(Austin, TX—March 11, 2021)—Austin Opera today announces the company’s much-anticipated return to live performance with an innovative outdoor staging of Puccini’s Tosca at one of the most exciting venues in Austin: Germania Insurance Amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the city’s Formula 1 racetrack located just 15 miles outside the downtown core. The two performances are set for Thursday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. and will feature the Austin Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Timothy Myers, the company’s Sarah and Ernest Butler Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor. David Lefkowich (2018’s La traviata) will direct the massive outdoor production, which will employ more than 125 local artists and stage crew who have been out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are so excited to return to our central mission of providing a fantastic live music experience to the people of Austin, and we are proud to give employment to the many hard-working musicians and artisans and stage personnel who are part of our artistic family. We are working closely with local officials to ensure a safe and healthy experience for people on both sides of the curtain. We are grateful to Frederick S. Addy for underwriting our partnership with Circuit of the Americas, which is making this monumental endeavor possible, to Eva Womack for underwriting the production, and to all our patrons who have championed and sustained us during this challenging year. I can’t wait to wave that green flag and welcome our loyal audiences to the racetrack!
-Austin Opera General Director & CEO Annie Burridge
Making their Austin Opera debuts in Tosca are a trio of important international artists. A recent Opera News cover star, soprano Latonia Moore is Tosca, the fiery diva caught in the crossfire of love. A native of Houston, Moore has recently sung Tosca at Washington National Opera, Opera Australia, and in Rouen, France. Tenor Adam Smith makes his role debut as the heroic Cavaradossi, and baritone Aleksey Bogdanov is the evil Scarpia. Texas singers take on many of the opera’s supporting roles—a complete cast list can be found on the press release linked here.
Tosca is one of opera’s most popular and enduring classics, and returns to the Austin Opera stage for the first time since 2014. The first act’s booming finale, the “Te Deum,” will have a unique visual complement in Austin’s stunning sunset, adding ethereal power to the full force of the Austin Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The second act’s most anticipated moment is Tosca’s “Vissi d’arte,” one of the most famous arias in all of opera, in which Tosca reflects on art, love, and faith as she reaches the most pivotal crossroads of her life. In the final act, Cavaradossi will sing his signature salute to the stars, “E lucevan le stelle,” under the blanket of stars in Austin’s evening sky. And in the opera’s thrilling finale, Tosca will make the ultimate leap of faith in a moment of staging not to be missed in this site-specific production.
“To welcome audiences, performers, staff and crew back—with one of opera’s classic works—is a wonderful spring gift. We are delighted to host Tosca ‘under the stars,’ are grateful to the Austin Opera for making it happen, and look forward to a fun night,” says COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein.
What audiences can expect at COTA
Health and Safety
Austin Opera’s union agreements and artist contracts require social distancing and masks throughout the venue. The safety of our artists, patrons, and staff is paramount.
All ticket holders will need to complete a pre-performance health questionnaire prior to arrival at COTA. At the ticket gates, patrons will be subject to temperature checks, security screening, and bag check, pursuant with COTA’s entry policies.
Seating in COTA’s Germania Insurance Amphitheater will be reserved in a socially distanced manner by section. Ticket holders will be seated with at least two seats between groups, and every other row will be empty to allow for social distancing. The seating plan will continue to be contingent upon government orders and health and safety orders, and exact seat locations will be assigned pursuant to those guidelines.
Food and Beverage
Food and beverage will be available for purchase through COTA’s concessionaire RS3 and will include the usual racetrack fare. Food and beverage may be brought into the seating area of the amphitheater. Masks will be required of all patrons at all times unless actively eating or drinking.
No outside food or beverage or tailgating is permitted.
Free and ample parking in COTA’s Lot H is included with all tickets. Limited upgraded parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 in Lots B, C, and D. Frequent open-air shuttles will also be available to whisk patrons from each parking lot to the box office and venue entrance. A map of the parking lots at COTA can be found at austinopera.org/tosca.
Parking lots and the box office will open at 5:00 p.m. The gates open at 6:00 p.m. prior to the curtain time of 7:30 p.m.
Projected English Titles
English titles will be visible from all seats in all sections and will be projected onto the massive screens on each side of the stage. These screens will also show a close-up view of the action on the stage.
The Germania Insurance Amphitheater at the Circuit of The Americas maintains accessible seating in various sections, as well as accessible shuttles, restrooms, and parking. For complete information regarding ADA accessibility, please visit http://germaniaamp.com/venue/ada-accessibility
Inclement Weather Policy
If there needs to be a cancellation or postponement of either performance, we will communicate all pertinent information with ticket holders via email by 3 p.m. on the day of the event. Rain dates are April 30 and May 2.
Tickets for Tosca at the Circuit of the Americas start at $39 and are available now. Tickets include free parking in COTA’s Lot H; upgraded parking is available at the time of ticket purchase or on site on the day of the performance, pending availability.
Any questions? Please call 512-472-5992 or e-mail [email protected].