Butler Opera Center Announces First Production of Spring 2012

Event: "New York Stories," a contemporary opera written by Daron Hagen, will debut in its entirety at the Butler Opera Center at The University of Texas at Austin later this month. Advance tickets are available at Texas Performing Arts. $20, $17 seniors and UT faculty/staff, $10 students.

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24; Sunday, Feb. 26; Friday, March 2; and Sunday, March 4

Where: McCullough Theatre, PAC Building

Background: "New York Stories" consists of three one-act operas that take place in three separate New York City apartments. The one-acts have been performed individually, but this iteration is the premiere of the work as a trilogy, complete with its original instrumentation for solo piano. "The three operas are a complete departure from the so-called traditional opera, although the musical style is still accessible for audiences," said Robert DeSimone, director of the Butler Opera Center.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, Hagen is one of today's most prolific young opera composers. His list of commissioners and premiering ensembles includes The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. His most recent composition, "Amelia," premiered at the Seattle Opera in 2010 and was performed by the University of Houston in late January. Hagen has a longstanding relationship with the Butler Opera Center. In the late 1990s the university premiered his opera "Bandanna," a retelling of Shakespeare's "Othello," set in the South.

For more information about this event, call the Butler School of Music hotline, 512-471-5401.