UTSA Lyric Theatre presents Sept. 25 premiere of opera about Texas statesman

opera rehearsal

Professor James Balentine rehearses with "Navarro" cast members
>> Read a Sept. 12 San Antonio Express-News story about "Navarro."

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(Sept. 23, 2011) --The UTSA Lyric Theatre will present the world premiere of "Navarro," an original composition based on the life of Jose Antonio Navarro, a statesman who fought for Texas independence. The opera performance is 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25 in the Buena Vista Theater at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

The music and lyrics are a composition by UTSA music professor James Balentine and local songwriter Joseph Labatt. William McCrary, UTSA associate professor of music, began his involvement in the project four years ago. He directs the production, which includes a cast of UTSA music majors and students from the San Antonio Independent School District.

"This will be a great opportunity for UTSA music students to interact with high school students and gain hands-on experience on how to teach teens how to perform musically and on stage," said Balentine. "I think it's very important for students and adults to know that there are new compositions being created all the time, both here at UTSA and in the San Antonio community."

Over the years, McCrary has spearheaded the effort to bring opera into schools by directing performances that have reached more than 30,000 students in the San Antonio area.

General admission is $10. Purchase tickets at the UTSA Department of Music website.