Austin Opera reveals next season

First out of the performing arts gate for the 2017-2018 season is Austin Opera.

While its current show, “Daughter of the Regiment,” gears up for a second weekend, we can look forward to three treats next go round.

RELATED: Austin Opera’s general director turns to Big Data to engage audiences.

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We’re not promising that Austin Opera’s “Carmen” will look anything like this Australian outing. Contributed.

First up in November is Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” the second most popular opera in the world during a recent reporting period, according to Operabase, an online database of opera performances.

Next in January and February is a much rarer gem, Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” appearing for the first time in Austin as far as I can determine.

Finally, Austin Opera returns to the best-loved list with Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata,” in fact, the most popular  opera, accredited in Operabase from the same reporting period (2009-2015).

 

 

Plug into electric dances from Ballet Austin and Malpaso

The best way to daydream about upcoming Austin dance concerts is via video.

Feb. 10-12, Stephen Mills‘s evolving “Belle Redux” reinvents the Beauty and the Beast tale for Ballet Austin at the Long Center.

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Malpaso Dance Company is a contemporary group from Havana, Cuba, that will play Bass Concert Hall on Feb. 9, thanks to Texas Performing Arts.


Malpaso Dance Company – COMPANY PROMO from sunnyartistmanagement on Vimeo.

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Malpaso Dance Company. Contributed by Texas Performing Arts.

Devouring the UT Doty Award Dinner

Last night, I attended a consummate example of an Austin awards ceremony.

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University of Texas Trombone Choir performs at Doty award Dinner. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

It was short at 90 minutes, or two hours if you include the cocktail reception. It included entertainment — a trombone choir and a jazz trio. Only three awards total, all  clearly well-deserved, introduced by polished and thoroughly informative speeches and videos. The honorees appeared, well, honored and kept their remarks brief. My table companions kept up a lively conversational beat and the catered dinner at the AT&T Center was tasty from beginning to end. Wine flowed freely, but not to the point of impediment.

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Playwrights Meghan Kennedy and Kirk Lynn at Doty Award Dinner. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

I’m talking about the Doty Award Dinner, named for the founding dean of the University of Texas College of Fine Arts. Doug Dempster and Sondra Lomax did a crisp yet warm job of overseeing the annual rites. The big prize went to the Kimbell Art Foundation, created in 1936 in Fort Worth. Not only does this trust support one of that city’s astonishingly good art museums, it backs art history programs at UT. Young alumni honors went to playwright Meghan Kelly and jazz pianist Helen Sung. I very much want to interview both of these accomplished artists at length some day.

Service for LBJ Library leader Harry Middleton set

Salute Harry Middleton’s life at a memorial service on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the LBJ Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Great Hall of the library. RSVP for the service: http://bit.ly/HM-feb1

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RELATED: Harry Middleton, longtime head of LBJ Presidential Library, dies at 95.

‘Greater Tuna’ headed back to Austin … and more

There’s nothing else like it. And Austinites adore it.

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“Greater Tuna” — starring Joe Sears and Jaston Williams and co-written by Ed Howard — debuted here in 1981.

That’s right, 35 years ago. The comedy about small-town Texas life — or lack of it — played off-Broadway and appeared on HBO.

It was topped by “A Tuna Christmas,” which premiered in 1989 made it to Broadway. Sears earned a Tony Award nod.

Next came “Red, White and Tuna,” then “Tuna Does Vegas.”

Both “Greater Tuna” and “A Tuna Christmas” played the White House and toured frequently. So popular was it at the Paramount Theatre, Williams and Sears earned sidewalk stars under the marquee.

Now Williams, how has taken the director’s chair for a touring version of “Greater Tuna” that has been retooled. It will land in Austin at the Long Center April 14-16.

Playing all the roles in the “third smallest town in Texas” will be Ryan H. Bailey, Tim Leavon and Will Mercer.

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Lowry Mays congratulates Red McCombs upon winning the Star of Texas Award. Contributed by Texas Historical Foundation.

Speaking of memorable Texans, more than 250 people gathered at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio on Jan. 20 to witness Red McCombs accepting the Star of Texas Award, honoring the contributions that he and his wife, Charline, have made to the state.

Billionaire businessman McCombs is perhaps best known in Austin as a Longhorns super-fan and super-donor — think of the McCombs School of Business — whose approval is sought by incoming University of Texas presidents, coaches and athletic directors.

 

Looking for an Austin party? Look no further

Right on time: The Austin social scene blows up.

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Jan. 25: March on the Kitchen Dinner for SAFE. L’Oca D’Oro.

Jan. 25: “The Great Society” previews. Zach Theatre.

RELATED: Zach Theatre grapples with LBJ play “The Great Society.

Jan. 26: Doty Award Dinner for UT College of Fine ArtsAT&T Center.

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Jan. 26: “The Bowie Project: A Rock & Roll Sound Painting” from Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre opens. Ironwood Hall.

Jan. 27: “Mamma Mia” opens. Bass Concert Hall.

Jan 28: Dell Children’s Believe Gala. Austin Convention Center.

Jan. 28: Human Rights Campaign Austin Gala. JW Marriott.

Jan. 28: Edible Austin’s Bacon and Beer Festival. Brazos Hall.

Jan. 28: Drop the Mic, the ReMix for LEEF. Hilton Austin.

Jan. 28: Austin Opera’s “Daughter of the Regiment.” Long Center.

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Jan. 28: Golden Hornet String Quartet Smackdown III featuring Mother Falcon String Quartet opens. Alamo Drafthouse South.

Jan. 29: KMFA 50th Birthday Block Party. Fair Market.

Jan. 29: Revel Unclassified: The Magic String. 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op.

