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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

TOSCA

Watch our Tosca Flash Mob in Central Market!

ALO FINAL CulturalMap_V2 banner TOSCA 300x250

To start the new year, Austin Lyric Opera presents one of opera’s most beloved stories, Puccini’s Tosca. In fact, the opera had its world premiere in January 1900 in Rome, and was an immediate success with audiences. This production of Tosca also commemorates 10 years since Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Richard Buckley first led Tosca in the 2004. You’ll want to be in the audience for this very special event.

WATCH THE PREVIEW

LISTEN TO A SYNOPSIS

CLICK ABOVE TO LISTEN TO A SYNOPSIS OF TOSCA, with musical highlights and historical background, by Margaret Perry. Recorded for the 2004 performance.

Set in Rome in June 1800, with Rome threatened by Napoleon’s invasion of Italy,  Tosca narrows in on three characters, emotionally and politically bound in desire and betrayal.

When her lover, Cavaradossi, is captured by Rome’s secret police, Floria Tosca is forced to make a deal with police chief Scarpia. But Tosca decides that she will leave nothing to chance when it comes to saving her lover. The opera ends with each of the three leads dying tragic deaths, but what happens before the final curtain will keep you on the edge of your seat.

*Offer good for new ticket purchases only. Discount cannot be applied for tickets purchased before Jan. 21. This discount applies for Thursday, Jan. 30, performance only. For more information, call Patron Services at 512-610-7684.

ABOUT THIS PRODUCTION

ALO Conductor Richard Buckley will present Tosca at the Long Center for the first time. (The 2004 production of Tosca took place at Bass Concert Hall.) This production is owned by Lyric Opera of Kansas City with costumes from Utah Opera.

An Austin production, cast, chorus and ALO’s own orchestra will be led by stage director Michael Cavanagh and Maestro Buckley, who will bring the music to life.

Maestro Buckley is a world-renowned interpreter of  Puccini”s work, and this will be his second time conducting this opera in Austin. We know you’ll enjoy this intense and masterful work!

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Original French libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Sung in Italian with English translation projected above stage

Synopsis courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera

Act I
Rome, June 1800. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, rushes into the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle to hide in one of the chapels. Once he has disappeared, a sacristan enters and then the painter Mario Cavaradossi, who sets to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene. The painting has been inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti, whom Cavaradossi has seen in the church but does not know. While he works, he compares the dark-haired beauty of his lover, the singer Floria Tosca, to that of the blonde Marchesa Attavanti (“Recondita armonia”).

Angelotti, a member of the former Bonapartiste government, ventures out and is recognized by Cavaradossi. The painter gives him food and hurries him back into the chapel as Tosca is heard calling from outside. Suspicious, she jealously questions Cavaradossi, then reminds him of their rendezvous that evening at his villa. Suddenly recognizing the Marchesa Attavanti in the painting, she accuses him of being unfaithful, but he assures her of his love.

When Tosca has left, Angelotti emerges from the chapel. A cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape, and he and Cavaradossi flee to the painter’s villa. The sacristan enters with choirboys who are preparing to sing in a Te Deum that day celebrating a victory against Napoleon. Their excitement is silenced by the arrival of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, who is searching for Angelotti. When Tosca comes back looking for Cavaradossi, Scarpia shows her a fan with the Attavanti crest that he has just found. Seemingly finding her suspicions confirmed, Tosca bursts into tears. She vows vengeance and leaves as the church fills with worshipers. Scarpia sends his men to follow her to Cavaradossi’s villa, where he thinks Angelotti is hiding (“Tre sbirri… Una carozza…”).

While the congregation sings the Te Deum, Scarpia declares that he will bend Tosca to his will.

Act II
In his study at the Palazzo Farnese, Scarpia sadistically anticipates the pleasure of having Tosca in his power (“Ha più forte sapore”). The spy Spoletta arrives, explaining that he was unable to find Angelotti. Instead he brings in Cavaradossi.

While Scarpia interrogates the painter, Tosca is heard singing at a royal gala in the same building. Scarpia sends for her and she enters just as Cavaradossi is being taken away to be tortured. Frightened by Scarpia’s questions and Cavaradossi’s screams, Tosca reveals Angelotti’s hiding place. Cavaradossi is carried in, hurt and dazed.

Realizing what has happened, he angrily confronts Tosca, when the officer Sciarrone rushes in to announce that, in a surprise, Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, a defeat for Scarpia’s side. Cavaradossi shouts out his defiance of tyranny and is dragged off to be executed.

