Education & Community

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.

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

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. Please visit our La Noche page for more information.

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

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 Debra Erck, Education Coordinator, at 512-610-7686 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 15 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.  We also provide our docent presentation in Spanish, on request.


MADAME BUTTERFLY – click on the EDUCATORS & STUDENTS TAB on the left to see all of our educational resources for Madame Butterfly.

For more information about docents or tickets, please contact Debra Erck, Education Coordinator, 512-610-7686 or

Dress Rehearsal registration for Madame Butterfly is now closed. If you’d like to be considered for a wait-list spot, please contact Debra Erck at

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.

2016-2017 Masterclass Series Schedule

Masterclasses will take place at the Austin Opera Rehearsal Hall, 3009 Industrial Terrace, Ste. 100 at 6:30 PM.

  • Tuesday, May 2nd – Madame Butterfly Masterclass



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!

2016-2017 Opera Previews Schedule
Doors always open at 6:30 PM for wine and light hors d’oeuvres.  Lecture begins promptly at 7:00 PM.

The Opera Preview for Madame Butterfly was Wednesday, April 5. Tickets to each Opera Preview event are $20. To purchase tickets, click the button below or call Austin Opera Patron Services 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!




Welcome to our new EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS section!

Resources on this page have been divided into three categories:

Scroll down and click on the desired links below.

FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING ACCESS OPERA: On the backside of a piece of origami paper (or square piece of copy paper), write a wish for peace in the world today.  Then make a paper crane and bring it with you to the LONG CENTER on April 27 when you attend the dress rehearsal of Madame Butterfly.  You can bring them individually, or string them together for Austin Opera’s PEACE CRANES display.  Our goal is to gather 1000 paper cranes to share the collective wish for peace from the children of Central Texas.


EXPLORE and let us know what you find useful in enriching your opera studies and experiences – and what additional resources we could include next year to make your opera adventure even better!

I. Getting to Know OPERA

I. Getting to Know OPERA

Here are resources for understanding all of the basics about opera.

  • FAQs for Access Opera
  • A Sound Anatomy of Opera
  • The Operatic Voice
  • ACTIVITY: Opera Timeline
  • ACTIVITY: Careers in the Arts
  • Opera101 – History

FAQs for Access Opera
Frequently asked questions about attending an Austin Opera dress rehearsal.

Descriptions of all of the musical components in an opera – overture, aria, recitative, ensemble, chorus, orchestral music.

A detailed definition of all the different voice types common in opera.

ACTIVITY: Opera Timeline – Madame Butterfly
This activity takes you through a brief history of opera, including important dates in the life of Giacomo Puccini.

ACTIVITY: Careers in the Arts
This lesson encourages students to explore a wide range of careers in the arts.
A great ONLINE source for information about opera.

Opera101 – Opera History
A nice overview of opera history through the time periods.

II. ALL ABOUT Madame Butterfly

II. ALL ABOUT Madame Butterfly

These resources share information about Austin Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly.

  • Madame Butterfly – In a Nutshell
  • Giacomo Puccini, composer
  • Opera 101 – All About Puccini
  • Madame Butterfly Cast and Story Synopsis
  • Opera 101 – Madame Butterfly
  • Yunah Lee: Austin Opera’s Cio-Cio San
  • MUSICAL EXCERPTS from Madame Butterfly
    • Yunah Lee singing “Un bel di, vedremo”
    • Madame Butterfly’s “Humming Chorus”
    • “Dovunque al mondo … Amore o grillo”
    • Love Duet: “Viene la sera … Bimba dagli occhi pieni di malia”
    • “Mio marito m’ha promesso”
  • STUDY GUIDES – Lesson Plans and Activities
  • Opera Insights Lectures
  • Opera Talk! video
  • Madame Butterfly Cartoon
  • BBC Interview for Royal Opera production

 Madame Butterfly – In a Nutshell
A brief summary of the basic facts about the opera Madame Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini Bio
A one page biography and photo of Giacomo Puccini.

