The appointment was reported in the Houston Chronicle and announced by Welsh National Opera yesterday.
Gockley will officially depart on July 31, but will continue to advise HGO until the end of the year, when he takes up his new position at San Francisco Opera. Freud will begin his tenure on March 6, 2006.
Freud will also serve as the company's first-ever chief executive officer.
"We are thrilled to have someone of Anthony Freud's reputation and capabilities take the reins of our company," board president John S. Arnoldy said. "He was the unanimous first choice of our search committee, which considered many candidates from around the globe."
Gockley said, "When I came to this city in 1970, Houston Grand Opera was a regional operation. It has been my life's joy to raise it to the level it has assumed among the nation's best companies. It is an honor to pass the torch to such an accomplished opera professional, as well as a friend and longtime colleague. I leave the company in excellent hands."