It’s not money, but time that makes us rich. No one knows how much time we are given. The truths we are taught are determined by uncontrollable circumstances. Change happens, and not even time can stop it. The truth is told by the one that holds the power. Or the guitar… No hay mal que dure cien años, ni cuerpo que lo resista. Todo lo que nace muere, esa es la ley de la vida… sang el Charrito Negro. I believe in honest, passionate, courageous artists: their work inspires me and makes my imagination fly. And I believe in love in all its forms – only time can buy it, and we all have time…that is a truth… until it’s gone.  

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Born in Ecuador, Chía Patiño’s path has been eclectic: she began as a pianist, continued as a composer, and began a parallel path as a stage director in 1998. For ten years she staged Zarzuela, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Opera for numerous companies in the United States, Arab Emirates, Egypt, Guatemala, Colombia, and Ecuador. In 2009, she became the Artistic and Executive Director of the National Theatre in Ecuador and in 2019 she returned to the USA to join the Butler School of Music as an Associate Professor and the Stage Director for the Butler Opera Center in Austin, TX.


Among her recent opera productions are Tosca, La Flauta Mágica de Los Andes, Faust, Don Giovanni, Transformations, Rusalka, Dido and Aeneas, Carmen, and La Traviata. She has also directed Les Miserables, Spring Awakening, West Side Story, and Sweeney Todd, as well as Luisa Fernanda. She was the music director for Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the mariachi opera commissioned and produced by Houston Grand Opera, which she subsequently performed in Paris, San Diego, Phoenix, Fort Worth, El Paso, Chicago, and Houston, as well as the world premiere of the choral version in Quito, Ecuador.

In 2021, she directed Suite Española: Explorando Iberia for Houston Grand Opera’s HGO Digital, a program sponsored by Sarah and Ernest Butler. She also contributed a video in homage to Daniel Catán for Wise Music Classical and developed the dramaturgy for Dreaming/Undreaming for the Princeton Festival. Additionally, she directed Rossini’s La Cenerentola for Northern Lights Music Festival.


Current engagements include directing Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for Seattle Opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna for the Butler Opera Center, and Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas for Opera de Tenerife.

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