Originally founded in May 1986 as Austin Lyric Opera, the city’s first professional opera company, Austin Opera has become a cultural touchstone for the fine arts community in the Central Texas region and has gained national acclaim as a producer of great opera. Co-founders Joseph McClain and the late Dr. Walter Ducloux envisioned a dynamic company that would enrich, entertain, and educate the community. In January 1987, the sold-out inaugural production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” debuted to rave reviews. “One could not hope for a more polished first showing,” praised an Austin critic.
Austin Opera is committed to producing and promoting outstanding opera that will entertain, enrich and educate the central Texas community. Austin Opera is a cultural destination for the community that delivers an extraordinary experience; a creative environment that challenges the misconceptions of the art form; enables lifelong learning; and celebrates the diversity that makes Austin unique.
A consistently excellent program selection fused with major international artists, directors, and designers has won acclaim for the company locally, nationally and internationally. Austin Opera productions consistently garner praise for production value, vocal artistry, set design and the leadership of The Sarah and Ernest Butler Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Richard Buckley. Internationally known singers such as, Carol Vaness, Greer Grimsley, Lyubov Petrova, Stephen Costello, Lise Lindstrom, and Sandra Piques Eddy have all graced the opera stage and delighted Austin audiences.
Austin Opera is committed to maintaining the highest standards of artistic integrity. Works from previous seasons include Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Rodriguez’s “La Curandera,” Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Verdi’s “La Traviata,” and Puccini’s “Turandot.” The artistry and musical excellence for which Austin Opera is known continues in the company’s performance home, The Joe R. and Teresa Long Center for the Performing Arts and its acoustically noteworthy Dell Hall.