Meet our experts! MOT consultant and former Audience Engagement Coordinator Austin Stewart has been sharing his knowledge and opera expertise with MOT patrons for years, including providing regular preview talks ahead of the Metropolitan Opera’s Nightly Opera Stream. Learn more about him below!
Austin Stewart currently serves as Director of Operations for Chorus pro Musica in Boston, a storied organization known for innovative choral arts programming, and consults on government and foundation fundraising for Michigan Opera Theatre. He was previously MOT’s Audience Engagement Coordinator, programming Opera Clubs and implementing the volunteer Ambassadors program. Austin received his Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. His research interests include opera and community development in the American Old West and 19-century opera, and he is writing a book on amateur opera companies in America.
He received a master’s degree in opera conducting from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also studied historic performance practice and harpsichord, and holds a Bachelor of Music with highest honors from the University of Michigan, where he studied voice with George Shirley. He studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, sang with the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy, the vocal ensemble "sounding light," and was a member of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart. He was raised in Ludington, Michigan and is an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy.
His first encounter with opera was at MOT in 2003 for Verdi’s A Masked Ball, and his fondest opera memory is waiting in line for 13 hours for the opportunity to rush the stage of the MET for Pavarotti’s last bow, which he captured with his instamatic camera. Austin keeps a spreadsheet of all the opera performances he’s attended (including cast lists and critical commentary), which currently numbers 267 entries.