Scarpia, calmly resuming his supper, suggests to Tosca that he would let Cavaradossi go free if she’d give herself to him. Fighting off his advances, she calls on God, declaring that she has dedicated her life to art and love (“Vissi d’arte”). Scarpia insists, when Spoletta interrupts: faced with capture, Angelotti has killed himself. Tosca, now forced to give in or lose her lover, agrees to Scarpia’s proposition. The baron seemingly orders a mock execution for Cavaradossi, after which he is to be freed. Spoletta leaves. As soon as Scarpia has written a safe-conduct for the lovers, Tosca kills him with a knife she had found earlier on the table. Wrenching the document from his hand, she quietly leaves the room.

Act III
At dawn, Cavaradossi awaits execution at the Castel Sant’Angelo. He bribes the jailer to deliver a farewell letter to Tosca. Overcome with memories of love, he gives in to his despair (“E lucevan le stelle”).

Tosca enters. She explains to him what has happened and the two imagine their future in freedom. As the firing squad appears, Tosca instructs Cavaradossi how to fake his death convincingly, then hides.

The soldiers fire and depart. Tosca urges Cavaradossi to hurry, but when he doesn’t move, she realizes that Scarpia has betrayed her and that the bullets were real. Spoletta rushes in to arrest Tosca for murder. She cries out to Scarpia and leaps from the battlement.

New! Choose Your Opera Experience

For each performance, we’ll offer special opportunities to make your night at the opera more memorable.

2013-11-24-3192Thursday, Jan. 30: The Thursday evening performance is perfect for the downtown set. Guests can take in a relaxing happy hour at Malaga Tapas Bar 440 W. 2nd Street, Austin 78701, from 5:00-7:00 pm for complimentary wine and appetizers before the show. Click here for a map to Malaga. For an exclusive offer for guests of this happy hour, please email Monica Williams, Marketing Director, at mwilliams@austinlyricopera.org.

 

 

 

Lyric Opera-4116Saturday, Feb. 1: Guests for the Saturday, “Black Tie” performance can join in the glamorous experience that many have come to expect from a night at the opera – posing for photos, a special “Tosca’s Kiss” cocktail, and gorgeous Puccini music in the lobbies before curtain time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013-11-24-3257Sunday,  Feb. 2: Parents of young children may especially enjoy the family afternoon matinee show on Sunday, as ALO is offering its special on-site Sunday Matinee Music Camp for kids ages 5-12 for the duration of the performance. 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. Adults won’t be the only ones getting a taste of great classical music that day! ALO will also be shooting complimentary family portraits in the orchestra lobby during intermission for a memorable souvenir. Music Camp RSVP opportunity coming soon. Space is limited.

mardi byers 3Floria Tosca – Mardi Byers, soprano

American soprano, Mardi Byers is one of the most exciting and talented artists to have emerged from the United States of America in recent years. Hailed by the press as “world class”, she 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. Preview Byers singing “vissi d’arte” (“I lived for art”) with this video.

 

Piper headshotCavaradossiScott Piper, tenor

Spinto tenor Scott Piper’s rich, resonant voice and charismatic stage presence are quickly establishing him as a sought after interpreter of opera’s romantic leading men,  in roles such roles as the Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen, Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana.  The Salt Lake Tribune wrote of his Utah Opera performance “His voice was rich and natural, with baritone heft in the lower range; his heart-tugging third-act aria, “E lucevan le stelle,” was one of the evening’s highlights.” Recently transitioning into spinto repertoire, Scott sang Calaf in Turandot for Pensacola Opera and Minnesota Opera,  Manrico in Il Trovatore with Utah Opera, and Luigi in Il Tabarro with Opera Koeln.  Watch Piper perform from Barber of Seville with the Fresno Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

Tigges headshotScarpia – Wayne Tigges, baritone

Lauded by the Chicago Sun-Times for his “rich, dark tone and beautiful legato,” Wayne Tigges has most recently performed the roles of Faraone in Mose in Egitto (New York City Opera), Douglas in La donna del lago (Santa Fe Opera), Claudius in Hamlet (Minnesota Opera), and Superintendent Budd In Albert Herring (Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse), and Leporello in Don Giovanni (Pittsburgh Opera).

