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Austin Opera's Joseph Specter Departing
General director since 2012 is off to lead Arizona Opera
DAILY Arts  April 29, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...Almost four years to the day after he joined the staff of Austin Opera as general director, Joseph Specter has tendered his resignation. This summer, he'll be moving west to take over as president and general director of Arizona Opera...."

Austin Opera to Mount Manchurian Candidate
Kevin Puts' take on political thriller opens 2016-17 season
DAILY Arts  January 27, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...Forgive the cliche, but how better to break the news about Austin Opera's 30th season than to say it opens with a bang? I mean, the company's first production will be that thriller about political assassination The Manchurian Candidate, newly adapted for opera by Pulitzer-winning composer and former Austinite Kevin Puts...."

Austin Opera's Of Mice and Men
Artistic Director Richard Buckley on returning to the Carlisle Floyd opera that launched his conducting career
Arts Story  January 21, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...Richard Buckley knows a thing or two about the opera Of Mice and Men, and not just because he's conducting the Austin Opera production that runs Jan. 23-31 at the Long Center..."

Austin Opera Takes Aim at the Election With Its Adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate
Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell shoot to thrill in their opera based on Richard Condon's Cold War classic
Arts Story  September 15, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...In this most unconventional of election years, why not have an unconventional opera, one that speaks directly to American politics and also to the fear and paranoia that have become common tools in garnering votes and power? Believe it or not, The Manchurian Candidate – yes, that Cold War thriller about conspiracies, brainwashing, and a murderous coup d'etat on the campaign trail – has been adapted into operatic form by librettist Mark Campbell and composer Kevin Puts (former teacher of composition at the Butler School of Music), and it arrives in our politically minded city seven weeks before U.S. citizens choose their next president, courtesy of Austin Opera...."

Austin Opera's The Daughter of the Regiment
Just as the young woman of the title is deemed "charming," so too is Donizetti's work in this company's staging
Arts Review  February 2, 2017, by Robi Polgar
"...So it is with the 21st Regiment. And yet, this charming opera offers an even brighter touch: a young woman, Marie, the regiment's foundling "daughter," whom its members have raised as one of their own..."

Aida
In Verdi's Egyptian tragedy, Austin Opera excavates from the pomp and pageantry the personal
Arts Review  November 12, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...What is it that Rick tells Ilsa when he's convincing her to get on that plane with Victor Laszlo? "It doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." Of course, he's referring to their romantic triangle in Casablanca as World War II rages, but his words apply just as well to a trio of lovers on the other side of North Africa in a war a few thousand years earlier – at least as imagined by Giuseppe Verdi and presented by Austin Opera in its latest staging of Aida. Oh, the positions held by Verdi's protagonists may be much grander in the scheme of things, but even though the warrior Radamès is leading Egypt's army in battle against attackers from Ethiopia, and both women contending for his heart – Amneris of Egypt and Aida of Ethiopia – are princesses, they're still the "little people" Rick describes, to our eyes..."

Playback: Austin Music Awards (On Everything)
Austin Music Industry Awards down, here come the 2016/17 AMAs and a slew of SXSW buzz acts
Music Column  March 9, 2017, by Kevin Curtin
"...Ultimately, the Chronicle's ecstatic to bring the ceremony to the magnificent Moody Theater, best room the AMAs have commandeered since the Austin Opera House, which the show's music director Charlie Sexton points out is serendipitously another Willie-related venue. We can tell you're excited, too, because ticket sales are strong..."

The Austin Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2016
These inductees – Ballet Austin's Cookie Ruiz and Stephen Mills, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra's Peter Bay – are cultural heroes who lead by example
Arts Story  May 5, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...A small stick can do just as much, especially when it's being wielded by Peter Bay. The Austin Symphony Orchestra's conductor and music director communicates in a voice as gentle as they come, but put him in front of the ASO – or an orchestra for a performance by Ballet Austin or Austin Opera, an ensemble from the Austin Chamber Music Center or Austin Classical Guitar, the Austin Civic Orchestra, or a high school orchestra, all of which he's conducted for – and the dance of his baton, the motion always fluid and easy yet with gestures purposeful and precise, can tease forth sounds of exceptional feeling and depth..."

Playback: The Mayor's Plan to Save Austin Music
Mayor Steve Adler addresses the elephant in the club, Susan Antone honored, and Henry Gonzalez goes to the head of the Austin poster artist altar
Music Column  March 3, 2016, by Kevin Curtin
"...Gonzalez lived another 41 years, until Monday when he died of cancer after a two-year bout of illness. He was 65 and had dedicated his life to Austin's music and art culture as a muralist, poster artist, and jack-of-all-trades in the concert production world – including stage manager of the Austin Opera House...."

