In the midst of the global pandemic, five opera companies develop Texas Opera Alliance to ensure the future and accessibility of opera in the Lone Star State
HOUSTON – October 1, 2020 – Austin Opera (AO), The Dallas Opera (TDO), Fort Worth Opera (FWO), Houston Grand Opera (HGO), and OPERA San Antonio (OSA), are pleased to announce the creation of the Texas Opera Alliance (TOA), a new partnership of the five companies, designed to advance and protect the future of the art form in Texas. Facing the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented for performing arts organizations across the globe, the five companies identified the opportunity to give Texans more access to opera through a strategic alliance. The mission of the Texas Opera Alliance is to advance and diversify the operatic art form through innovative production partnerships, audience-building initiatives, and collaborative investments in new works, ensuring that opera continues to thrive in the Lone Star State.
In its first year, in addition to each organization implementing its own unique promotional initiatives, TOA will cross promote digital content and programming while creating unique touchpoints with audience members from all five organizations. In addition to streaming video content, TOA will provide member companies access to an array of publications and online resources, webinars, and supplementary programming. Through this cross promotion, the organizations’ digital content will have a larger reach.
“The Texas Opera Alliance supports a diverse and innovative group of organizations across the state. Our goal is simple: to make opera accessible. Through this alliance, we will be able to bring new and unique content to audiences all over Texas,” says HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech. “While it is not the season we had planned, it is exciting to see our organizations pushing the boundaries of the art form and bringing incredible opera to the screen. We are grateful that Sarah and Ernest Butler, longtime opera supporters, have made the extraordinarily generous pledge of $1 million to help underwrite HGO’s and Austin Opera’s digital programming, to be shared with opera lovers across Texas.”
“Texas is famous for being big with grand ideas, and that’s what I love most about this idea,” says HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers. “I’m proud of our collaborative projects already in development, such as a digital production of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, an HGO, Austin Opera, and OSA coproduction, to be co-directed by OSA General Director Loren Meeker (together with Ryan McKinny) and conducted by Austin Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Timothy Myers. I’m so looking forward to continuing this work with our Texan colleagues.”
“I’m heartened and inspired by the unprecedented level of collaboration between our five companies in recent months. I believe these cost-effective strategies to expand our mutual offerings will serve as a new model for the growth and sustainability of our art form,” says Annie Burridge, General Director & CEO of Austin Opera and Vice-Chair of OPERA America. “Nearly every project we are currently working on at Austin Opera intersects with a member of the Texas Opera Alliance – from co-productions to the engagements of Texas-based artists. For example, HGO Studio Artist Elena Villalon, has now appeared on the digital stages of Houston, Dallas, and Austin. And thanks to Austin-based philanthropists Sarah and Ernest Butler, a fleet of innovative co-productions between HGO and Austin Opera will now be made available to an audience with no geographical limitations.”
“This statewide alliance seems a natural and necessary next step towards championing artistic collaboration and cross-promotional opportunities,” says Ian Derrer, The Dallas Opera’s General Director and CEO. “We look forward to sharing content from our popular TDO Network—viewed by more than 34 million in 50 countries—as well as upcoming digital programs including reprised and original content as we work with our sister companies to elevate this astonishing art form.”
“We are thrilled to be a founding member of the Texas Opera Alliance, a unique partnership that allows all of us to maximize our resources and forge new experiences for our patrons,” says OSA General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker. “Our unprecedented collaboration will help set a new standard for creativity and lengthen our reach, both on and off stage. In the last few months, OSA has embraced this opportunity by presenting two virtual masterclasses with Fort Worth Opera and we are honored to unite with HGO and Austin Opera on Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera and The Impresario for the HGO Digital season. These films push operatic boundaries and provide our patrons with exciting new content. The future is bright with endless possibilities!”
“As the newly appointed General Director of FWO, I am elated to join Maestro Illick and my colleagues as a founding member of TOA,” says Afton Battle. “During this time in which our patrons are thirsting for quality engagement and access to the cultural stimulation that live theater and the arts provide, the collaborative efforts of TOA will allow us to expand our reach and deepen our connection to the community by leveraging the resources of our fellow sister companies. We are moving into a new creative realm of what it means to experience opera. There is no ceiling to hold us back, only infinite possibilities.”
Each organization will be creating new digital offerings for Texas audiences. More information about the Texas Opera Alliance, its member companies, and their seasons and digital offerings can be found on this website.