3 Penny Opera earned a reputation as a strong performing band through residencies at Austin’s late and lamented Steamboat, packing the house for their CD release and performing in Steamboat’s Eviction Series fundraising shows. The group’s debut CD, ten pieces for voice, strings and percussion, was released in 1999 to critical praise and brisk sales. The first pressing has since sold out and their 6-song follow-up EP was not pressed prior to the band's dissolution in 2000.
"Arlo Guthrie meets Smashing Pumpkins"
- Bob Fonseca, 93.7FM KLBJ
"RECOMMENDED: 3 Penny Opera [at] Shaggy’s"
"RECOMMENDED: 3 Penny Opera [at] Babe’s"
- The Austin Chronicle
"BEST BETS: Bob Schneider opens for 3PO at the Saxon Pub"
"BEST BETS: [at] Babe’s"
"BEST BETS: [at] Steamboat"
"BEST BETS: [at] Liberty Lunch"
- The Austin American-Statesman
" . . . very nice work with lovely hook-laden cuts."
- The Musician’s Trade Journal
"ten pieces . . . [is] hard to resist . . . an impressive debut"
- CitySearch.com CD review
"If you’ve never heard of 3 Penny Opera, you’ll wonder how that’s possible after hearing their CD"
- CitySearch.com Band Directory
"Thoughtful lyrics [that] evoke a different emotion with each song...an album not to pass up on your next trip to the CD store"
- Insite Magazine
- Access Austin Magazine
3 Penny Opera's members were, in approximate order of appearance, from 1997-2001:
Bryan Dunn (guitar/vocals), Wiley Koepp (drums); James Hines (bass, lap steel), America Alva (lead vocals), Edward Park (violin), Manuel Gonzales (percussion), Scott Laws (bass), Troy Messina (percussion), Andrea Rosch (lead vocals), Paul Phillips (bass), Joel De La Garza (percussion), Dave Box (saxophone), Shaunna Fultz (lead vocals).
Special guest appearances were made over the years by Matt Talbert (guitar), Eric Hsu (vocals), Amy Mitchell (lead vocals), Ephraim Owens (trumpet), Aaron & Rick (horns), and Bridgid Bibbens (violin).
– bio by Wiley Koepp
– photo by Brittany Koepp