Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Austin Opera has reshuffled and expanded its offerings.
There’s a lot of news to absorb here:
• The new production of "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs," once scheduled for January 2021, moves to January 2022.
• "Penelope," the Opera ATX production slated for performances in October 2020, has been postponed to the 2021-2022 season. The opera, by Sarah Kirkland Snider and Ellen McLaughlin, will be presented in collaboration with Fusebox at the North Door.
• Three operas are now in the works for the Long Center in 2021: "An All-Star Concert" in January 2021, Puccini’s "Tosca" in April/May 2021, and Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," which has been rescheduled to November 2021. Current subscriber packages will automatically shift to this lineup.
• Artistic Advisor Timothy Myers will conduct socially distanced concerts of opera’s greatest hits called "An All-Star Concert." Rebecca Herman will direct. Headliners are being finalized and will be announced later this fall.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of the arts in creating both beauty and community, and also has proven that there is truly no replacement for the miracle of live performance," Myers says. "After an achingly long intermission, I am excited to join a superb cast of renowned singers and our beloved Austin Opera Orchestra in creating these concerts. All members of the company look forward to expressing our love and gratitude to the city of Austin, as well as hearing from our supporters with their input about the program we will perform."
• A new alliance between Opera ATX and the Blue Starlite Drive-In will bring opera to the movies in East Austin and Round Rock. The series begins in October — full programming details to come soon — and features the world premiere screening of "Winter Journey," the Opera ATX production that was originally scheduled for live performances at the Austin Central Library in April 2020.
Titles in the Drive-In series will be made available for at-home viewing later in the season. Complete details on programming, dates and tickets will be announced soon.
• Austin Opera’s digital recital series "Live from Indy Terrace" will continue and expand to include new concerts by local and national artists.
"These digital videos will be presented as programming cycles throughout the season," the opera says in a statement, "with deep dives into each Long Center production, including pre-show lectures and recitals by cast members; explorations of musical styles such as zarzuela, the Great American Songbook, and musical theater that broaden the musical landscape of Austin Opera; and celebrations of the classical voice repertoire, with series featuring art songs, song cycles, and new operatic works."