Other recent operatic engagements include Achilla in Giulio Cesare (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago); Escamillo in Carmen (Glyndebourne Festival, San Diego Opera); Kolenaty in The Makropolous Case (Opéra National de Paris); Villains in Les contes d’ Hoffmann, Hercules in Gluck’s Alceste; Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Santa Fe Opera); Donner in Das Rheingold (Los Angeles Opera); Don Giovanni (Opera Pacific); Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Colorado); Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro (Austin Lyric Opera); and Jochanaan in Salome (Arizona Opera).

REVIEW: “Austin Lyric Opera’s TOSCA” Austin American-Statesman

““Tosca,” is the sort of opera that shows what the art form can do, where three hours fly by.” …more

REVIEW: “Vai a ‘Tosca’” Austinist

“The opening night performance by the Austin Lyric Opera lived up to the great expectations of a very full audience at the Long Center.” …more

REVIEW: “Austin Lyric Opera’s TOSCA Triumphs Broadway World

“Even those who criticize the piece for its flair for the dramatics would be pleased by this glorious production. This is what all operas should aspire to be.” …more

REVIEW: “Tosca” Austin Chronicle

“From the first notes – which erupted from the pit like a volcanic blast from the underworld – we were thrust into a world of high drama, every scene heightened to an intensity beyond the natural.” …more

 

 

Continue Reading | September 16, 2013

Red Carpet Opening Night Dinner

Opening Night.jpgYou’re invited to join us for the Red Carpet Opening Night Dinner, one of the season’s most fabulous events!

Guests arrive at the Long Center by 5:30 for a champagne reception in the Kodosky Lounge, then a seated dinner is served at 6:00. The Pre-Opera dinners allows you to meet your fellow opera goers, share the excitement about the performance and enjoy a delicious dinner by Sterling Affairs.

Your voucher also allows you to join us in the Kodosky Lounge after the performance for the After Party, where you’ll enjoy desserts and drinks and get to meet the conductor and cast.

Enjoy a dinner with friends before the show with the convenience of being steps away from your seats!

Red Carpet Opening Night Dinner
Kodosky Lounge in Long Center
5:30 Champagne Reception
6:00 Seated Dinner
Tickets $125

Tickets for the Red Carpet Opening Night Dinner go quickly, so call us now at 512.610.7684 to purchase your tickets.

Continue Reading | September 13, 2013

Opera On The Town – Puccini’s TOSCA

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Music fans enjoy our Opera On The Town events, a social and educational opportunity we offer a few weeks before each opera.

Join us for an evening of exploring the work of Giacomo Puccini, composer of TOSCA (Jan 30, Feb 1, 2). Consider rounding out the night by making reservations to stay and have dinner at Chez Zee following the presentation.

OPERA ON THE TOWN – Puccini’s TOSCA
When: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Where: Chez Zee Restaurant at 5406 Balcones Drive
Time: Complimentary Appetizers and Cash Bar at 6:30, Presentation from 7-8 p.m.
Cost: $20

Stay tuned for information about reservations.  Special thanks to our host, Chez Zee American Bistro

Chez Zee

Continue Reading | September 11, 2013

Opera On The Town – Verdi’s DON CARLO

Austin Lyric Opera's Opera On The Town

Guests enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle while learning more about our upcoming operas.

Join us for an evening of exploring the work of Giuseppe Verdi, composer of our season opener, DON CARLO.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, and orchestras around the world will commemorate his work with performances this year. Consider rounding out the night by making reservations to stay and have dinner at Chez Zee following the presentation.

OPERA ON THE TOWN – Verdi’s DON CARLO
When: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Where: Chez Zee Restaurant at 5406 Balcones Drive
Time: Complimentary Appetizers and Cash Bar at 6:30, Presentation from 7-8 p.m.
Cost: $20

To reserve your spot, please call Dianne Van Hulle at 512-610-7684 or send her an e-mail message at dvanhulle@austinlyricopera.org.

Special thanks to our host, Chez Zee American Bistro

Chez Zee

Continue Reading | September 11, 2013

DON CARLO

Season Tickets, Duet Tickets and Single Tickets Still Available
CLICK HERE for best prices

 

ABOUT DON CARLO

This season kicks off with Verdi’s Don Carlo, one of the composer’s greatest operas and an epic story of love, jealousy, war, betrayal and death. Politics, love and family loyalties are tested in this epic battle of wills involving a tyrannical king, a despairing prince and an innocent young woman. Verdi’s tour de force tells the tale of powerful people who must accept their role as pawns in a tragic destiny.

