Tonight (December 2), we’ll be lighting the Tower orange in honor of opera and voice professor William Lewis, who will be appointed today by the French Republic to the rank of Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Professor Lewis is the Frank C. Erwin Centennial Professor in Opera and professor of voice at the Butler School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. At the Butler Opera Center, Lewis focuses on undergraduate opera study.
Professor Lewis is receiving the award for his work in all aspects of French music worldwide. An accomplished tenor, he has sung in every major opera house in the world and has performed 140 major roles in 10 different languages. He worked for the Metropolital Opera for 35 years, and has been on the UT faculty for the past 20 years. In addition, along with his wife, Frederique Added, he operates a summer music academy, the Franco-American Vocal Academy, which has programs in France, Austria, and in Texas, and runs the annual contest Grand Concours de Chant here at the Butler School of Music.
As a proud fellow UT faculty member and from one French knight to another, I congratulate Professor Lewis on this great honor and his Tower lighting. He’s a wonderful example of our world-class faculty.