Aria Having Fun Yet, Austin?
One Ounce Opera takes it to where you live your life
DAILY Chronolog  August 20, 2012, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Opera in your coffeehouse, opera at your club...."

Austin Filmmaking, Ten Years After
Film director Richard Linklater interviews Bob Ray, the director of the new Austin-made movie Rock Opera, about the Austin Film scene over the past 10 years.
Screens Story  September 3, 1999, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...As a result of his ongoing presence and participation in the community, Linklater is in an exceptional position to be a shrewd observer of our cultural scene. So, when he was taken with the test print of a new, locally made movie called Rock Opera by filmmaker Bob Ray during a midnight screening at the last SXSW Film Festival, our curiosity was naturally aroused..."

One Ounce Opera’s Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Opera II
Austin’s One Ounce Opera juices the night away
Arts Review  April 13, 2017, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Austin's One Ounce Opera, not content with their gang of free-range goldenthroats staging bits of classical opera's greatest hits in unusual-for-opera venues, not satisfied with the hilarity of crossing vocal performance with Jackass-like stunts as a fundraiser, held a competition for new works...."

This Fresh Squeeze Is All About the Opera Shorts
One Ounce Opera premieres a concert of new young composers
DAILY Arts  April 13, 2016, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Yes, that’s Austin’s own One Ounce Opera. The ristretto-strength renegades who overdubbed Jackass: The Movie with opera clips..."

Austin Lyric Opera
What the 'Faust' – an opera with a nightclub scene?
Arts Story  April 26, 2013, by Natalie Zeldin
"...The theme of morality versus lust is ubiquitous and timeless. So, even though composer Charles Gounod's 1859 operatic adaptation was originally set in medieval Germany, director Bernard Uzan has reinvented the production for our modern disposition...."

Rock Opera
Locally filmed micro-budget feature tells a picaresque story about a punk guitarist who is trying to sell enough pot to finance a low-rent tour for his band. His journey instead takes him on a tour through the college-town underground.
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Film Review  September 3, 1999, by Russell Smith
"...This bracingly sordid slice of microbudget punk-rock cinema from Super-8 maestro Bob Ray makes it clear that, despite a step up to 16mm, the Austin-based, self-taught filmmaker hasn't compromised much of the flagrantly deviant sensibility he flaunted in earlier opuses such as Night of the Kung Fu Zombie Bastards From Hell! and Cocaine Ninja. Rock Opera bubbles up from the same primordial college-town underground ooze as the starving bands/bad drugs/chronic penury lifestyle it simultaneously lampoons and celebrates..."

Southern Soap Opera
The Drive-by Truckers' two-night stand.
DAILY Music  May 4, 2007, by Jim Caligiuri
"...There is emotional attachment between any band and its fans, but DBT fans seem to take change especially hard. First, guitarist Rob Malone just up and disappeared in the fall of 2001 during the Southern Rock Opera tour..."

35 Years of the Austin Music Awards
Living in a dream
Features Story  March 2, 2017, by Doug Freeman
"...Blame the Big Boys, whose scathing punk for a classed-up Austin Music Awards show audience visited the genre’s desired effect on the era. Blame the security at the Austin Opera House, bikers and ex-Navy SEALs from Willie Nelson’s road crew, who typical of the times tried to maintain control through intimidation..."

Austin @ Large: Access of Evil
It's a conspiracy! Defending Austin from the music network.
News Column  August 6, 2004, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Just when I thought the interminable soap opera of the Austin Music Network couldn't get any more inane, or pathetic, along comes Alex Jones to take it up a notch. As you may have heard, the Lizard King of cable access is in a total frothing rabid-dog freakout – that is, his usual self – about the planned shotgun wedding of AMN and Austin Community Television...."

Having a Riot: The Chaotic and Beautiful Birth of the Austin Music Awards
Features Story  March 2, 2017, by Louis Black
"...The sharpest upward momentum of our learning curve came the next year, for the 1984-85 show on March 6 at the Austin Opera House. Some major acts verbally committed to play, but, Austin being Austin, each had a favored band that it also wanted on the bill..."

7 Roky Erickson Moments at the Austin Music Awards
Features Story  March 2, 2017
"...1986: The 1985/86 Austin Music Awards took place at the Austin Opera House on March 13. One of my fondest memories of that show was Roky Erickson playing with the True Believers..."

