2019-2020 Season

A Season of Celebrations and World Premieres

The UA Opera Theatre is excited to announce the 2019-2020 season.

World Premiere – “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”

Monday, October 21, 2019
Moody Concert Hall, School of Music
7:00 p.m.
Cheers and Chat at 6:00 in the Choral Opera Room

An opera in three acts by Joseph Landers
Based on the book by James Agee, libretto adapted from the book
Composed in celebration of the bicentennial of the State of Alabama
In collaboration with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Adam Flatt, conductor; Jenny Mann, Executive Director

This world-premiere production, in celebration of the dual bicentennial of the City of Tuscaloosa and the State of Alabama, will be filmed by Alabama Public Television for later re-broadcast closer to the actual December 2019 bicentennial date. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was first published in 1941 with photographs by American photographer Walker Evans. The work documents the lives of impoverished tenant farmers in Hale County, Alabama during the Great Depression. The book grew out of an assignment that Agee and Evans accepted in 1936 to produce a Fortune magazine article on the conditions among sharecropper families in the American South during the “Dust Bowl.” The UA Opera Theatre is proud to partner with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, the School of Music, and the composer to bring this impactful story to life on the stage.

Paul Houghtaling, Director and Co-Producer
Adam Flatt, Conductor
Amanda Harris, Production Stage Manager
Abigayle Williams, Assistant Director / Assistant Stage Manager
Laurie Rogers and Paul Houghtaling, Music Preparation
Tláloc Miguel López-Watermann, Lighting and Projection Design
Jacob Olson, Assistant Lighting Designer
Abigail Barbier, Costume Designer
Lindsey Jones, Assistant Costume Designer
Matthew Cornelson, Scenic Design and Construction
Sondra Nottingham, Wig and Makeup Design

An Afternoon of American Micro-Operas For Female Voices

She’s Fabulous – Tony Solitro
Scrapbookers –  Leanna Kirchoff
Juliet – Philip Seward

Sunday, November 24, 2019
FREE Admission
4:00 pm  (NOTE later start time)
Bryant-Jordan Hall

Join us for a celebration of American opera written for female voices.  While short in duration (each work is approximately ten-minutes in length), these works, all written within the last few years, are not short on substance and feature the sopranos and mezzo-sopranos of our company.

Susan Gonzalez, Guest Director
Paul Houghtaling, Director and Producer
Christopher Withrow, Director (DMA Candidate)
Caleb Harris, Conductor

Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 15, 2019
FREE Admission – Seating limited –  early arrival suggested.
3:00 pm
Bryant-Jordan Hall

AN ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!  The UA Opera Theatre offers this holiday treat for audiences of all ages.  Inspired by Bosch’s The Adoration of the Magi, Menotti’s poignant drama tells the tale of three kings on a journey to bring gifts to the wondrous child, a loving Mother with a heart of gold, and the young boy Amahl who offers his crutch as a gift in the true spirit of Christmas. Bryant-Jordan Hall will be decorated for the holiday and the UA Opera Theatre welcomes everyone to this special annual offering. Special seating accommodations are made for children who can feel part of the story by sitting up close to the stage.

Music and libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti
Laurie Rogers, Music Director and Conductor
Megan Ree Taylor, Director
Marla Moss, Scenic Design
Jacob Olson, Lighting Design

A Celebration of American Opera: Part II

Leo, Michael Ching
Triangle, Tony Solitro
No More in Darkness, Tony Solitro, on poetry by Corrine Elysse Adams
No Ladies in the Lady’s Book, Lisa DeSpain and Rachel Peters
RSBE – Remove Shoes Before Entering, a new chamber opera by Michael Ching

Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

Paul Houghtaling, Producer and Director
Laurie Rogers, Music Director and Conductor

More celebrations of American Opera.  We are particularly excited about a new work by Michael Ching, the renowned American composer, being created especially for the UA Opera Theatre.  Final details of topic and libretto are being finalized as of June 2019 … watch this page for details and announcements.  Mr. Ching is the composer of the opera Speed Dating Tonight, one of the most performed American operas in the past few seasons.  We’ll also produce an older work by Mr. Ching; the opera Leo is about a man having an argument with his cat !!!!  Then, another work by Tony Solitro. “Delightfully executed with sidesplitting hilarity” (The Theater Times), Tony’s mythology-infused comedy Triangle was featured on Fort Worth Opera’s 2019 Frontiers Showcase and was presented during the National Opera Association’s 2019 Conference in Salt Lake City as one of three finalists for the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. Commissioned by Boston Opera Collaborative and premiered in partnership with Boston New Music Initiative, Triangle was praised for its “spiky, smashing, blasting” orchestrations and hailed “a standout favorite” (the Intelligencer).  AND … yet one more shorter American opera on the program.  Licensing and permissions are currently being finalized and an announcement is coming shortly.

Scenic Ventures: Student-Directed Scenes and One-Act Works

Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
FREE Admission – Seating limited –  early arrival suggested.
Bryant-Jordan Hall

An annual event showcasing student-directed scenes from opera and musical theater and short one-act plays and operas.

One Night Only: An Annual Evening of Broadway, Pop and  Jazz  Favorites

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
FREE Admission – Seating limited –  early arrival suggested.
Bryant-Jordan Hall

This beloved annual celebration of the best of Broadway, pop and jazz fills up quickly!!  Our UAOT jazz ensemble returns with faculty and student artists supporting the versatile singers of the Opera Theatre. With the Opera Theatre Jazz Orchestra, Rob Alley, contractor

The Druid City Opera Workshop: Final Performance

May 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
FREE Admission
Bryant-Jordan Hall

Don’t miss the final performance of this nationally-recognized opera training program hosted by the UA Opera Theatre.  Young singers from all across the United States and beyond come to Tuscaloosa for a week of studying and performing and an intense dose of opera at Alabama!  TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!!  Druid City was formed in 2010!