…to join us for a season of thrilling opera at The Long Center. As we enter Austin Opera’s 31st season, we are proud to present three of the most celebrated operas in the repertory, featuring some of its most infamous heroines. We begin with a gritty and seductive new take on Bizet’s Carmen starring the stunning Sandra Piques Eddy. In January, our season salute to strong women continues with Alexandra LoBianco and Jeni Houser as the dueling sopranos of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, retold in a whimsical new production conceived by Glimmerglass Festival Director, Francesca Zambello. We close our season with a classic production of Verdi’s most heart-wrenching tale, La traviata, starring Marina Costa-Jackson.
Of course, a strong opera heroine is usually accompanied by a strong leading man, and we look forward to welcoming some of the opera world’s finest in René Barbera, Norman Garrett, Chad Shelton, Michael Chioldi, and Jonathan Burton, just to name a few. We hope you will join us for another season of dazzling talent, intriguing new productions, and glorious music!
THE SARAH AND ERNEST BUTLER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR
Bizet’s sizzlingly hot opera tells the tale of one of the most dynamic characters in all of the operatic canon, Carmen. It also contains some of its most beloved and well known music, including the Toreador Song and the Habanera. A new, gritty, and mesmerizing production places the classic story of love, betrayal, and ultimately death, in 1970. Mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, praised for her “dark, sensuous mezzo and charming stage presence” (Opera Magazine), stars in the provocatively alluring title role alongside tenor Chad Shelton, the naïve soldier who succumbs to her advances to tragic end. Baritone Norman Garrett will storm the stage in his Austin Opera debut as the Toreador.
Richard Strauss’ tour de force, Ariadne auf Naxos, tells the story of a wealthy man who has assembled two groups of performers in his home – a group of opera singers preparing for a serious opera, and a troupe of comedians scheduled to perform an Italian comedy. As time grows short, the patron demands that the opera and the comedy be performed together, leading to an array of unexpected – and ultimately very satisfying - results. Celebrated director Francesca Zambello’s production debuted at the Glimmerglass Festival, and re-imagines the playful and passionate tale in a rural barn setting. Glorious music and vocal fireworks from an ensemble cast led by soprano Alexandra LoBianco, tenor Jonathan Burton, soprano Jeni Houser, and mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano bring this romantic tale of backstage hijinks to life.
Verdi’s tragic heroine takes center stage in one of the most frequently performed operas of all time – La traviata. Violetta Valery, a courtesan who knows she will soon die, falls in love with the handsome Alfredo, but – as often happens in opera - their happiness cannot last. Soprano Marina Costa-Jackson, who took first place in 2015 in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, takes the stage as Violetta. American tenor René Barbera (who delighted audiences in Austin Opera productions of The Daughter of the Regiment and The Elixir of Love) will make his role debut as Alfredo. Michael Chioldi performs the pivotal role of Alfredo’s father, Giorgio.
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Extend and enrich your performance experience through these additional events before, during, and after the performance!
Opening Night Dinners*
Before each Saturday night performance, join fellow opera lovers for an elegant three-course meal in the Kodosky Lounge, hosted by the Austin Opera Guild. Black-tie attire welcome.
UrbanNites Reception for Young Professionals*
On Thursday evenings, Austinites gather for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Kodosky Lounge. Guests are treated to an insider’s view of the evening’s production.
NEW! Sunday Brunch Presentations*
Join us for brunch and a fascinatinglecture before the Sunday matinees.
Post-show Q & A
Stay after the performance for a Q & A with Maestro Buckley and the star performers. Free to all ticket holders. Visit AustinOpera.org to see which performances include these bonus presentations.
Don’t forget to join us for Opera Overtures, offered one hour before every Austin Opera performance! These free lectures provide expert insights designed to boost your enjoyment of the production for both opera aficionados and first-time opera goers.
*Additional event ticket required