Austin's getting more Spanish-language opera, thanks to a multimillion-dollar gift
With a multimillion-dollar infusion, Austin Opera is expanding its Spanish-language programming.
Local philanthropists Sarah and Ernest Butler have given the fine arts company $3.3 million, the opera company announced Wednesday. It is the largest gift the company's ever received.
How will Austin Opera use the money?
Through the donation, Austin Opera has created the Butler Fund for Spanish Programming endowment. They've also hired Claudia Chapa as the company's first curator of Hispanic and Latinx programming.
The endowment will allow Austin Opera to "share stories and musical experiences representative of the Austin community," a statement from the company says.
Who is Claudia Chapa, the Spanish-language program curator for Austin Opera?
Chapa, a Mexico-born mezzo-soprano, trained at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas and has performed "The Magic Flute," "The Flying Dutchman," and "Ariadne auf Naxos" at Austin Opera. She's also done shows on the company's streaming platform.
One of Chapa's responsibilities in her role will be to make sure Hispanic and Latinx programming is represented in all of Austin Opera's platforms, according to the company, which include performances at the Long Center for the Performing Arts and Concerts at the Consulate, a series Chapa currently curates that is produced with the Consulate General of Mexico.
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Chapa said in a statement: "I’ve known the Butlers since moving to Austin back in 2005 to study at the Butler School of Music. They have been incredibly supportive of my performance career and to have their generous backing for this initiative of celebrating and telling new kinds of stories is inspiring. Opera is for everyone, and we reflect that on our stages."
What's coming up next?
Two Concerts at the Consulate shows are coming soon. Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte will perform at 7 p.m. on May 13, and tenor Rafael Moras will perform at 7 p.m. on June 24. The series is free. Go to austinopera.org/concerts-at-the-consulate for more information.