Houston Grand Opera Marks 50th Anniversary With Star-Studded Gala

Classic Arts News   Houston Grand Opera Marks 50th Anniversary With Star-Studded Gala
Ren_e Fleming, Frederica von Stade, and Bryn Terfel are among the star singers scheduled to appear in the Houston Grand Opera's 50th-anniversary gala concert tonight.

Denyce Graves, perhaps the most prominent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio program, will also appear, as will alumnae Ana Maria Martinez and Joyce DiDonato. Patricia Racette, Laura Claycomb, Ram‹n Vargas, and pop star Elton John are also scheduled to appear.

HGO music director Patrick Summers will conduct; Michle Assaf is the concert's director. Roger Moore, the British actor and onetime star of the James Bond films, will serve as master of ceremonies.

The program will include excerpts from two important operas that premiered at HGO: Philip Glass's 1984 Akhnaten and John Adams' Nixon in China.

Tickets for the gala are $250 and $500, and include admission to the concert and a post-concert party.

The concert will be simulcast on two giant screens, one on the Ray C. Fish Plaza outside the Wortham Center in downtown Houston and the other at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, a venue in Hermann Park.

The HGO was founded in 1955 by conductor Walter Herbert, singer Edward Bing, and local cultural leader Mrs. Louis G. Lobit. After David Gockley became general director of the company in 1972, the company became one of the most influential and innovative in the United States. HGO has presented 32 world premieres, including the debuts of Mark Adamo's Little Women, Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair, and Carlisle Floyd's Willie Stark and Cold Sassy Tree.

Recommended Reading: