The Ballad of Baby Doe
The Ballad of Baby Doe, Summer 2013.

Spotlight on Opera is Austin's own exciting and intensive community opera troupe, dedicated to providing training and performance opportunities to career track and avocational singers aged 15 and up. We are currently celebrating our 7th season.

Founded in 2007 by Program Director Cindy Sadler, Spotlight began as a one week summer program at St. Edward�s University. The program expanded quickly and by 2010 went fulltime, acting as a community opera troupe in the fall and spring and a training program for aspiring singers in the summer, a model we continue today.

Spotlight on Opera is open to classical singers aged 15 and up, whether they are well on their way to a place on the professional stage or just want to dip their toes in wonderful world of opera. Our caring staff of professional opera singers, pianists, and educators works with each singer to provide guidance and growth as an artist. We strive to give every singer a chance to experience the spotlight for themselves, and to bring our audience members creative, fun, intimate, and high quality performances. For information about auditioning for Spotlight, please see the Program Info page.


Cindy Sadler

CINDY SADLER, Director. Mezzo-soprano Cindy Sadler is well-known in the classical community as a singer, teacher, writer, and consultant; and increasingly, as a stage director. A busy professional singer and frequent lecturer on the business of singing, she brings current experience to her students. Most recently, she has appeared with Chautauqua Opera as Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, with Austin Lyric Opera as Martha in Faust, with Tulsa Opera as Marie in The Most Happy Fella, as Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette with Intermoutain Opera, and as Effie Belle Tate in Cold Sassy Tree with the Sugar Creek Festival. Ms. Sadler has appeared on the stages of Chicago Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Princeton Festival, San Antonio Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Idaho, New Orleans Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl, among many others. Upcoming engagements include La Zia Principessa/Zita in Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi with Opera on the James; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with the Jacksonville Symphony, Messiah soloist with the Boise Symphony, and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Portland Opera. She has published over 100 articles in Classical Singer Magazine and is widely recognized for her �Ask Erda� advice column. She travels the country to consult with singers and lecture on singing careers in her Business of Singing, most recently to the Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artists Program, Sieur Du Luth Summer Opera Training Program, UCLA, the CoOPERAtive program at Westminster College of the Arts, Portland State University, and the Classical Singer Convention. After six years on the music faculty of St. Edward's University, she left to pursue her singing career fulltime. She has served as Executive Director of the Astoria Music Academy in Oregon, and this is her seventh year as Director of Spotlight on Opera. For more information, please visit www.cindysadler.com, www.thebusinessofsinging.com, and www.mezzowithcharacter.com.

Bruce Cain

Bruce Cain, Assistant Director, Summer Season. Baritone Bruce Cain is an Associate Professor of Music at the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University, where he is the principle voice teacher and director of the Opera Theatre. His career began as an apprentice with the Chautauqua Opera and then on to Chicago, where the Sun-Times hailed his debut with the Chicago Symphony as "an eloquent soloist" and the Chicago Tribune joined in praising his "sensitivity" as an artist. Dr. Cain’s most recent operatic appearance was at the Natchez Opera Festival playing Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, andin Chicago portraying Ford in L’Opera Piccola’s Falstaff. His other roles include Dr. Lomax in Austin Lyric Opera’s premier of Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, Belcore in The Elixir of Love, Dr. Blind and Falke in Die Fledermaus, Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutté, and a gambler in Prokofiev’s The Gambler, with the Chicago Lyric Opera. He has often appeared with the Austin Symphony, the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the Georgetown Festival of the Arts, as well as in concert venues across the U.S. and at the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recent performances include: Mozart’s Requiem with the St. Edward’s University Madrigal Singers, the role of Schoenberg, in Southwestern’s premier of Jason Hoogerhyde’s The Color of Dissonance, and the role of Kraus in Mendelssohn’s Son and Stranger, with the Georgetown Festival of the Arts.

Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson, Artistic Administrator. Jennifer Anderson has worked as a Stage Manager in many venues around Austin, including Footloose with Zilker Theatre Productions, Here�s To You and House of Several Stories with Imagine That Productions, When Something Wonderful Ends with Red Then Productions, The Clean House and Plays Well With Others at Zachary Scott Theatre Center. At Austin Lyric Opera, she worked as an Assistant Stage Manager on shows including Flight, The Italian Girl in Algiers, La traviata, Hansel and Gretel, The Star, La bohème, Dialogues des Carmélites, and Rigoletto. She served as Assistant Stage Manager for The Drowsy Chaperone at ZACH, and also as a production assistant and stage crew member for over two dozen shows from 2005 to 2007 including these favorites: Porgy and Bess; Jesus Christ, Superstar; Present Laughter; The Rocky Horror Show; Crowns; Urinetown, The Musical; Rockin Christmas Party; Keeping It Weird. Jennifer has a Bachelors degree in education, specializing in music, has studied vocal performance and opera extensively, and is a soprano in the St. Austin Catholic Parish Choir.

Chuck Dillars

Chuck Dillard, Music Director. Originally from South Carolina, Chuck Dillard has been praised as an educator, chamber musician, vocal coach, and soloist. He has been heard from coast to coast with orchestras, choirs, chamber musicians, and in instrumental and vocal recitals. As an opera pianist, he has worked with several major companies including Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Carolina, and summer programs in Santa Barbara and Aspen among others. As an educator, he regularly participates in outreach performances for school children as well as having served as instructor at Furman University and the University of Colorado. In the fall, Mr. Dillard will be joining the newly formed collaborative piano department at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds degrees from the University of Maryland, Furman University and is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Colorado.

Keenan Bosworth, Assistant Music Director.