A Message from the Chairman Welcome to Opera San Antonio. Opera San Antonio was formed to be the resident opera company of San Antonio’s new Tobin Center. We began productions in the Tobin Center in January of 2015. You can review the productions on this website, and see for yourself what kind of quality production we are doing. Our major productions have been Salome, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, The Barber of Seville, Macbeth, and La Boheme. On this website you can see examples of Carmen and “The Barber.” Our next production will be Verdi's La Traviata, on September 13 and 15, 2018. We hope you will buy your own tickets by clicking from this website directly into the authorized TOBI ticketing system. A long time ago, in the Fifties and Sixties, big-stage opera had a presence in San Antonio, when the Metropolitan Opera travelled to perform here. There has been very little “grand opera” here in recent years. Opera San Antonio is reintroducing this great art to our city. We believe that San Antonio deserves great opera as a civic resource for all our citizens. And why is it worth the effort to reestablish an old art form that is new to our city? Because we believe opera is magical. It is magical…
Because it is performed on a unique instrument, the human voice, a special voice created through years of training and using no microphones.
Because the sound is a sound that literally expands our sense of hearing.
Because the human voice can create emotion like no other instrument can. As the great British scholar Kenneth Clark wrote in Civilization, “What is too subtle to be said, or too deeply felt, or too revealing, or too mysterious—these things can be sung, and can only be sung.”
Finally, because it is about people. It is a world of people in moments of deeply felt human emotion, a world of classic stories with characters.
Personally, I think that all of us who love the arts have to find a way to explain why we think the arts are important to have in San Antonio. I do believe that Opera San Antonio is important. Not because it means we are checking off a list of things a city “has to have.” Not because someone said to be cultured you have to like opera. But because, as our greatest writer, William Faulkner, said in his famous Nobel Prize speech back in 1950, great art must always be about “the human heart in conflict with itself.” That is what opera is. We hope you will use this website to explore what Opera San Antonio is trying to do to establish itself as a long-term nonprofit to our community. At this stage of our growth, we can only afford to do two major operas a year. Our commitment to you is that we will do them very well— not the most expensive sets, but the best possible singers, and the greatest operas. We are seeking to make friends and converts for a great art form that very few of us have ever had a chance to see. We have many new friends to make. We solicit the interest of those who are not familiar with opera, and the advocacy of those who have already experienced it. Thank you for taking your time to learn about Opera San Antonio. Blair Labatt
Chairman, Opera San Antonio