"...Whitaker's story may add an unexpected resonance to the latest effort from LOLA – Local Opera Local Artists – in its run this week at Austin Scottish Rite Theater. In La Clemenza di Tito: A Retelling, the Roman emperor of the title faces the same question after a close friend tries to assassinate him..."
"...In We Might Be Struck by Lightning, Rebecca Herman, founding artistic producer of LOLA (Local Opera Local Artists), takes a unique approach to presenting art song. She's created two original storylines and woven through them compositions by Fauré, Brahms, Schubert, and others that relate to the characters' circumstances..."
"...Fiore: Two winners, Jeff Luna and Steven Serpa, are local artists. Liam Wade is based in San Francisco; his librettist John Grimmett splits time between Houston and New York..."
"...In Part One, as the various artists and their handlers deal with one another and the dude ranch hierarchy (full disclosure: Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires plays the Manager of the Ranch), the result is a visual cacophony that, although meticulously staged by Jennifer Williams, overwhelms. Where to look? Which character to follow? What to listen to? Strauss' music gets buried under antic activity and a sense that Rourke was cramming English lyrics into once melodious measures...."
"...(Quick, what's your first thought when you hear the word "opera"? A beefy soprano in a horned helmet, right? That's Wagner for you.) Yet when you consider what's necessary to mount one of the composer's works, the absence of Wagnerian productions becomes easier to grasp. These operas require lots and lots of people -- mostly very skilled artists -- to sing and play extraordinarily demanding music..."
"...Like most everyone else at the Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) on Monday, June 7, I am ready to croon to the Austin Arts Commission that, despite the dedicated work of the Advisory Panel in my discipline, my arts organization wasn't appreciatedquite enough and therefore deserves more money. "Please increase my funding" is the chorus this evening as artists sing for their suppers, their marketing budgets, their administrative personnel budgets, their materials budgets..."
"...At the same time, however, she's moved into new areas, often seeking new collaborators to help her explore some unknown territory. The list of artists Gold has partnered with is as impressive as it is extensive: Hay and fellow choreographer-dancers Diana Prechter (Genius of the Heart) and Julie Nathanielsz (Gold Show/Rose Show), composer Pauline Oliveros (many Deep Listening projects), actor-writer CK McFarland (Hot Flash: A Comic Coming of Age Tragedy), musician Leticia Rodriguez (Chicken and Beans), percussionist Nick Hennies ("Resonance"), composer Travis Weller (When the Shoes Sing Their Finest Song), actor-dancer Jason Phelps ("The Sound That Shook the World")..."
"...9. Various Artists, KGSR Broadcasts, Vol..."
"...The character of Berenice didn't think so in La Clemenza di Tito: A Retelling, the adaptation that Local Opera Local Artists premiered last weekend. Like a kind of anti-Portia, this lover of Tito's argued against mercy, stressing the danger to him and the empire that would result from leaving a deadly enemy alive and unpunished..."
"...4) We’re not telling you about Saturday’s opening reception for “The Relationship of Things” show at Davis Gallery just because it’s so near that new Soup Peddler shop, but because artists Faustinus Deraet, Ginger Geyer, and Barbara Pence are presenting an array of photography, painting, and sculpture that will vividly elevate your sense of the familiar – and that’s no small thing in this rapidly changing world...."
"...Although La Femme Bohème will be performed only twice this weekend, Cass plans to remount it in 2015 and "take this show to the next level." And expect still more shows through her new company, LOLA – Local Opera, Local Artists. "I can't even express my joy and enthusiasm for being able to live in a city that encourages and supports this level of artistic diversity and to make art with these people! It really doesn't get better than this."..."
"...No doubt the selections they'll be treated to will reflect Perry's wide-ranging tastes, encompassing vocal music and opera, and chamber music for all kinds of instruments, from the medieval period through the baroque and romantic eras to the present. Certainly, the extensive roster of A-list talent – more than two dozen all-star artists – reflects Perry's connections to music makers throughout the city: Liz Cass of LOLA (Local Opera Local Artists), Daniel Johnson of Texas Early Music Project, Matthew Hinsley of Austin Classical Guitar, Carla McElhaney of Revel, Rick Rowley of the Butler School of Music, and Keith Womer of La Follia, to name just a few...."
"...2) That one powerhouse vocalist, you know? Liz Cass? One of the two women behind Local Opera Local Artists? She who, along with tenor Paul Sanchez, knocked audiences sideways in Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance? Yeah, well, the mezzo-soprano’s lending her potent pipes and general pulchritude to the Austin Chamber Music Center’s “Age of Aquarius” gig this Saturday … and we reckon you should be aware of that...."
"...Today’s 575 artists, bringing SXSW’s running total to roughly 948, also foreshadow an ultra-rare performance of British post-classical composer Max Richter’s eight-hour ambient sequence entitled Sleep, during which it’s normal, if not intended, for listeners to doze off...."
"...3) Hit the river for a scintillating sunset soirée this Sunday, as the Alamo Drafthouse and Local Opera Local Artists team up to offer you a screening of that Cher movie Moonstruck at the Ritz and then put you aboard a Capital Cruise double-decker for cocktails and a live, full-concert version of LOLA’s popular La Femme Bohème as Austin’s zebra-mussel-infested waters roll on by and Sol’s descent turns the planet’s backdrop the color of a faded UT Longhorns T-shirt...."
"...OK, class, here's a pretty basic equation: Rapidly escalating rents plus sharp increases in the costs of living and of making art plus decrease in adequate spaces for showing that art equals ...? Logic would suggest a reduction in the number of arts events. I mean, math, right? So, then, with resources for artists in Austin shrinking as rents are skyrocketing and venues are closing, how do you explain Jennifer Sherburn's 11:11, her project to premiere 11 dances in 11 months? Or the monthly programs on offer this season from the Rude Mechs and Local Opera, Local Artists? Or Revel Unclassified, a series of 22 concerts presented in as many weeks?..."
"...That's what the clock on the wall of the Kinko's copy shop at Fourth and Congress reads. It's Monday afternoon, March 15, and Austin artists from all disciplines are nervously standing over copy machines, trying to spur them on like jockeys speeding their horses toward the finish line..."
"...But I think now it's being pushed more subterranean. I'm worried about us driving away artists and potential artists..."
"...The barriers that for centuries have stood between different kinds of art – keeping the visual arts apart from dance and classical music apart from theatre and everyone apart from everyone else in their nice, discrete disciplines – are being yanked down nowadays like it's Berlin, 1989. Dancers are making moves in galleries, and visual artists are slinging paint at the ballet barre; opera singers are cozying up to comedians, and rock musicians are belting out tunes in legit musicals..."
"...When the discipline under discussion is dance, it's the nature of the artists to be on the move. And in Austin, they certainly are, pirouetting, lunging, stomping, leaping in scores of works annually, the eclectic mix of styles typical of our town: classical ballet, modern, aerial dance, tap, folklorico, flamenco...."