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Austin Lyric Opera rebrands as Austin Opera

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

After 28 years, Austin Lyric Opera is changing its name, officials with the organization announced today.

From now on, the company will be known as Austin Opera.

General director Joe Specter said the change is meant to reflect the professional stature and forward-thinkingof the company.

“We’ve been known as Austin Lyric Opera for many years, and it has served us well. It is an important part of our history, and we are proud to be an opera company with that kind of longevity,” said Specter.

“As Austin continues its remarkable growth, we want our name to let people know that we are offering the kind of sophisticated opera experience that suits our creative and thriving city. As a name, ‘Austin Opera’ is elegant and inviting.”

Specter reported that in the past three season, the opera has seen a 33 percent increase in subscriptions. And artistic director and principal conductor Richard Buckley has now signed a four-year contract that will bring his tenure with the company to 16 years.

The company also signed a contract renewal with Local 433, American Federation of Musicians, to extend the opera orchestra’s term for an additional three years.

The company begins its season with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s A Masked Ball, Nov. 8, 13 and 16. On the production team are stage director Leon Major and Wendall Harrington, one of the world’s foremost projection designers. Harrington’s participation comes through a  partnership between Austin Opera and UT’s School of Theater and Dance.