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Arbor Opera Theater Names Austin Stewart as Artistic Director

By |2018-07-11T15:45:16-04:00July 11th, 2018|Ann Arbor, Neighborhoods|

Arbor Opera Theater has announced the appointment of Austin Stewart as Artistic Director. The first under the artistic leadership of Stewart, AOT’s upcoming season will introduce three new productions to Michigan audiences, with performances at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti and the Arthur Miller Theatre in Ann Arbor, as well as new partnerships with ÆPEX Contemporary Performance and the Kerrytown Concert House.
“Austin brings tremendous passion, energy and a wealth of knowledge about the art form and experience with arts organizations to our company,” said AOT Board President Victoria Bigelow. “I am confident that he will be a strong leader who will infuse Arbor Opera Theater with artistic vitality and introduce our audiences to creative and innovative productions while maintaining a standard of artistic excellence.”
Arbor Opera Theater describes itself as, “Committed to creating uncommon, exceptional encounters between audiences and lyric theater—from producing beloved grand operas, to supporting the creation of new works.” AOT officials say that under Stewart’s leadership, Arbor Opera Theater will strive to reaffirm its commitment to developing artists through professional performing experiences, as well as to its long-term fiscal sustainability and deepening its relationship with the Ann Arbor community.
“It is my great privilege to join Arbor Opera Theater,” said Stewart. “And to imagine what this company can mean to a town that so highly prizes its musical and theatrical experiences. We will strive to produce thought-provoking, exciting lyric theater that will connect with new audiences while providing our more experienced patrons with performances they cannot find elsewhere. This is a humbling opportunity for me, and I look forward to pursuing all the ways in which we can enrich Ann Arbor’s artistic community and its cultural offerings.”
Previously, Stewart served as Michigan Opera Theatre’s Audience Engagement Coordinator from 2015 to 2017, overseeing community engagement programs for adult and college-aged audiences, opera clubs and the volunteer Ambassadors Program. He has produced numerous concerts and special events in the area, including the “Requiem for Orlando,” Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” with internationally-recognized soloists and “Out of the Silence” for the University of Michigan Museum of Art. He holds degrees in vocal performance and opera conducting and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology at UofM. Currently, he is researching and writing on opera in the American Old West.
The Arbor Opera Theater is set to announce its upcoming 2018 2019 season in mid-July, as well as a crowdfunding campaign to celebrate this new chapter in its history. For future announcements and information, please visit ArborOpera.com of follow the theater on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ArborOpera.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.