Jan. 29: Concert pianist Anton Nel. Long Center.

Feb. 2: Blue Lapis Light Luncheon. Chez Zee.

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Feb. 3: Salvage Vanguard’s “Thr3e Zisters.” Off Center.

Feb. 3: “Kaleidoscope” opens. Ransom Center.

Feb. 4. CASAblanca for CASA of Travis County. JW Marriott.

Feb. 4: Corazón Awards for Con Mi Madre. Brazos Hall.

Feb. 4: Comedian Kathy Griffin. Long Center.

Feb. 4: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner for Project Transitions. Various locations.

Feb. 4: Rodeo Austin Gala with Randy Houser. Palmer Events Center.

Feb. 4: “Voices of Mercy” from Chorus Austin opens. St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Feb. 6: “Stories to Tell” opens. Ransom Center.

Feb. 7: Dancing with the Stars.” Bass Concert Hall.

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Feb. 7: Forklift Danceworks Launch Party. Private home.

Feb. 8: Feel the Love for Austin Music Foundation. Emo’s.

Feb. 9: Malpaso Dance CompanyBass Concert Hall.

Feb. 10: Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux”opens. Long Center.

Feb. 10: Mix ‘n’ Match Party, Exhibition & Art Sale. Mexic-Arte Museum.

Feb. 11: Blanton Gala + Reinstalled Permanent Collection. Blanton Museum of Art.

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Feb. 11: Mardi Gras Magic for Town Lake Links. Hyatt Regency Austin.

Feb. 12: Nobelity Austin’s Feed the Peace Awards. Four Seasons Austin.

Feb. 14: “The World According to Snoopy.” Texas State University.

Feb. 14: Esquina Valentine’s Dinner and Show. 209 Pedernales St.

Feb. 15: UT Dance’s “Momentum.” Brockett Theatre.

Feb 15: Philanthropy Day Luncheon. JW Marriott Austin.

Feb. 16: “Farrah Fawcett: Seductress and Sculptress” opens. Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum.

Feb. 16: Penfold Theatre Co’s “An Iliad” opens. Scottish Rite Theater.

Feb. 16: “Pride and Prejudice” opens. Mary Moody Northen Theatre.

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Feb. 17: Physical Plant Theater’s “Sister of the Shattering Glass” opens. Digital.

Feb. 17: “West Side Story” opens. Georgetown Palace Theatre.

Feb.17: Austin Symphony’s “Pixar in Concert.” Long Center.

Feb. 18: Opera Austin’s Serenata Wine Dinner & Auction. Four Seasons Hotel Austin.

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Feb. 21: Finding Refuge in Austin, 1848-1980opening reception. Austin History Center.

Feb. 21-22: Texas Medal of the Arts. Bass Concert Hall.

Feb. 22: Literacy First’s Bright Futures Ahead Party. South Congress Hotel.

Feb. 24: Wonders and Worries Unmasked. JW Marriott Austin.

Feb. 25: Rockin’ Round Up for Any Baby Can. Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Feb. 25: Toast and Roast for Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. Stonehouse Villa.

Feb. 25. Meet the artists of Performa/Dance. Private home.

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Feb. 25: Carnaval Brasileiro. Palmer Events Center.

Feb. 27: Comedian Billy Crystal. Long Center.

Feb. 28. Firefly Fund Inaugural Event. ACL Live.

UPDATES: Opening date for the Salvage Vanguard show is Feb. 3 and the Firefly Fund event venue has changed.

Go out with Out & About

Get ready. Set. Go. Plan to attend these Out & About events for January and early February.

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Jan. 13: Austin Symphony’s “Symphonic Follies” opens. Long Center.

Jan 13: “Crimes of the Heart” opens. City Theatre Austin.

Jan. 14: “Call of the Wild.” State Theater.

Jan. 17: FronteraFest opens. Hyde Park Theatre.

Jan. 18: National Theatre of Scotland’s “Let the Right One In” opens. McCullough Theatre.

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Jan 19: Jazz artist Pamela Hart. Long Center.

Jan 19: Acrocats. State Theater.

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Jan. 25: “The Great Society” previews. Zach Theatre.

Jan. 26: Doty Award Dinner for UT College of Fine ArtsAT&T Center.

Jan. 27: “Mama Mia” opens. Bass Concert Hall.

Jan 28: Dell Children’s Believe Gala. Austin Convention Center.

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Jan. 28: Austin Opera’s “Daughter of the Regiment.” Long Center.

Jan. 28: Human Rights Campaign Gala. JW Marriott.

Jan. 29: Concert pianist Anton Nel. Long Center.

Feb. 4. CASAblanca for CASA of Travis County. JW Marriott.

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Feb. 4: Corazón Awards for Con Mi Madre. Brazos Hall.

Feb. 4: Comedian Kathy Griffin. Long Center.

Feb. 4: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner for Project Transitions. Various locations.

Feb. 4: Rodeo Austin Gala with Randy Houser. Palmer Events Center.

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Feb. 6: “Stories to Tell” opens. Ransom Center.

Feb. 7: Dancing with the Stars.” Bass Concert Hall.

Feb. 8: Feel the Love for Austin Music Foundation. Emo’s.

Feb. 9: Malpaso Dance CompanyBass Concert Hall.

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Feb. 10: Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux.”opens. Long Center.

Feb. 11: Blanton Gala + Reinstalled Permanent Collection. Blanton Museum of Art.

Feb. 12: Feed the Peace Awards with Jerry Jeff Walker and Gilbert Tuhabonye for Nobelity Project. Four Seasons Austin.

Feb. 21-22: Texas Medal of the Arts. Bass Concert Hall.