Austin Creative Alliance Honors 2016
ACA salutes SVT, Byrd, Brooks, Seibert, Willenzik at the ND
DAILY Arts  November 16, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...In their fourth year, the ACA Honors go out to Janet Seibert, the tireless advocate for creative programs in the city's Cultural Arts Division; Lisa Byrd, past director of the African American Cultural Heritage District and of Dance Umbrella; Dewy Brooks, longtime ACA board member and co-founder of ProArts Collective; Bruce Willenzik, the engine behind the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and the oldest living Arts Commissioner (wink); and groundbreaking (and currently homeless) stage company Salvage Vanguard Theater. As I think you'll agree, there's a lot there to honor. As if that weren't enough, the program promises a bounty of entertainment from One Ounce Opera, comedian Maggie Maye, DJ Orion, Matt Armbruster of Tetractys performing a work for solo cello by Yevgeniy Sharlat, and house band the Invincible Czars, and ACA Director John Riedie (also the emcee for the evening) has been teasing a major announcement that will "impact the community conversation about the decline in affordable space and displacement of arts organizations in Austin."..."

Mavericks Tame Rodeo Austin
Raul Malo’s caballeros take opening weekend to the cantina
DAILY Music  March 14, 2016, by Raoul Hernandez
"...Rotating on a circular stage in the middle of the arena where the beasts had tamed the bipeds, the eight-man band brassed off with a dual horn section and an auxiliary accordionist that gave the band a Mariachi punch. Fifty minutes of carnival pop invigorated the hall, and finally brought everyone’s boots upright for closer “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down.” Malo led the charge with a tenor slumming in pop music rather than opera...."

Cool Austin, Cool Planet
This Earth Day, the ambitious Austin Climate Protection Plan celebrates a first year of slow, quiet, but impressive progress
News Story  April 18, 2008, by Katherine Gregor
"..."The biggest weakness by far has been lack of communication," conceded Wynn. "Both as to what the city operationally has been doing and then the whole community component of the plan..."

Austin Theatre Refuses to Fade in 1995 And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
The past 12 months saw some of Austin's
Arts Story  January 5, 1996
"...An artist of flashing eyes and souful voice, Ameerah Tatum can burn herself into your memory. Twice this year, she did that to me: as the smoldering wronged woman in Carl Settles' blues opera and the ambitious Diana Ross-like singer in Dreamgirls...."

A Night at the Opera
Jon Else's Sing Faster, showing this Wednesday as part of the Texas Documentary Tour, shows us opera Like we've never seen it before from the stagehands' perspective.
Screens Story  October 6, 2000, by Anne S. Lewis
"...Sure, opera's an acquired taste; many find it hard to sit through -- much less love. After watching Jon Else's truly hilarious, Emmy- and Sundance-awarded Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle -- Wagner's opera from the stagehands' perspective -- even those who think a Ring Cycle is one of the choices on a washing-machine dial might be inclined to give opera a chance (if only just to experience this one as it's meant to be seen -- from a seat in the audience)..."

Austin Lyric Opera: Pittsburgh Opera's Kevin Patterson takes the reins
Kevin Patterson of Pittsburgh Opera has been hired to serve as Austin Lyric Opera's new general director
Arts Story  July 6, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Austin Lyric Opera has a new face. Last week, the board of trustees announced that Kevin Patterson of Pittsburgh Opera would be joining the organization as its new general director..."

Austin Lyric Opera's Stampede
The opera launches a festival to celebrate Austin's musical diversity
Arts Story  October 29, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...When you talk up that "live music capital of the world" thing, you include opera in the mix, right? Well, you should. Austin Lyric Opera includes almost every other kind of music in its mix..."

Spotlight on Opera
In this training program, divas make room for regular folks to belt arias
Arts Story  August 13, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...Think opera is the sole province of degreed divas and baccalaureate-boasting basses? Then meet Spotlight on Opera, a locally based training program where you may hear arias belted by young professionals but also by a marketing manager, a scientist, a grocery store worker, a lawyer, and a teacher. As program founder and director Cindy Sadler says, "You do not have to be an aspiring opera singer to perform with us – only someone who enjoys singing."..."

An Opera for Wartime
Philip Glass' Waiting for the Barbarians arrives when its message is urgently needed
Arts Story  January 19, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Today, just as a "new way forward" in this war is being heralded by the administration, there comes to our shores a work of art that speaks to these dark days, sometimes in language that echoes what we've been told by the leaders of the current military campaign. Waiting for the Barbarians is the latest opera by Philip Glass, an adaptation of the novel by Nobel laureate J.M..."

