Austin Lyric Opera Receives NEA Grant

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Austin Lyric Opera Receives NEA Grant

Austin Lyric Opera (ALO) has announced that it has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Art Works" grant for $15,000 for its 2012-13 Season production of Gounod's Faust. This grant supports ALO's commitment to create art that meets the highest standards of excellence, engages the public with diverse and excellent art, supports lifelong learning and strengthens the community through the arts. For more information, visit www.AustinLyricOpera.org.

"Austin Lyric Opera is deeply honored to be selected for an NEA award. As federal budget reductions have affected the NEA's available funds, the grant application process has become even more competitive than it has been in the past," says General Director, Joseph Specter. "This generous grant will allow us to continue to engage the Austin community with excellent productions like this spring's Faust. We greatly appreciate all that the NEA does for arts in the US."

While the NEA awards grants to a variety of organizations, this grant is dedicated to assist opera companies and other groups that professionally produce fully-staged and concert presentations of operatic works. The award recognizes ALO's dedication to advancing the highest levels of artistry by providing the public directly with meaningful arts experiences. In addition to its main stage performances of Faust, ALO will engage the public through community programs such as "Opera by Night," which will provide an estimated 1,700 students with free passes to the opera's final dress rehearsal.

This inventive production, by celebrated director Bernard Uzan, uses updated set designs and costumes to bring the story to modern times. Dramatic video projections, special lighting and an innovative rotating backdrop contribute to this unique production's appeal that tells a timeless story of mortality, morality and passion. It was hailed as a triumph at its Arizona Opera premiere. The stellar cast includes Jonathan Boyd as Faust whose previous engagements include Carnegie Hall, Florentine Opera and San Diego Opera. Jamie Offenbach, who plays Méphistophélès, is an accomplished bass-baritone and two-time GRAMMY winner. Marguerite is played by Jan Cornelius, an award-winning soprano and a two-time national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera's annual National Council Auditions.

Performance dates and information about the production are as follows:

Gounod's Faust
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Would you strike a deal with the devil? Faust, an aging scholar, wants another chance at youth and love, and forges a pact with Méphistophélès to seduce the beautiful and innocent Marguerite. What follows is an epic struggle between good and evil.

All performances take place at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and information, visit www.AustinLyricOpera.org.

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