There have been several iterations of the story of Don Carlo. Verdi’s version premiered in Paris in 1867 as Don Carlos, and was sung in French. It was later translated into Italian as Don Carlo. Don Carlo is often considered to be one of Verdi’s greatest operas, despite the fact that it has a darker tone and more complicated personalities than you’d find in many of his other operas, such as Rigoletto.

Don Carlo explores the fascinating conflicts between love, duty and friendship. While the operatic story is largely fictional, the characters are based upon real people – Don Carlos, King Philip of Spain, and Princess Eboli.

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Original French libretto by Francois Joseph Mery and Camille du Locle
Sung in Italian with English translation projected above stage

ABOUT THIS PRODUCTION

Elisabetta played by Keri Alkema. Photo by Mark Matson

Elisabetta played by Keri Alkema. Photo by Mark Matson

ALO Conductor Richard Buckley will present Don Carlo at the Long Center for the first time, in celebration of the bicentennial of Verdi’s birth. The sets and costumes for ALO’s production originated as a co-production among Opera Hong Kong, Vancouver Opera and the Florentine Opera. First performed in 2008 by Hawaii Opera Theatre, this production of Don Carlo marks the first time the United States, China and Canada joined in an artistic endeavor of this magnitude.

An Austin production, cast, chorus and ALO’s own orchestra will be led by stage director Garnett Bruce and Maestro Buckley, who will bring the music to life.

Maestro Buckley is a world-renowned interpreter of Verdi’s work, and this will be the third time he’s conducted this opera. We know you’ll enjoy this intense and masterful work!

Conductor: Richard Buckley
Stage Director: Garnett Bruce
Set Design: Peter Dean Beck
Sets and props are a co-production of Hawaii Opera Theatre, Vancouver Opera and Opera Hong Kong

This production brought to you by our generous sponsor:

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The story of Don Carlo is based upon the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545 – 1568).  Carlos was betrothed to Elizabeth of Valois (1545 – 1568), the daughter of France’s King Henry II.  For political reasons, Elizabeth was ultimately married to Carlos’ father, Philip II of Spain.

Synopsis courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera

King Phillip played by Peter Volpe and Rodrigo  played by Michael Chioldi. Photo by Mark Matson

King Phillip played by Peter Volpe and Rodrigo played by Michael Chioldi. Photo by Mark Matson

Act I
Carlo seeks peace at the monastery of St. Just in Spain, where he prays at the tomb of his grandfather, Emperor Charles V. He is confronted by a monk who seems to be the emperor’s ghost. His friend Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa, arrives to remind Carlo of his commitment to the cause of the Flemish people who are oppressed by Spanish rule. Both pledge themselves to the cause of liberty and swear eternal friendship (Duet: “Dio, che nell’alma infondere amor”).

In a garden outside the monastery, Princess Eboli entertains the other ladies of the court with a song (“Nel giardin del bello”). Elisabeth—now queen—enters, followed by Posa, who hands her a secret letter from Carlo, asking for a meeting. When he is admitted, Carlo asks the queen to obtain Philip’s permission for him to go to Flanders, and then suddenly declares his continuing love. Elisabeth rejects him and Carlo rushes off. The king enters and, finding the queen unattended, banishes the Countess of Aremberg, who should have been present.

Left alone with the king, Posa bravely asks Philip to end his oppression of the Flemish people. Philip refuses but is impressed by Posa’s courage. He warns him to beware of the Inquisition and tells Posa about his suspicions of his wife and Carlo, asking Posa to watch them. Posa accepts the assignment, knowing that being in the king’s confidence will help him in the future.

Act II
Carlo has received a letter asking him to a secret meeting at midnight in the queen’s gardens in Madrid. He thinks the meeting is with Elisabeth, but in fact the woman is Princess Eboli, who is in love with him. When Carlo discovers her identity, he rejects her. Eboli, realizing where the prince’s true feelings lie, swears to expose him. Posa arrives in time to overhear Eboli and threatens to kill her but is stopped by Carlo. Eboli leaves. Posa persuades Carlo he is now in danger and Carlo hands over some secret papers to him for safekeeping.

At a public burning of heretics in front of Valladolid Cathedral, Carlo leads a group of Flemish deputies to Philip. The king rejects their pleas for freedom. When he also dismisses Carlo’s own request to rule Flanders, the prince draws his sword on his father. He is disarmed by Posa and arrested. In thanks, Philip makes Posa a duke. As a group of heretics is led to the stake, a celestial voice welcomes their souls into heaven.

