Thursday, September 10, 2009


Handel's run-around romantic comedy XERXES is at Houston Grand Opera from April 30 to May 14, 2010

One of Handels most popular operas, Xerxes is a feast for the ears, and the eyes in this classic eighteenth-century production. A mad entanglement of love stories, the opera follows the tyrannical and flamboyant Xerxes (Susan Graham) in his quest for Romilda (Laura Claycomb), who is beloved by his very own brother Arsamene, sung by David Daniels. Contralto Sonia Prina, soprano Heidi Stober and baritone Philip Cutlip round out the all-star cast. The award-winning production is set in an English pleasure garden—the perfect place for an elaborate lovers chase!

The Queen of Spades

Tchaikovsky's madness-inducing THE QUEEN OF SPADES is at Houston Grand Opera from April 16 to May 1, 2010

One mans obsession with a lucky card trick turns the fates of three in Tchaikovskys vibrant melodrama. Russian tenor Vladimir Galouzine returns to HGO as the tormented Hermann, internationally renowned soprano Tatiana Monogarova makes her HGO debut as his beloved Lisa, and Vasily Ladyuk is the dashing Prince Yeletsky. Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst is the keeper of the fated secret. This award-winning production is a visual treat with imaginative puppets and mixed-period costumes. Italian maestro Carlo Rizzi conducts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Turn of the Screw

Britten's haunted opera The TURN OF THE SCREW is at Houston Grand Opera from Jan 29 to Feb 13, 2010

In this operatic thriller two children are pulled toward the world of the dead by the ghosts of their prior governess Miss Jessel and her lover Peter Quint. Internationally acclaimed soprano Amanda Roocroft plays the governess whose obsessive efforts to protect the children may prove more of a threat than the spirits themselves. Powerhouse mezzo-soprano Judith Forst is housekeeper Mrs. Grose, the governesss only ally. Haunting Victorian sets depict the world of the Henry James novel on which the opera is based. Directed by Neil Armfield, this is the third opera in HGOs ongoing Benjamin Britten series.


Puccini's diva drama, TOSCA is at Houston Grand Opera from Jan 22 to Feb 7, 2010

Renowned soprano Patricia Racette makes her role debut as the passionate Floria Tosca in Puccinis timeless drama. Tenor Marcus Haddock is the painter Mario Cavaradossi, whom Tosca adores and Raymond Aceto sings the menacing Baron Scarpia who will stop at nothing to destroy the object of Toscas affections. Created especially for Houston Grand Opera, this new production by John Caird features classic sets and costumes designed by Bunny Christie in the style of nineteenth-century Rome.


Wagner's mythical LOHENGRIN is at Houston Grand Opera from Oct 30 to Nov 15, 2009

One secret protects one great love in Wagners mystical romantic opera. Celebrated Wagnerian tenor Simon O'Neill makes his Houston Grand Opera debut as the knight Lohengrin, whose pure love is threatened by common human greed. Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka sings the misguided Elsa, bewitched into betraying the very one she loves. Soprano Christine Goerke is the sorceress Ortrud and Richard Paul Fink plays her husband Frederick of Telramund, who will stop at nothing to gain the throne. Daniel Slater directs this grand-scale production, conducted by HGO Music Director Patrick Summers.

The Elixir of Love

Donizetti's sweet love story, THE ELIXIR OF LOVE is at Houston Grand Opera from Oct 23 to Nov 7, 2009

This sparkling folktale is one of Donizettis most popular operas. Lovesick Nemorino falls madly in love with the young landowner Adina knowing well that she is out of his league. Luckily, the scheming Dr. Dulcamara has just the cure to what ails him. Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina sings the minx Adina and Eric Cutler is Nemorino. Internationally renowned Italian bass-baritone Alessandro Corbelli plays Dr. Dulcamara, and Liam Bonner is the flamboyant Sergeant Belcore. Directed by Annabel Arden, this delightful production takes place in a rustic Italian town square.