The Sarah and Ernest Butler Performance Series formed in the fall of 2020 in honor of a joint leadership gift with Houston Grand Opera (HGO) of $1 million from Austin philanthropists and longtime patrons Sarah and Ernest Butler. This unprecedented partnership with HGO to co-produce and present a diverse slate of new digital opera performances allows Austin Opera to incorporate these new co-productions into its programming online and at the Blue Starlite Drive-In movie theaters in Austin and Round Rock.

Houston Grand Opera has announced several productions and recitals which can be accessed here. Austin Opera’s productions at the Blue Starlite Drive-Ins were also part of the series – they are listed below.

(past) Giving Voice II

Premiered Friday, January 22 at 7:30 P.M.

After the triumphant sold-out concert at Houston’s Wortham Center last year—Giving Voice: Lawrence Brownlee and Friends Sing Opera, Gospel, and Standards—internationally renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee returned with his co-host, celebrated soprano Nicole Heaston. The pair were joined by an all-Black group of opera stars for a new digital installment of this wonderful celebration of diverse voices. The program premiere was followed by a Post Show Event online with the artists. A preshow lecture was also included in the event experience.

see archived information

(PAST) Double Bill: Impresario & Bon Appétit!

A Texas twist on Mozart’s The Impresario shares a double bill with Jamie Barton as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit!.

see archived information

(PAST) Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera

Attention, Best in Show fans: Get ready to laugh uproariously at this chamber opera from composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek, a hilarious sendup of the little-known Belgian sport of professional finch-calling. Conducted by Austin Opera’s Sarah & Ernest Butler Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Timothy Myers and directed by HGO Studio alumnus Ryan McKinny and E. Loren Meeker.

see archived information

(PAST) Lauren + Mark Digital Concert Event

This special film event, produced by Austin Opera and local media firm Subvrsive, captures sweet moments of musical bliss between married duo (and proud central Texans) soprano Lauren Snouffer and baritone Mark Diamond alongside pianist Nyle Matsuoka.

see archived information