Houston Grand Opera Rejects Houston Symphony's Bid to Return to the Pit

Classic Arts News   Houston Grand Opera Rejects Houston Symphony's Bid to Return to the Pit
The Houston Grand Opera has rejected a proposal from the Houston Symphony to make the orchestra the opera company's official orchestra.

Instead, the HGO board of governors and trustees has voted unanimously to continue the company's relationship with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and has accepted a five-year contract with that ensemble.

The new contract runs through August 2011.

William Hitchcock, head of HGO's orchestra task force, said in a statement, "By continuing our relationship with the HGO Orchestra, we are guaranteed the scheduling flexibility necessary to maintain our world-class opera company. HGO also enjoys tremendously positive labor relations with the orchestra, which allows the company to make its productions available each year for electronic media programs like international radio broadcasts and CD releases."

The Houston Symphony's proposal was submitted as part of the orchestra's attempt to increase its revenues and relieve its financial problems. The symphony was HGO's pit orchestra through 1997, when the two organizations decided to part ways, due to the symphony's increased tour and concert schedule.

Ed Wulfe, president of the Houston Symphony Society, expressed disappointment at the proposal's outcome. "It is extremely unfortunate for all concerned, including the greater Houston community, that the Houston Grand Opera has declined to forge a new relationship with us. We approached them in good faith, believing, as we continue to believe, that having the Houston Symphony serve as the orchestra for opera performances would have been mutually beneficial, including artistically."

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