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Texas Opera Alliance, including Austin Opera, chooses Ryan Speedo Green as first joint artist in residence

Michael Barnes
Austin 360
Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green will appear in Austin Opera's "An All-Star Concert."

Five big Texas opera companies have teamed up to name Ryan Speedo Green as their first joint artist in residence.

The Texas Opera Alliance was formed in 2020 by opera troupes in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth to promote, transform and diversify the art form in the state. What better way than to sponsor an established star for a residency? Green, a bass-baritone who has sung on global stages, will spend the last two weeks of March in Texas involved in various initiatives, leading up to the filming of the postponed "An All-Star Concert," which will air on public television on an unspecified date in April.

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Green's backstory includes time in juvenile detention and solitary confinement; his personal history has been turned into a best-selling book, "Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family," which was adapted for the stage.

“I am excited to spend these weeks in the great state of Texas, and I am grateful to partner with the wonderful companies who make up the Texas Opera Alliance as the very first artist in residence,” Green said in a statement. “Throughout my life, I’ve been very fortunate to have a series of mentors and educators who have guided me in my journey. I’m very happy to have the opportunity through this partnership to provide this same kind of mentorship to the young people of Texas. I’m hopeful that by sharing my journey during these events with young artists, incarcerated youth, and musicians from all walks of life, I can help them learn from my story and provide inspire the next generation.”

While based in Austin, Green will lead master voice classes, visit school classrooms and participate in mentorship talks in all five cities, mostly virtually. Previously in the state, he had sung Escamillo in "Carmen" for Opera San Antonio and Osmin in "The Abduction from the Seraglio" for Houston Grand Opera.

Michael Barnes writes about the people, places, culture and history of Austin and Texas. He can be reached at mbarnes@statesman.com.

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