HGO to present “Elektra,” “West Side Story” in 2017-18 season
In an attempt to “broaden the audience” for local opera, Houston Grand Opera will become the first major American opera company to present Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway musical West Side Story in its 2017-18 season.
The season will open October 20 with former HGO studio artist Albina Shagimuratova returning to star as Violetta Valery in Verdi’s La Traviata with Dimitri Pittas as Alfredo and George Petean as Germont. Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim makes his company bow in the pit.
Handel’s Julius Caesar will follow (October 27-November 10) with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo making his HGO debut in the title role with Heidi Stober as Cleopatra, Stephanie Blythe as Cornelia and David Daniels as Ptolemy. Music director Patrick Summers conducts.
The company will present another commissioned holiday premiere, opening November 30 with The House without a Christmas Tree by Ricky Ian Gordon with a libretto by Royce Vavrek and a cast including Lauren Snouffer, Daniel Belcher and Heidi Stober.
HGO will lead off 2018 with its first staging of Richard Strauss’s Elektra in a quarter-century Opening January 18, the David McVicar production stars Christine Goerke in the title role with Tamara Wilson as Chrysothemis, Michaela Martens as Klytaemnestra and Greer Grimsley as Orest. Patrick Summers conducts.
Houston Grand Opera will segue from bloody Greek domestic drama to bel canto comedy with Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Opening January 26, the production stars Lucas Meachem as Figaro, David Portillo as Almaviva and Sofia Selowsky as Rosina with Julian Wachner conducting.
Bernstein’s beloved West Side Story will make its grand opera debut in a new staging by Francesca Zambello. Opening April 20, it will star Andrea Carroll as Maria, Norman Reinhardt as Tony, Alicia Gianni as Anita and Brian Vu as Riff. Timothy Myers conducts in a co=production with Glimmerglass and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The season will close with Bellini’s Norma with Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role of the doomed Druid princess, with Jamie Barton as Adalgisa and Simon O’Neill as Pollione, and Summers conducting. hgo.org.