Twelve more friends of the arts have been named to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, and Austin Lyric Opera loses Managing Director Michael Murphy to a performing arts organization in San Diego, from whence he came.
Hall of Fame: The Sequel
The Austin Critics Table has decided on the second group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with last year's honorees, all 12 have made significant contributions to the local community over many years, as artists, as educators, as friends of and advocates for the arts. The 2003 class of inductees includes: Shakespeare at Winedale founder James Ayres; theatre historian and educator Oscar Brockett; Austin Choral Union founder and conductor Morris Beachy; architect and historical preservationist Wayne Bell; visual artist and educator Kelly Fearing; patrons Alfred and Ellen King ; Indian classical dancer Gina Lalli; Austin Lyric Opera founders Joseph McClain and Walter Ducloux; Esther's Follies writer and accompanist Lyova Rosanoff ; and visual artist and educator Ralph White. The new Hall of Famers will be formally -- or, to be honest, informally -- recognized at the annual Critics Table Awards ceremony, to be held this year on Monday, June 2, 7pm, at the Capitol City Comedy Club, 8120 Research. Eventually, the names of all members of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame will be permanently exhibited in the Long Center for the Performing Arts.
Exit at the Opera
From San Diego he came and to San Diego he has returned. Last spring, Michael G. Murphy jumped ship at San Diego Opera, where he had spent 10 years as director of administration, and moved here to become the first-ever managing director of Austin Lyric Opera. Now, just a year later, he's headed back to SD to take on the job of general manager for the Globe Theatres. Though his time here was brief, it was eventful, from threatened deficits and the firing last fall of ALO co-founder and longtime Artistic Director Joseph McClain to the triumphant production of Dead Man Walking. He didn't manage to stay long enough to welcome a new artistic director -- a national search is under way and due to be complete by July 1 -- but Murphy did put together a season for next year. It doesn't include any world premieres or American works, but two of the three selections have yet to be produced by ALO: Così Fan Tutte by Wolfgang Mozart and The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner. The season opens with Turandot by Giacomo Puccini in November, followed by Così Fan Tutte in January 2004 and The Flying Dutchman in March.
And I Am Telling You She Will Be Coming
That Dreamgirl of Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, is headed to Austin for a May 10 concert at the Paramount ... which fulfills a dream of Dave Steakley. The Zachary Scott Theatre Center artistic director is a serious fan of the singer, and after seeing her "Romance in the Dark" concert in New York last year, he made contact with her and got information for her agent. After several months of negotiations, Zach secured her for the May performance, which it will use to fill the open slot in the current season left by the postponement of Parade and shuffling of Love! Valor! Compassion! and Side Man. The concert, which is built around love songs, includes a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, a funky version of "Always on My Mind," gospel, and, of course, hits from Dreamgirls. For more information, call 476-0541.