Act III

In his study at night, the king reflects on his life with a wife who doesn’t love him (“Ella giammai m’amò!”). He consults with the old and blind Grand Inquisitor, who consents to the death sentence for Carlo: as God sacrificed his son to save mankind so Philip must stifle his love for his son for the sake of the faith. The Inquisitor also demands that Posa be handed over to him. As he leaves, Philip wonders if the throne must always yield to the altar. Elisabeth enters, having discovered that her

jewel case has been stolen. Eboli, who knows that Elisabeth keeps a portrait of Carlo in it, had taken the box and given it to the king. Philip now hands it to Elisabeth and demands she open it. When she hesitates, he breaks it open and finds the portrait. He accuses her of adultery. Elisabeth collapses and the king calls for help. Eboli and Posa rush in, he to express amazement that a king who rules half the world cannot govern his own emotions, she to feel remorse at what her jealousy has brought about. Alone with Elisabeth, Eboli confesses that she not only falsely accused her but that she has been the king’s mistress. Elisabeth orders her from the court. Eboli laments her fatal beauty and swears to spend her final day in Spain trying to save Carlo (“O don fatale”).

Posa visits Carlo in prison to tell him that he has used the secret papers to take upon himself the blame for the Flemish rebellion. He is now a marked man, so Carlo must take up the cause of liberty for Flanders. Posa is shot by agents of the Inquisition. As he dies he tells Carlo that Elisabeth will meet him at the monastery of St. Just and declares he is happy to have sacrificed his life for a man who will become Spain’s savior (“Per me giunto è il dì supremo”).

Act IV
Elisabeth has come to the monastery, wanting only her own death (“Tu, che le vanità”). When Carlo appears, she encourages him to continue Posa’s quest for freedom in Flanders and they hope for happiness in the next world. As they say goodbye, Philip and the Grand Inquisitor arrive. As the agents of the Inquisition move in on Carlo, the Emperor Charles V materializes out of the darkness to insist that suffering is unavoidable and ceases only in heaven.

Why wait? Subscriptions to all three operas this season are just $48-$285. Subscribe now!

Watch a video of the entire opera of Don Carlo, as performed by the Royal Opera House in 2008.

Don Carlo – James Valenti, tenor

American tenor James Valenti owns a voice of Italianate lustre which is continually compared to those of the greatest tenors of the post WW ll period: Franco Corelli, Giuseppe di Stefano, and Carlo Bergonzi. The much sought after 6’5″ tenor has built a global reputation for his elegant musicianship, commanding stage presence, and ardent vocal style. Mr. Valenti made his sensational professional debut on the stage of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Rodolfo in the Franco Zeffirelli production of La Boheme at the age of 25. Since then, he scored one triumphal debut after another in all of the celebrated citadels of Opera, including Teatro alla Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, and Opera National de Paris.

Valenti’s 2012 – 2013 season included a return to the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for his debut at the Sydney Opera House with Opera Australia. His demanding schedule continued with several concert performances across the globe, after recent appearances in Toronto, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg, with further debuts at the Opernhaus Zürich, and The Lyric Opera of Chicago. Future appearances include returns to the Metropolitan Opera, and San Francisco Opera among others.

Elisabetta de ValoisKeri Alkema, soprano

In the 2012-13 season, Alkema performed with the Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, New York City Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Atlanta Opera and Caramoor among others. Reviewers of her 2013 performances called said, “Alkema has a rich, full vocal presence that caresses the score to perfection” (Toronto Star); “vocally brilliant” (Musical Toronto); “brilliant, mesmerizing” (The Globe and Mail). See this video of Alkema in the title role of Anna Bolena, performed at the Minnesota Opera in 2012.

Philip II – Peter Volpe, bass

By the end of this year, Volpe will have performed with the Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera and Vancouver Opera. Mr. Volpe’s inspired style and interpretive skill enlivens his repertoire of more than 100 roles in six languages, including signature roles of  Don Giovanni, Mephistopheles, and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin. Vocally characterized as “stentorian” by the New York Times, Mr. Volpe is consistently applauded for the powerful command and rich texture of his timbre. This will not be Mr. Volpe’s first performance with Austin Lyric Opera; see clips of his performance as Sparafucile in our production of Rigoletto from 2009.

