Culture Flash

A new opera for the Butlers and a big art prize for Beili Liu

<i>Lure/Wave, Grand Rapids</i>
Lure/Wave, Grand Rapids

• The University of Texas' Butler School of Music has commissioned a new opera from Mexican composer Daniel Catán in honor of Sarah and Ernest Butler, the school's longtime patrons. Catán, "one of the most significant operatic composers today," according to Butler Opera Center Director Robert DeSimone, will compose an opera based on the 1941 film Meet John Doe, written by Richard Connell, Robert Presnell, and Robert Riskin and directed by Frank Capra. Of the Butlers, Catán says, "They've done so much for music and musicians that I am moved to write my very best work." He will complete the opera and workshop scenes while in residence at the school this coming spring, when he will also assist with the Butler Opera Center's production of his La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter). Opening Feb. 25, 2011, the production will premiere his new orchestration of the work for two pianos, harp, and percussion. Meet John Doe will open the center's 2012-13 season.

Beili Liu has won third place and $50,000 for her work Lure/Wave, Grand Rapids in the 2010 ArtPrize competition. The assistant professor in the University of Texas Department of Art & Art History was one of 1,713 artists from 21 countries and 44 states who entered the open competition, for which there is no formal jury, curator, or judge; winners are determined by the public in electronic voting; and $449,000 in prize money is distributed. The work was displayed at 192 venues in a 3-square-mile district in Grand Rapids, Mich., and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people during the 15-day competition. Almost 45,000 people registered to vote on the prizes and cast 465,538 votes. The $250,000 first prize went to Chris LaPorte of Grand Rapids for Cavalry, American Officers, 1921. The $100,000 second prize went to Mia Tavonatti of Santa Ana, Calif., for Svelata. For more information, visit

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 Butler Opera Center
Butler Opera Center's <i>Così fan tutte</i>
Butler Opera Center's Così fan tutte
This production brings Mozart's test of female fidelity into the modern world of Tinder and high finance

Robi Polgar, Nov. 3, 2017

The Butler Opera Center's <i>At the Statue of Venus</i> and <i>Three Decembers</i>
At the Statue of Venus/Three Decembers
The pairing of these Jake Heggie chamber operas opened up small concerns to an enduring sense of love

Robert Faires, March 11, 2016

More Beili Liu
Flow of Energy
Flow of Energy
Beili Liu makes an art of channeling the forces within objects and us

Robert Faires, March 11, 2011

More Culture Flash!
Culture Flash!
Culture Flash!
Payne Theatre Award winners, new companies at home at the Long Center, and an arts administrator gets more classical work

Nov. 2, 2012

Culture Flash!
Culture Flash!
Miró finds a violinist, ACGS finds a guitarist, and it's time to take out the 'Trash'

Robert Faires, July 29, 2011


Butler Opera Center, Beili Liu, Butler School of Music, Meet John Doe, Sarah and Ernest Butler, Robert DeSimone, Daniel Catán, Frank Capra, UT Department of Art & Art History, ArtPrize

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