Fresh off a successful Austin Museum Day this month, the Millett Opera House Foundation has announced plans to bring music back to the Historic building.
Captain Charles Millett, founder and first owner of the building located at 110 E 9th Street in downtown Austin, would be celebrating his 188th birthday this year. The Foundation will celebrate with a series of events in the Medallion Ball Room that will be open to the public by reservation and adhere to all current health and safety guidelines.
Performing artists will be selected and managed by Texas Folklife. The Millett Opera House Foundation is excited by the potential of this partnership. This series seeks to explore the confluence of classical and folk traditions in the Texas musical landscape. Captain Millett's artists ranged from the most celebrated opera star in the world to many novelty purveyors of traditional music with roots in immigrant communities. Preserving the historic styles of many ethnically diverse musical traditions, these performers profoundly influenced the unique regional sounds of Texas we cherish today. The experience Texas Folklife has in these areas offers great potential for a meaningful line up that reflects the rich history of the building and city.
Organizers say the works performed will have a connection to the world class performers who presented on the original stage at Millett's Opera House as far back as 1878. The Austin Statesman described such a performance on October 2, 1880, "The amusement season will open on the 7th instant by Miles Juvenile Opera Company. This troupe of youthful artists is the only company of the kind now before he public that rejoices in the title 'The Best Ever Organized'....During their three evenings with us, they will present a different opera each evening."
Works and artists promise to be as diverse as those that appeared then. The series of concerts will be underwritten by generous grants and donations from City of Austin Cultural Funding, Texas Commission for the Arts, and private donors (who are appropriately considered, "ardent admirers of Captain Millett"). Texas State University Public History Center students and friends of Millett's Opera House Foundation will research the connection of each performance to the historic building. A complete schedule of performances will be released in the coming weeks.
The Millett Opera House Museum is a member of the Austin Museum Partnership and was one of 14 member institutions who provided live tours to visitors as well as virtual options during this year's Austin Museum Day. See the full story here. You can also follow a virtual tour of the museum here.
The Fowler Law Firm PC is proud to serve as Pro Bono Legal Counsel to Millett's Opera House Foundation.
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