Princess EboliMary Phillips, mezzo-soprano

Phillips has most recently performed with the Metropolitan Opera and Dallas Opera, and she has sung the role of Princess Eboli for Canadian Opera Company and the role of Sister Helen Prejean in ALO’s production of Dead Man Walking in 2003. Phillips has won critical acclaim from the media, with reviewers describing her performances as “stunning…characterized by expressive, rich-toned singing and nuanced acting” (Austin American-Statesman); “powerful in thrust, has a smoky, dark quality that was thrilling to hear” (Opera News); and brings “gravitas and musical depth to the mezzo solo lines, singing with a full, focused sound” (Journal Sentinal). Hear her sing “O don fatale” from a past performance of Don Carlo.

RodrigoMichael Chioldi, baritone

Chioldi has performed at nearly every major American opera house including: The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Internationally he has traveled extensively in Japan with Maestro Seiji Osawa, and has appeared in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Macau and Spain. Career highlights include his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Fléville in Andrea Chénier in a cast that included Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo, with James Levine conducting. At Washington National Opera he appeared as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia – a role which marked his first lead role after attending the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Preview his stunning talent in this scene from Tosca.

Grand InquisitorGustav Andreassen

Norwegian-American bass Gustav Andreassen has performed with major opera companies and orchestras throughout North American and Europe, to great acclaim. For his recent portrayal of Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Opera News stated: “The extraordinary potent bass of Gustav Andreassen was all black tone – sonorous, distinctive, with fine musicianship and dramatic flair.” In the 2013 -2014 season Gustave will return to Toronto as Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opéra Atelier, will sing the Grand Inquisitor in Austin Lyric Opera’s Don Carlo.

Why wait? Subscriptions to all three operas this season are just $48-$285. Subscribe now!

 

Continue Reading | August 9, 2013

FEB 22: Wine Dinner & Auction

Wine Dinner SIGN FINAL

The Austin Lyric Opera Guild invites you to the

Wine Dinner & Auction

Saturday, February 22, 2014 

Four Season Hotel Austin

Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Maestro Richard Buckley, our internationally renowned artistic director and principal conductor. We’ll also commemorate the 200th birthday of Composer Giuseppe Verdi, whose masterpiece Don Carlo will premiere with the Austin Lyric Opera this fall.

Black Tie Optional

Event Co-Chairs: Marcy Melanson & Cornelia Wood

Champagne Reception, Gourmet Four-Course Dinner by Executive Chef Elmar Prambs, Fabulous Wine Pairings by Twin Liquors, Amazing Live & Silent Auctions with Auctioneer Harvey Kronberg.

Get ready to be the highest bidder! See the complete list of all LIVE & SILENT AUCTION items. (Opens a PDF document)

CALL (512) 610-7668 NOW TO SECURE YOUR  RESERVATIONS.

Special Performance by Internationally Acclaimed Soprano Joyce El-Khoury

Joyce El-Khoury, soprano, will also star in ALO's 2015 production of "Romeo & Juliet."

Joyce El-Khoury, soprano, will also star in ALO’s 2015 production of “Romeo & Juliet.”

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PREMIER TABLE SPONSORS

Mary Ellen & Roger Borgelt – Elisabeth & Steffen Waltz
Christopher H. Cheever
Gail & Jeff Kodosky
Wendi & Brian Kushner
Marcy & John Melanson
Eva & Marvin Womack

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PREMIUM TABLE SPONSORS

Marilyn & Jeff Rabkin

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PRIME TABLE SPONSORS

Frances & Martin Blank – Terry & Jim Whorton

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PREMIER SPONSORS

Mary Ann & Andrew Heller
Neil & Nancy Schaffel
Cornelia & John Wood

Continue Reading | August 9, 2013

Salute Bacchus! Wine Dinner and Auction

Austin Lyric Opera’s 3rd Annual Wine Dinner and Auction was a tremendous success!  Thank you to everyone for your support in making this year’s sold-out event so spectacular.We were delighted to be able to recognize David Jabour and Twin Liquors for their contributions, not only to Austin Lyric Opera, but to more than 100 other organizations around Austin every year.

Thank you to our fantastic Austin Lyric Opera Guild, event co-chairs, committee chairs, and all the other volunteers who did such amazing work.  Bravi tutti!
View photos from the 2012 Wine Dinner and Auction here.

 

Continue Reading | January 23, 2013