production of Carmen from San Francisco Opera. Elixir marks Gartland’s ALO debut.

Rene Barbera

Nemorino – Rene Barbera, tenor

Tenor René Barbera, a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, has swiftly established himself as a young artist on the rise. At Placido Domingo’s Operalia 2011 in Moscow, he was awarded First Prize for Opera, First Prize for Zarzuela, and the Audience Prize. He is the first artist to be the sole recipient of all three awards since the competition began in 1993.

Earlier in the summer of 2011, he triumphed as Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Of his performance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, “Tenor René Barbera…has a thrilling voice…His account of ‘Ah! mes amis’ the one with the famous nine high Cs was tossed off with such apparent ease that some might wonder what all the fuss is about.” Barbera last played the role of Nemorino for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2010. Elixir marks Barbera’s ALO debut.

LOCAL NOTE: Barbera is a Texas native! Learn more about Barbera here.

Kelly Markgraf

Belcore – Kelly Markgraf, baritone

Possessing a voice that the New York Times calls “heart-stirring” as well as a “charismatic” and “powerful” stage presence, American baritone Kelly Markgraf is rapidly distinguishing himself on the opera and concert stages.  Kelly Markgraf is a distinguished graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, a former member of the Resident Artist Program at Minnesota Opera, as well as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera.

The artist’s honors include a First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition(2010), the Sullivan Foundation’s Sullivan Award (2009), the Grand Prize in the Opera Index Competition (2009), awards from the Giulio Gari Foundation and the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation (2009), a Richard F. Gold Career Grant (2009), an Outstanding Apprentice Award from the Santa Fe Opera, a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant Nomination, the Civic Music Association Competition Grand Prize, and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A native of Wisconsin, Markgraf holds degrees from Boston University, the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School.

Continue Reading | September 17, 2013