Austin Opera is speeding up its reinvention efforts under General Director and CEO Annie Burridge.
The company’s 2019-2020 season, announced Thursday night at the Long Center, will include two large-scale classics, Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Puccini’s “Turandot,” a still-new one-act opera, “Everest,” as well as a to-be-announced Opera ATX project, an innovative series of shows set in nontraditional spaces.
Additionally, Burridge has formalized the opera's relationship with the University of Texas and its Butler Opera International Competition, while retaining Timothy Myers in the post as Austin Opera’s artistic advisor. Thus Myers will continue to take some of workload formerly shouldered by former Artistic Director Richard Buckley, who was fired a year ago for alleged inappropriate behavior.
RELATED: Top Austin arts news stories of 2018
Myers will also conduct “Turandot.”
“Everest,” scheduled for January 2020, builds on Austin Opera’s recent record of producing fresh operas, such as “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Silent Night,” a practice that the company has embraced then dropped periodically since its founding in 1986.
In a tight 75 minutes, it explores one of the deadliest years in the history of climbing Mount Everest — 1996. The music is by English composer Joby Talbot, best known for his ballet and screen scores, while the words were written by Gene Scheer, whose operas have made waves in Dallas, Houston and elsewhere.
RELATED: “Silent Night” an instant hit
“Rigoletto,” one of Verdi’s mature operas about love, power, violence and revenge, is slated for November 2019. “Turandot,” to be staged in April 2020, is based on a fairy tale set in imperial China. It was Puccini’s last monumental opera.
It’s especially encouraging that Burridge has retained the Opera ATX concept, which grew out of her experiences producing shows staged away from traditional concert halls in Philadelphia, her previous posting. Next season’s selection will be announced in April 2019 in time for the launch of the first Opera ATX outing, “Soldier Songs,” at the Paramount Theatre.
Tickets for 2019-2020 season are available at the Austin Opera website or 512-472-5992.