Austin Lyric Opera

Ready for its close-up

Harpo 1, Culture 0, when the Marx Brothers spend <i>A 
Night at the Opera.</i>
Harpo 1, Culture 0, when the Marx Brothers spend A Night at the Opera.

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. 19-29, 2007) – was announced months ago, so the real news concerned the operas on either side of the Glass, as it were. Both are tried and true works: Puccini's Madame Butterfly (Nov. 17-20) and Rossini's The Barber of Seville (April 14-22, 2007), with the latter marking ALO's long-awaited exit from Bass Concert Hall. With its future home in the Long Center's Dell Hall not available until fall 2008, the opera will decamp at Riverbend Centre in the interim, starting with a semistaged version of Barber. Sooner – as in this week – ALO serves up a banquet of opera on celluloid in a party titled Lights, Camera, Opera. A lively program of opera-inspired film clips from the silent era (!) to the Nineties – Harpo, Pacino, Bugs Bunny, Cher! – is accompanied by live music by the White Ghost Shivers, an appearance by the Lonestar Rollergirls, and banter between yours truly and award-winning actress Barbara Chisholm.

Lights, Camera, Opera takes place March 25, Saturday, 8pm, at the Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces. For more information, call 472-5992 or visit

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