Opera101 – Puccini
More info on Puccini

Austin Opera’s Madame Butterfly Cast List and Story Synopsis
A cast list and synopsis for Austin Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly

Opera101 – Madame Butterfly
Introduction to Madame Butterfly

Yunah Lee: Meet Austin Opera’s Cio-cio San

MUSICAL EXCERPTS from Madame Butterfly

Yunah Lee singing “Un bel di, vedremo”
Cio-Cio-San’s big Act II solo, “Un bel dì,” is the most famous aria in Madame Butterfly (and one of the best known in the entire operatic repertoire).  Witchita Grand Opera, 2014(4:32)

Madame Butterfly’s “Humming Chorus”
Follow the musical score to the “Humming Chorus” as you listen to the music. Singers – try out your sightreading skills and sing along! (2:58)

ACT 1: Dovunque al mondo … Amore o grillo
(Throughout the world … Love or fancy)

ACT 1: Love:Duet: Viene la sera … Bimba dagli occhi pieni di malia
(Night is falling … Little one with your bewitching eyes)

ACT 2: Part 1, “Un bel di, vedremo”
(One fine day we’ll see)
Recording of legendary soprano Maria Callas

“Un bel di, vedremo”: Historic Recording from 1912
The world première of Madame Butterfly took place at La Scala, Milan, on February 17, 1904.

ACT 2: “Mio marito m’ha promesso”
(My husband made me a promise)

More “Humming Chorus”
A beautiful video accompanies this version of the “Humming Chorus” from Madame Butterfly, performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.
As the off-stage chorus hums a wordless, melancholy tune, Butterfly, her child and Suzuki begin the long wait for Pinkerton to come. Night falls. Suzuki and the baby are soon asleep, but Butterfly keeps her vigil. Butterfly continues to wait , as the Humming Chorus ends and morning light appears.(3:07)

STUDY GUIDES – Lesson Plans and Activities
Metropolitan Opera
Pacific Opera Victoria
Opera America resources

Opera Insights Lecture (from Portland Opera), Part 1
Portland Opera Historian and lecturer Robert Kingston preview’s Madame Butterfly for the Portland Opera.

Opera Insights Lecture (from Portland Opera), Part 2
Opera Historian and lecturer Robert Kingston preview’s Madame Butterfly for the Portland Opera.

Opera Talk! video
Join Nick Reveles of San Diego OperaTalk! for a discussion of Madame Butterfly, including how Puccini was inspired to create the opera, its disastrous world première, discussions of Japanese society and the music of the opera, along with an overview of recordings.


Interview: Madame Butterfly – The Story

Watch the BBC Four interview, introduced by Antonio Pappano, on why Madame Butterfly is so appealing.  Featuring soprano and stage director Renata Scotto, The Royal Opera. (3:22)

ONLINE RESOURCES for Madame Butterfly
This word document is a concise list of all the great online resources for Madame Butterfly listed here on this page.

III. PAPER CRANES and the Story of Sadako

III. PAPER CRANES and the Story of Sadako

Connect to Japanese culture and history through the art of origami and the story of Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes.

  • LESSON: Origami Cranes
  • HOW-TO Video for Making Paper Cranes
  • LESSON: World At Peace
  • ACTIVITY PAGES: Writing Prompt, Word Search, Crossword, Acrostic Poem, Haiku
  • Sadako themed videos
  • Lesson ideas and info on the book, Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes
  • Basic Facts about Japan

LESSON: Origami Cranes
The student will:

  1. learn about the Japanese art form of origami.
  2. learn to fold a traditional paper crane.
  3. learn that the crane is an international symbol for peace.

HOW-TO Video for making PAPER CRANES
Art Specialist Stephanie Perry takes you through the process of making a traditional origami paper crane.

LESSON – World At Peace
Explore ideas of Children’s Rights in the world and how we can all be advocates for world peace.

Peace Writing Prompt
SADAKO Word Search
SADAKO Crossword
SADAKO Acrostic Poem
Haiku Poetry Writing

SADAKO Book Video
A short retelling of Sadako’s story using illustrations from Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

2000 Paper Cranes: A Memorial to Sadako
An artist’s personal project 70 hours folding 2000 cranes to create a portrait of Sadako. (3:09)

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Website
Features a virtual tour for adults and one for children The Kid’s Peace Station


Sadako book activities (second grade and up)

e-themes Sadako literature activities including webquests and data collecting sites (upper elementary – high school)

This is a GREAT page for children to learn basic facts about Japan.  It includes pictures and info about:

  • Flag of Japan
  • Currency
  • National anthem
  • Language
  • Religions
  • Tokyo
  • Government

Sources for materials shared here include:
* Madama Butterfly Study Guide – Pacific Opera Victoria
* Pathways for Understanding: Madama Butterfly – Metropolitan Opera Guild
* Enrichment Guide: A Thousand Cranes by Kathryn Schutz Miller

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