To Boldly Go Where No Opera Has Gone Before Opera: The Next Generation
Arts Story  December 22, 1995
"...Opera smells of age. That isn't meant as a slap at the venerable form of musical drama; it's merely a comment on the way opera is enveloped almost exclusively in the past..."

Austin Lyric Opera: Fat lady sings for artistic/managing director split
Austin Lyric Opera Artistic Director Richard Buckley and Managing Director Tamara Hale are both leaving their posts in June 2007, after which ALO will return to a single general director running the show
Arts Story  December 29, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...The final weeks of 2006 signaled big changes for Austin Lyric Opera in the coming year. On Dec..."

Austin's One Ounce Opera vs. Nickelback
Almost literally. And that's just part of this event.
DAILY Arts  September 29, 2015, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...And yet that – and other such diabolical antics – are exactly what the members of Austin's acclaimed One Ounce Opera will be trying to do this Sunday afternoon, Oct. 4, at the North Door...."

Austin Lyric Opera
ALO is selling its headquarters and losing its community music school
Arts Story  August 19, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...In the latest drastic move to address its seven-figure financial crisis, Austin Lyric Opera has opted to sell its headquarters on Barton Springs Road and sever ties with the Armstrong Community Music School which has operated in that facility since its founding in 2000. In the series of harsh measures that ALO has taken this year – having Kevin Patterson resign as general director, downsizing performance runs for all ALO productions, eliminating in-house box office services, and canceling its silver anniversary gala – this is the harshest yet..."

Austin Lyric Opera: 'Carmen' glee-a
ALO makes its long-awaited move into the Long Center with opera's favorite libertine
Arts Story  April 18, 2008, by Michael Kellerman
"...Spring has brought a fresh promise to the performing arts in the capital of Texas, and nowhere is this more evident than at Austin Lyric Opera. A new, hip logo and an impressive new website accompany the ALO's move to its new home at the Long Center, a transformation the company hopes to capitalize on dramatically with its new staging of Bizet's torrid, ever-popular Carmen...."

Austin Lyric Opera
Austin Lyric Opera announces what's coming when it turns 20 next season and serves up a banquet of opera on celluloid in a party, titled Lights, Camera, Opera
Arts Story  March 24, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...Next season Austin Lyric Opera turns 20 – my, time flies when you're having fun – and Artistic Director Richard Buckley has announced what's coming in the big year. The season's coup – the American premiere of Philip Glass' new opera, Waiting for the Barbarians (Jan..."

Austin's Classical Music Preview 'Tis the Season
I've written about the
Arts Story  November 17, 1995
"...Austin classical music scene for almost 10 years now, and I can't remember a season more star-studded and thrilling. After all, any season that starts out with Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price (a living national treasure) and a new Philip Glass opera (La Belle et la Bete) simply has to be spectacular. Others scheduled to appear include Pinchas Zuckerman, Eugene Fodor, Philippe Entremont (one of my childhood idols) -- and, yes! -- cellist Yo-Yo Ma...."

Austin Lyric Opera
With the sale of the Heller Opera Center, ALO is back in the black
Arts Story  January 13, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...For Austin Lyric Opera, most of 2011 was as gloomy as a Wagnerian bass, but two days before it ended, the company managed to close the year on a high note by selling the Mary Ann Heller Opera Center, its home of almost 12 years. The $5.45 million sale to Megalomedia Inc., the local film and production company behind such cable reality shows as Shipping Wars, Smokejumpers, and Quints by Surprise, allowed ALO to wipe out the last of its $2 million debt and start 2012 with a sizable chunk of change in the bank..."

Austin Lyric Opera
A local operatic production gets a trip to the ball: a showing on public television
Arts Story  January 23, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...If you don't already think that 2009 is a year of changes, try this on for size: Austin Lyric Opera will have one of its productions on television this week. That's a rather remarkable achievement considering how rare opera on the tube is in the 21st century – so rare that it feels like a relic from the medium's early days, the heyday of Leonard Bernstein and Gian Carlo Menotti..."

Austin's Paramount Theatre Turns 100
As the grande dame of Austin theatres turns 100, it matters more than ever
Arts Story  October 8, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...Still, Bernardoni was the spark, and his vision for a revivified Paramount, always related with feverish fervor, ignited in Scott, his co-worker at the Point Venture resort on Lake Travis, and Scott's pal Eckerman, who moved to Austin from Chicago to help them realize this crazy dream. Over the next year, the trio pulled together a prospectus – part love letter to the Paramount's past, part budget for the renovation and operations (both wildly optimistic)..."

