Houston Grand Opera to return live with Bizet, Mozart and Puccini favorites

Sat May 15, 2021 at 2:27 pm
Mozart’s The Magic Flute will return to Houston Grand Opera February 4, 2022 in Barrie Kosky’s silent-film-style production.

Houston Grand Opera will return to live performances (with audiences) in the 2021-22 season with six productions slated at the Wortham Theater Center.

“HGO has once again demonstrated its resiliency and its commitment to this treasured art form over the past year,” said artistic and music director Patrick Summers in a statement released by the company. “Seeking out creative alternative means of artistic expression since the pandemic’s onset has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. We are excited to carry our new expertise forward into the future. But we are thrilled beyond measure to join our beloved audience for a new season of opera. Nothing stirs the soul like being in the theater for a live opera performance—nothing.”

Bizet’s Carmen opens the season October 22 with Carolyn Sproule in the title role of the Gypsy temptress with Richard Trey Smagur as Don José, Heidi Stober as Micaela, and Christian Pursell as Escamillo. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya makes her HGO debut in the Robert Ashford production (Ashford’s staging was far from “acclaimed” at its Lyric Opera debut, as stated.) 

The belated world premiere of Joel Thompson and Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Snowy Day will run December 9-19. (Like the Carmen, this installment in HGO’s holiday opera series was rescheduled from the Covid-cancelled 2020-21 season.) Patrick Summers conducts the new opera, which is based upon the children’s picture book by Ezra Jack Keats.

Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites opens the new year (January 14-22, 2022) for a brief run of four performances. The cast includes Christine Goerke, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Lauren Snouffer and Rod Gilfry. Patrick Summers conducts the opera, presented in a staging by Francesca Zambello.

Mozart’s The Magic Flute returns February 4-13 in Barrie Kosky’s silent-movie staging with Jane Glover conducting. Andrea Carroll is Pamina with Thomas Glass as Papageno, Norman Reinhardt as Tamino and Rainelle Kraus as the Queen of the Night.

Soprano Tamara Wilson will tackle the challenging title role in Puccini’s Turandot (April 22-May 6), in Robert Wilson’s minimalist staging. Kristian Benedikt is Calaf with Nicole Heaston as Liù. Eun Sun Kim conducts.

Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette will close the season, opening April 29 and running through May 11.  Michael Spyres and Adriana Gonzalez are the ill-fated lovers with Thomas Glass as Mercutio, Nicholas Newton as Friar Laurence, Donnie Ray Albert as Capulet and Eric Taylor as Tybalt. Speranza Scappucci conducts.

Subscriptions are now available at hgo.org. Single tickets will be available later this summer. Subscribers to the 2020-21 season will have their orders moved to the 2021-22 season and receive further information regarding their seats.

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