The Long Center: Who's playing

Austin's new performing-arts center releases the performance schedule for its first few months

Kathleen Battle
Kathleen Battle

The countdown to the grand opening of Austin's new performing-arts center has passed the 80-day mark, and ratcheting up the anticipation level for the big event (as if it needs any ratcheting) is the Long Center's release of the schedule for the 2,400-seat Dell Hall through early August and for the 240-seat Rollins Theatre through September, as well as the lineups for the pair of gala opening concerts in Dell Hall March 28 and 29.

If the first months are any measure, the Long Center will indeed be a venue where every kind of arts group in the city is welcome. In addition to previously announced programs such as Austin Lyric Opera's Carmen, the ballet of Don Quixote by Ballet Austin, and Conspirare singing the Verdi Requiem, Dell Hall will feature everything from classical soprano Kathleen Battle to a Beatles cover band to a legendary mariachi ensemble to three redneck tenors to Nashville bluegrass wonders Cherryholmes. The Rollins schedule is equally eclectic, including the Rude Mechs, Aztlan Dance Company, ProArts Collective, the Austin Shakespeare Festival, Austin Chamber Music Center, Teatro Vivo, A. Mozart Fest, TexARTS, and Refraction Arts' Fuse Box Festival.

Kicking off the premiere season will be a gala concert on Friday, March 28, hosted by Tommy Tune and featuring the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Ballet Austin, Conspirare, Michael Amante, and more. That will be followed on Saturday, March 29, with an All-Texas Music Tribute Concert starring Ray Benson with Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Rick Trevino, and Flaco Jimenez.

But you actually won't have to wait until then to experience the Long Center in all its glory. The first week of March, the center will be open for four days of free performances and tours, with the members of the Los Angeles-based MASS Ensemble (which includes former Austinite Chrysta Bell) bringing their remarkable blend of music and architecture to the new facility and, by stretching extremely long strings across the terrace of the Long Center, transforming it into what they call an Earth Harp. So for a weekend, this won't be just a building that presents music; it'll be one that makes music. How's that for an auspicious debut?

The schedule follows. Dates are subject to change. For more information, visit

Dell Hall

April 4-5 Austin Symphony Orchestra in concert with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

April 7 Kathleen Battle in recital

April 18, 20, 24, 26 Austin Lyric Opera: Carmen

May 2 The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley

May 3 Rain: The Beatles Experience


May 4 Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

May 9-11 Ballet Austin: Don Quixote

May 18 Cherryholmes

May 20 3 Redneck Tenors

June 9-15 Love, Janis

June 20-21 Conspirare: Verdi Requiem

July 6 Zilker Summer Musical 50th Anniversary Concert

July 10-11 Video Games Live!

July 12-26 2008 Austin Chamber Music Festival

Aug. 6-7 Univision Awards Show

Rollins Theatre

March 29-April 12 Rude Mechanicals: The Method Gun

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

April 13 Austin Chamber Music Center: "Nobody likes a show-off. ... Well, maybe just this once."

April 14-27 ProArts Collective: Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil

April 28-May 4 Refraction Arts: Fuse Box Festival

May 9-10 TexARTS Musical Theater Academy: Schoolhouse Rock Live!

May 12-June 1 HBMG Foundation: The Love Sonatas

June 2-8 Teatro Vivo: Petra's Sueño

June 15, 17 Wild Basin Winds: Octets

June 19-20 A. Mozart Fest

June 23-29 Aztlan Dance Company: Jalisco: Now & Then

July 12-20 2008 Austin Chamber Music Festival

July 21-27 ProArts Collective: Workshop of world premiere

Aug. 11-23 ProArts Collective: Workshop of Black Nativity

Sept. 2-21 Austin Shakespeare Festival: Macbeth

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More The Long Center
Revenge, Deferred in Stephen Mills' <i>Hamlet</i>
Revenge, Deferred in Stephen Mills' Hamlet
Post-pandemic, Ballet Austin's artistic director brings his career-defining work back home

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 8, 2023

Five Hyperlocal Feats of Austin Artistry
Five Hyperlocal Feats of Austin Artistry
They’re created here, they’re staged here, they’re about here

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 9, 2022

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


The Long Center, Dell Hall, Rollins Theatre

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle