In Memoriam

A towering figure in the Austin arts scene and a man of global achievements has died. Walter Ducloux, a music professor at the University of Texas for 28 years and the co-founder of Austin Lyric Opera, passed away Saturday, January 25, at the age of 83, of complications from cancer. Ducloux, a native of Switzerland, came to the United States in 1939 at the behest of Arturo Toscanini, who asked Ducloux to be his assistant conductor. Shortly thereafter, he entered academia, a move which eventually led to a distinguished stint at the University of Southern California. It was from USC that UT regent Frank Erwin recruited Ducloux to teach opera in Austin. The professor and his wife, Gina Ducloux, moved here in 1968 and became a vital force for the production of opera in the city, at the university and Austin at large. Upon Ducloux's retirement from UT in 1986, he and Joseph McLain founded ALO, with McLain serving as its general director and Ducloux as music and artistic director. Ducloux retired from that post last year but was honored with the title artistic and musical director emeritus. Among Ducloux's many honors were a medal and battlefield commission for service in the U.S. Army in World War II (during which he acted as an interpreter for General George Patton); a Bronze Medal from the government of Italy for his work with Italian opera in the U.S.; the Cross of Merit, first class, from the government of West Germany for his achievements in premiering German operas in America; the Frank Erwin Centennial Professorship in Opera; and, last but not least, a long stint as a panelist on the Metropolitan Opera Quiz. Approximately 700 friends and loved ones of Ducloux turned out for a memorial service Sunday afternoon at St. Theresa's Catholic Church. The Ducloux family has requested that memorial donations be made to ALO. The company plans at some point in the future to establish a permanent home, with offices, rehearsal space, and possibly a school. When it does, McLain says, ALO plans to honor its late founder by naming the center or some part of it for him.

On the Funding Front

Tapestry Dance Company has won a show of support for its effort to provide professional pay for its dancers. The troupe received $10,000 from the Plum Foundation of Studio City, California, for support of Tapestry's eight dancers and co-directors Acia Gray and Deirdre Strand, as well as the creation of new works in 1996 and 1997, and administrative costs. Tapestry performs next February 5-9, as part of Playfest '97 at the Dougherty Arts Center. See this issue's "Arts Calendar" for info or call 837-8909.

Off the Desk

UT's Huntington Gallery continues its exhibit "Out of Bounds: New Work by Eight Southeast Artists" with a talk by featured artist Hoang van Bui, February 5, Wednesday, noon, in the Art Building, UT campus. The talk is titled "East West Concept: My Place in the Neutral Zone." The exhibit runs through March 2. For info, call 471-7324.

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More Articulations
The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003

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