Greg Bolin: Non-Austin Austin Composer
The score on rescoring Porgy and Bess
Arts Story  January 25, 2008, by Graham Reynolds
"...The Zachary Scott Theatre Center found the right person for the job, as there is probably no composer in Austin better prepared for this particular assignment. Bolin's doctoral thesis was in opera, he has an interest in musicals, and while possessing a personal style in his composition, he is also accustomed to the submission of ego and relative invisibility of the job of orchestration..."

Austin Chamber Music Festival: The aria of Anne Frank
For the first time in its 11-year history, the annual Austin Chamber Music Festival will present an opera: the Texas premiere of Grigori Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank
Arts Story  July 13, 2007, by Barry Pineo
"...This year such world-famous chamber-music groups as the Beaux Arts Trio, the Jupiter String Quartet, and Quartetto Gelato will join such Austin favorites as the Tosca String Quartet, the Austin City Brass, the Wild Basin Winds, and the American Repertory Ensemble. But perhaps the most interesting event this year will be, for the first time in the history of the festival, the presentation of a chamber opera: the Texas premiere of Grigori Frid's The Diary of Anne Frank...."

Austin Lyric Opera
ALO finds its new general director at the Metropolian Opera
Arts Story  March 2, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...After months of searching coast to coast for a new general director, Austin Lyric Opera finally found its top man at the top of the operatic food chain: the Metropolitan Opera. Joseph Specter, who joins ALO officially on April 16, has spent a year and a half as the Met's director of institutional relations..."

Austin Lyric Opera: Breaking Glass
For Austin Lyric Opera's 20th season, artistic director Richard Buckley has lined up the American premiere of Philip Glass' opera 'Waiting for the Barbarians'
Arts Story  October 7, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...After launching his tenure at Austin Lyric Opera with a few seasons of Old World standbys, new artistic director Richard Buckley is setting sail for new territory in a major way. For ALO's 20th season next year, he's lined up the company's first American premiere, and it's grand: Waiting for the Barbarians, the most recent opera by Philip Glass – so new that it premiered only last month..."

Who's Working on a Dubstep Opera?
Could be any number of people in Austin
DAILY Chronolog  August 15, 2012, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Could be that I'm writing the songs & book for one right now. I am, in fact, although who knows if it'll come to fruition as an actual production, this idea of a dubstep opera with the whole spectacle featuring music somewhere along these heavy lines. But this is Austin, so, you know – it just might happen. This is Austin, where the idea of a dubstep opera was ignited, at least in my mind, while interviewing Julie Fiore and Emily Breedlove of the One Ounce Opera Company. They're the new group that's intent on taking opera – the best opera, with the soul-stirring arias & so on in a classical-music context – out of the fancy halls & church auditoria and into, like, the coffeehouses & nightclubs of the ATX..."

A Night at the Opera
Opera for dummies: Name one male tenor
Music Story  May 27, 2011, by Raoul Hernandez
"...On the eve of the city's annual Halloween rites in the Castro, calm blanketed downtown. City Hall, across the street from the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, lit its dome orange...."

Austin Arts Groups
A dozen culture providers have been very nice, according to the NEA
Arts Story  December 25, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...It's nice to see so many five-figure grants and to see the city's Cultural Arts Division get $35,000 to build up its very useful Take It to the Next Level workshop series. And congratulations to Vortex Repertory Company on getting its first-ever show of support from the NEA and to Austin Lyric Opera and the Austin Chamber Music Center for teaming up to present the opera based on Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat..."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame
The Austin Critics Table has named the fifth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  April 21, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...Ada Anderson, patron, educator, arts advocate (Austin Lyric Opera, Leadership Enrichment Arts Program, Laguna Gloria Art Museum/Austin Museum of Art, Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Long Center for the Performing Arts)..."

Austin Critics Table Nominations, 2003-2004
The full list of nominations for the 2003-2004 Austin Critics Table Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in local theatre, dance, classical music, and visual art
Arts Story  May 14, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...Opera..."

The Phantom of the Opera at Bass Concert Hall
This new touring production makes a grandly restaged, compelling tale of thin source material, with a chandelier drop that still thrills
Arts Review  April 27, 2017, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...Let's talk about the chandelier crash. Who are we kidding, that's why you see Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera..."

Austin Lyric Opera
Despite its seven-figure debt, the opera lives to sing another day
Arts Story  June 24, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...On the eve of its big 25th anniversary season, the Austin Lyric Opera looked like it was facing its own Götterdämmerung. A mountain of debt reportedly approaching $2 million and the resignation of Kevin Patterson as general director in May suggested the crashing finality of a Wagnerian twilight..."

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