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Performer Match: Austin Lyric Opera

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At the Statue of Venus/Three Decembers
The Butler Opera Center's pairing of these Jake Heggie chamber operas opened up small concerns to an enduring sense of love
Arts Review  March 10, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...Were slacks a good idea for a first date? Is Mom's decision to spend every Christmas by herself in Barbados a measure of how little she loves her kids? Such questions may have never bedeviled Madama Butterfly or Don Giovanni – or the protagonists of Jake Heggie's operas Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick, for that matter – but that doesn't mean they aren't the stuff of opera. For as inconsequential as they may look in print, in Heggie's chamber works At the Statue of Venus and Three Decembers, just mounted together at the University of Texas' Butler Opera Center, they become springboards to the larger question "What is it to be loved?" And that's been at the heart of opera since the form was born...."

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
Arts Review  November 2, 2017, by Robi Polgar

Austin Lyric Opera
What the 'Faust' – an opera with a nightclub scene?
Arts Story  April 26, 2013, by Natalie Zeldin
"...Usually when I hear of a production like this, I rather skeptically suspect a desperate marketing ploy, since modern settings are among the most common ways for opera companies to generate appeal and keep the operas fresh for audiences. (Incidentally, the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas is currently running a modernized version of Don Giovanni in which Donna Elvira struts across the stage with a dyed bob cut and an iPhone.)..."

Austin Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos
Dude ranch antics make this reimagining of Strauss too busy, but when the music takes center stage, it’s gorgeous
Arts Review  February 1, 2018, by Robi Polgar
"...The desire to liberate operas from their traditional settings to modern-day milieus can yield powerful and intriguing new productions from which we experience the music, story, and characters, perhaps even our world, with a refreshed clarity. The University of Texas Butler Opera Center's fall production of Mozart's Così Fan Tutte (set in the world of contemporary high finance) was such a bold reimagining..."

Butler School of Music
Two concerts – one by Harvey Pittel, one for the late Rose Taylor – pay tribute to 'living in a song'
Arts Story  January 24, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...But somehow a handful of colleagues and former students of this beloved professor of voice have settled on some two dozen selections with which to pay tribute to their late friend and mentor. It will be a fittingly eclectic program, ranging from Robert Schumann's "Widmung," sung by tenor Leonard Johnson, to an aria from Sergei Rachmaninoff's Aleko, sung by bass Nikita Storojev, to selections from Sweeney Todd, performed by Butler Opera Center students, to a scene from The Mikado from Taylor's old friends at the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin..."

Austin Opera Takes Aim at the Election With Its Adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate
Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell shoot to thrill in their opera based on Richard Condon's Cold War classic
Arts Story  September 15, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...AO Artistic Director Richard Buckley has spoken of his desire for the company to explore the operatic repertoire beyond the staples of the 18th and 19th centuries, and programming newer works – and specifically newer American works – enhances for audiences a sense that opera is still a living art form and one that's relevant to people in this country today. Certainly, an opera that centers on a contentious battle for the presidency, on the manipulation of war heroes for political gain, and on a relentless drumbeat of sloganeering about outsiders and enemies invading our homeland more than qualifies on the latter count...."

Austin Opera's The Daughter of the Regiment
Just as the young woman of the title is deemed "charming," so too is Donizetti's work in this company's staging
Arts Review  February 2, 2017, by Robi Polgar
"...The Daughter of the RegimentDell Hall at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Through Feb..."

A Woman in Morocco
Butler Opera Center makes the most of Daron Hagen's new opera, which stuffs a lot of high drama into one story
Arts Review  November 1, 2013, by Natalie Zeldin
"...A Woman in MoroccoMcCullough Theatre, 2375 Robert Dedman, UT campus, 512/477-6060 Through Nov. 3 Running time: 2 hr, 30 min..."

