This is Hvorostovsky's first role in Houston since he made his house debut in Houston Grand Opera's 2001 production of Rigoletto.
The cast for Simon Boccanegra also three singers making their HGO debuts: soprano Olga Guryakova as Amelia, tenor Marco Berti as Gabriele Adorno and bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Paolo Albiani. Bass Raymond Aceto sings Fiesco and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny takes the role of Pietro.
Company music director Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera orchestra and chorus in the production, which runs for five performances through November 4. Elijah Moshinksy makes his HGO directorial debut; sets are by Michael Yeargan; costumes by Peter J. Hall and lighting by Nigel Levings. Brian Byrnes is the fight director.
The HGO's 2006-07 season also includes a new production of Rossini's La Cenerentola in January and February, starring Joyce DiDonato as Angelina (i.e., Cinderella). Edoardo M‹ller conducts; Joan Font directs; sets and costumes are by Joan Guill_n.
The company premiere of Janšcek's The Cunning Little Vixen will run in May with Patrick Summers conducting. Other productions include Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Gounod's Faust and Verdi's Aida.