Education & Community

Download our Austin Opera Education & Community Programs Brochure

Welcome to the World of Opera!

Austin Opera is more than just our main stage productions.  Austin Opera is a cultural destination for the community that delivers world-class opera performances; engages audiences in creative environments from community groups to fantastic special events; enables lifelong learning; and celebrates the diversity that makes Austin unique.  From fostering the next generation of opera enthusiasts to strengthening our relationship with current ones, we are committed to fostering a deeper connection with opera and the arts.

In the 29th Season, Austin Opera partnered with local cultural organizations to present COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: OF MICE & MEN. Community partners, including The University of Texas Humanities Institute, The Blanton Museum of Art, Round Rock ISD, Austin Public Library Foundation, and The Paramount Theatre, hosted events to provide different perspectives of Steinbeck’s classic work, and explore its relevance today.

Get to know opera by exploring our opportunities for all ages:

Opera Adventures! – A camp for ages 8-12 designed to develop creativity and problem solving skills, all while exploring the world of opera. Camp dates: July 18-29, 2016; Registration deadline: July 6, 2016.

Austin Opera Guild – A membership organization with social and educational events, as well as volunteer opportunities to support Austin Opera. Please visit our Austin Opera Guild page for more information.

La Noche de Opera – A social and educational group for the Hispanic community

Sunday Matinee Music Camp – Parents are invited to take advantage of on-site childcare through our music camp for ages 4-10 for all three mainstage performances.

Opera Treasure Chest – A free program for students K-4 that includes carefully designed, TEKS-aligned interactive lesson plans to help students experience opera

Access Opera – A program that provides 4,500 free tickets to students, parents and teachers to attend Austin Opera dress rehearsals

Masterclass Series – A free program for UT students and guests to learn opera techniques with internationally recognized Austin Opera performers

Opera Previews – Fun, informal and informative lectures one month before each production at Chez Zee American Bistro

Opera Overtures – Free lectures for ticket holders in The Long Center one hour before each performance


Students will spend two weeks developing creativity and problem solving skills, all while learning about the world of opera! Through brainstorming, writing, planning and producing their own musical stage play, students learn the basics of stage performance and music composition while developing the ability to facilitate healthy social interactions and teamwork. Our mission is to teach students skills that will span a lifetime.

Camp Details

DATES: July 18-29, 2016

TIME: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Students can be dropped off beginning at 9 a.m. and picked up as late as 5 p.m. Children may miss up to three days of camp, but that may limit their participation in the final performance.)

CAMP COST: $625*

AGES: 8-12

LOCATION: Westlake United Methodist Church, 1460 Redbud Trail, Austin TX 78746

FACILITATED by Melody Long


INFO: Students provide their own lunch, all other snacks and supplies are provided. Students will explore visual arts, advertising, set design and costumes. The camp culminates with a final performance.

*Tuition assistance is available.

**The camp must meet a minimum enrollment of 12 campers. You will receive a 100% refund if the camp does not meet the required number of participants.

Opera Adventures! Registration Form 2016-17

Complete the form below to register your 8-12 year-old student(s) in Opera Adventures! An Austin Opera staff member will contact you to confirm registration and process payment. Please contact Erin Horan, Director of Education, at 512-610-7698 for more information, assistance or to register by phone.

 La Noche de Opera has been one of Austin Opera’s greatest successes, providing social and educational activities to members of the Hispanic community for almost 25 years. Before each production, members of La Noche de Opera gather in private homes, art galleries or restaurants to share a glass of wine, savor sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and listen to special guests and artists as they give insights into the upcoming production. You do not need previous knowledge of opera to become a member.

La Noche’s relaxed events are the perfect way to learn more about this wonderful art form. To find out how to get involved with La Noche de Opera, contact Erica Lopez at or join by returning the downloadable membership form below.


La Noche de Opera Chair: Erica Lopez

La Noche de Opera Advisor: Curby Conoley Tableriou

La Noche de Opera Committee: Raquel Frankenberg, Vanessa Fuentes, Kitty Garza, Laura Gutíerrez-Witt, Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza, Curtis Smith, Michi Spielman, Veronica Trevino and Antonia Warren


La Noche Photo Kitty Garza.jpg

Austin Opera offers opera-loving parents a chance to enjoy the Austin Opera’s Sunday matinee performances while their children enjoy an afternoon of music, games, arts and fun.

The Sunday Matinee Music Camp program is led by teachers from Armstrong Community Music School and provides cultural enrichment for kids ages 4 to 10 years old. Kids participate in fun music lessons and games, movement activities, and opera-related crafts. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

ABOUT SUNDAY MATINEE MUSIC CAMP Adults must purchase a ticket to the opera and attend the performance. Matinee Music Camp is held in the AT&T Room on the ground floor of The Long Center. This is a secure room with easy access to exits and bathrooms. Children will not be allowed to leave the room without supervision by at least one Austin Opera/ACMS staff member of volunteer.

Snacks are provided for children during the camp. Children may also bring their own snacks from home. Please alert staff ahead of time about any special needs, restrictions, allergies, etc.

Adults will be asked to sign a waiver and leave their seat locations and cell phone numbers with staff at check-in. In case of emergency, Austin Opera staff will locate parents by seat number and/or be sent a text message to their cell phones. (We ask that cell phones be kept on silent or vibrate in consideration of other opera attendees.)