God Save the Queenie
Duke Ellington's almost lost opera of a Harlem beautician gets rescued and a makeover
Arts Story  April 17, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...Wolfe. The critical response was enthusiastic, and though the show's subsequent run at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., fared poorly, plans were made to take the show to Broadway with Patti LaBelle – who had sung numbers from Queenie Pie in a 1983 PBS special celebrating Ellington's music, the one time the opera connected with the network it was intended for...."

'Les Enfants Terribles'
Philip Glass opera gives new meaning to sibling rivalry
Arts Story  February 22, 2013, by Robert Faires
"...But the composer hasn't been seen around these parts much since Austin Lyric Opera provided the North American premiere of the Glass opera Waiting for the Barbarians in 2007. This Butler Opera Center production is thus an increasingly rare opportunity to hear this living master's work performed live..."

UT: Major Arts Commissions Announced
Landmarks will get new mural, CoFA a Spanish-language opera
DAILY Arts  August 4, 2017, by Robert Faires
"...Rowling Hall, the new graduate education building for the McCombs School of Business, and fill 4,000 square feet with a mural. Though the artist is well-known for working on a large scale – for the likes of the One World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music – the as-yet untitled work that will cover the grand entrance to the Zlotnik Family Ballroom in Rowling Hall will exceed anything he's done to date. [image-3-right]..."

Culture Flash
A new opera for the Butlers and a big art prize for Beili Liu
Arts Column  October 15, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...• 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..."

Give 'Em a Hand
The nominees for the 2009 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 15, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...Queenie Pie, Butler Opera Center..."

Howdy, Pardner!
In 2010, the watchword among Austin creatives was 'collaboration'
Arts Story  January 7, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...Who made the big stories of 2010 in Austin's creative scene? Each of the individual artistic disciplines can lay claim to its share. The visual arts delivered a one-two punch of dynamically reinvented venue openings in the fall: the Visual Arts Center on the University of Texas campus, built by Lake|Flato from the bones of the Art Building's old exhibition galleries, and Arthouse, its historic HQ Downtown given an inventive makeover by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis..."

Austin Critics Table Awards 2013
Arts writers raise their glasses to outstanding art in list of nominees
Arts Story  May 24, 2013, by Robert Faires
"...The most recognized musical was Ragtime, produced by Zach Theatre to open its Topfer Theatre, also receiving seven nominations. Earning six nominations each were The Poison Squad, an ingenious devised drama by theatre collective the Duplicates; the comedy Under Construction, another madcap theatrical mash-up by Charles Mee directed by David Long for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre; and the Blue Lapis Light aerial dance work Heaven-Earth-One, which has been revived and can be seen on the Long Center Terrace – and above it – through Sunday, May 26...."

Top 10 Musical Triumphs, Plus Evidence That Austin Is Innovating the Classical World
Chronicle Arts writer Michael Kellerman recalls 2008, in classical music
Arts Story  January 2, 2009, by Michael Kellerman
"...1) Blue Rhapsody (Austin Chamber Music Center) The temptation was strong to top this list with the Long Center's awesome debut, marking Austin's continued rise as a cultural capital. But in the end, instinct pointed to the Austin Chamber Music Festival's opening gala, about which I still ramble incessantly..."

UT School of Music
Ernest and Sarah Butler make the largest-ever donation to a music school at a public university
Arts Story  March 28, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...The source of the record donation – the largest ever to a music school at a public university – was hardly a surprise. Ernest and Sarah Butler are well-known and active in the local cultural scene (he serves on the UT College of Fine Arts Advisory Council; she's chairwoman of the Ballet Austin board of directors and a member of the Blanton Museum Council), and they have a history of major gifts to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Museum of Art, Blanton Museum of Art, and the Long Center for the Performing Arts..."

Queenie Pie
This Ellington opus may not look much like opera, but it sure swings like the Duke
Arts Review  April 24, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...Duke Ellington called it an opera. It's being staged by the Butler Opera Center..."

A Year's Cheers
The nominees for the 2010 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 14, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...The Doyle and Debbie Show, Long Center for the Performing Arts..."

Nominations for the 2006-2007 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 18, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...I Am My Own Wife, Zachary Scott Theatre Center..."

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