Opera has been part of the performance landscape since 1840s in the Texas Hill Country. Early settlers made provision for entertainment, and opera was among the art forms they brought with them. Performance venues and opera houses were part of the infrastructure bringing arts entertainment, health and vitality to the hill country community. Sisterdale, Texas had their own opera resident performers who performed “opera” several times each month. These opera singers were part of the German free thinkers who were fleeing from religious persecution at the time, and the classical art of opera was very important to the health and vitality of their community.
Some of the early venues remaining are:
Nimiz Hotel in Fredericksburg
Sisterdale Opera House in Sisterdale
Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House in Uvalde
Bastrop Opera House in Bastrop
Seekatz Opera House in New Braunfels
Texas Hill Country Opera had its beginnings with the San Antonio Opera. The Hill Country Opera League was formalized in the Spring of 2010 at an event in Bulverdi, Texas called “Verdi in Bulverdi”. Since that time interest in opera has been steadily growing throughout Texas Hill Country, and the opera events and performances have been part of the plethora of entertainment options. Texas Hill Country Opera and Arts have proudly showcased local and famous talent in many performances around the hill country. Most notable are “Opera on the Ranch”, held each Fall, opera entertainment and dinners at the Sisterdale Opera House, operas and art performances at the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House in New Braunfels, and events throughout Texas Hill Country are increasing.
This year, we are introducing a children’s opera to our annual events, free and open to the public. A scholarship is awarded annually to a student who wishes to pursue opera studies, and opera workshops are conducted at high schools and middle schools throughout the Texas Hill Country region on request.
On February 22, 2012 THCOA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization in the State of Texas with the express purpose of bringing Opera and Arts entertainment to the Texas Hill Country and the region, providing scholarships to students from the Hill Country Region who wish to pursue opera studies and provide educational events in public and private schools. Please join us in keeping the queen of the arts, alive and dynamic in Texas Hill Country.
More information at: TexasHillCountryOpera.com