ACMS logo

Music Camp Kids Group SILLY

Sample Sunday Matinee Music Camp Schedule

  • 2:30-3:00 – Student drop off and free play time
  • 3:00-3:30 – Music class time
  • 3:30-3:45 – Snack break
  • 3:45-4:30 – Arts and Crafts time
  • 4:30-4:45 – Snack break
  • 4:45-5:30 – Music game and activity time
  • 5:30-6:00 – Free play time
  • 6:30 – Children must be picked up.

Ticket buyers taking advantage of Sunday Matinee Music Camp will be seated in aisle seats to allow better access to entrances and exits.

Matinee Music Camp is $20 per child, payable at time of ticket purchase. Existing ticket holders for this performance are invited to call Patron Services to reserve a space for their children. Space is limited, so it is recommended that you register your child for the Sunday Matinee Music Camp early.

To purchase tickets and register your children for the Music Camp, please click HERE or call Patron Services at 512-610-7684.


Opera Treasure Chest is a free program that includes TEKS-aligned interactive lesson plans culminating in a live opera performance for students in grades K-4. Each lesson comes with all of the materials teachers need to help students experience opera while reinforcing writing skills, critical thinking and creativity. Teachers at participating schools “check out” treasure chests full of opera-related materials— CDs, DVDs, books and games. TEKs areas addressed by the Opera Treasure Chest include music, theatre, art, English language arts and health education.

“The Opera Treasure Chest was a great ‘hook’ for getting kids past their preconceived notions about opera. Knowing that opera tells a story, that both boys and girls can participate, that there are lots of people doing so many artistic things to get ready for a performance, these were all invaluable lessons for my kids.” – Christopher Koenig, Herrington Elementary School music specialist

For more information about Opera Treasure Chest or to book a Treasure Chest for your school please contact Erin Horan, Education and Administrative Coordinator, at 512-610-7689 or



Access Opera offers free tickets to students, parents and teachers to attend Austin Opera dress rehearsals at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. Prior to each rehearsal, TEKS-aligned Study Guides are available to prepare students for the experience of attending the opera. Students see and hear the work with an enhanced appreciation that helps create a deeper relationship for the art form. Access Opera is often the first opportunity for many participants to experience live opera.

Austin Opera docents are available to speak to your school group of 25 or more during the month leading up to each dress rehearsal. Docents talk about attending what it is like to attend the opera, and provide a historical and cultural context for the opera students will see. Click HERE for a transcript of our recent docent lecture for Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet.

For more information about docents or tickets, please contact Erin Horan, Education and Administrative Coordinator, 512-610-7689 or

Season 2015-2016 Access Opera Schedule:

Aida Dress Rehearsal
November 5, 2015 – 7:00 PM
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets open to public: October 5, 2015
Aida Access Opera Study Guide

Of Mice and Men Dress Rehearsal
January 21, 2016 – 7:00 PM
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets open to public: December 7, 2015
Of Mice and Men Access Opera Study Guide

The Barber of Seville Dress Rehearsal
April 21, 2016 – 7:00 PM
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets open to public: March 21, 2016                                                                                       The Barber of Seville Access Opera Study Guide

*Access Opera events are very popular and can sell out quickly. Seating is limited based on availability.*

The Masterclass Series, presented in partnership with the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, allows UT students to work with internationally recognized performers from each of Austin Opera’s productions during the season.

While participation in the Masterclass Series is limited to selected UT students, the general public is invited to attend and see a Master of the voice work with young singers, touching on subjects of musicality, the mechanics of singing, and what it is like to perform on stage.  This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever wondered how our singers do what they do.

2015-2016 Masterclass Series Schedule

Aida Masterclass with Karen Slack
Monday, November 9, 2015, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: Austin Opera Rehearsal Hall

Of Mice and Men Masterclass with Ryan MacPherson
Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: Jessen Auditorium

The Barber of Seville Masterclass with Troy Cook
Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: Jessen Auditorium



Opera Previews is a series of fun, informative lectures with live musical selections from each opera presented at Chez Zee American Bistro.  Taking place a few weeks prior to the opening of each Austin Opera production, these lively events give attendees an opportunity to learn about the upcoming opera while mingling with other enthusiasts. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

2015-2016 Opera Previews Schedule
Doors always open at 6:30pm for wine and light hors d’oeuvres.  Lecture begins promptly at 7:00pm.

Aida Opera Preview
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Speaker:  Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Austin Opera, Richard Buckley

Of Mice and Men Preview
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Speakers: Artistic Director of Austin Shakespeare, Ann Ciccolella, and Artistic Director with Principal Conductor of Austin Opera, Richard Buckley

The Barber of Seville Preview
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Speaker:  Director of the Butler Opera Center, Dr. Robert DeSimone

Tickets to each Opera Preview event are $20. To purchase, please click HERE or call our Patron Services Manager at 512.610.7684.





Opera Overtures are free pre-show talks for ticket holders starting one hour before every Austin Opera performance.  These talks include audio samples and entertaining anecdotes about the composer, the librettist and other fascinating information that give you historical context and enhance your enjoyment of the performance. Opera Overtures encourages people to arrive at The Long Center early, grab a drink and make the most of their evening at the opera!



Austin Opera thanks its generous lead Education & Community Engagement Sponsor:

HEB TournamentOfChampionsLogo    Additional support provided by:3M.Square.tight tca_vertical_blue.v2


Austin Opera Patron Services
512-610-7684; Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Long Center Box Office Hours
Monday-Friday:10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday: open during scheduled performances