Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers reflects on the great American musical Show Boat at HGO.
  • Artistic Excellence 

    Our goal is to raise $85 million to support HGO's tradition of artistic excellence. Your financial support will allow HGO to produce our first ever Ring cycle, commission even more new productions and world premieres, continue to perform well-loved core productions, and expand our repertoire with great American musicals, holiday, and discovery operas.





    WAGNER'S RING ($7 million)

    A uniquely personal experience of art.

    “Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is the most gigantic work of art ever created. More than just a set of four operas, it is an experience that mirrors our own relationship to the world at every level: intellectual, emotional, natural, organic, material. At whatever point you intersect with the Ring, you will find an extraordinary level of depth. Its exceptional demands are among the greatest ever created in Western art. So for HGO to deliver the Ring cycle to its public is something I’m tremendously excited about doing for the first time.” — Patrick Summers 

    Das RheingoldDie WalküreSiegfried, and Götterdämmerung would appear in successive seasons from 2013–14 through 2016–17. This Ring cycle is a very important milestone that will challenge all aspects of the company—artistic, technical, and financial. The Ring marks HGO’s full maturation as a worldclass opera company, able to meet the repertoire’s greatest challenge. Houston audiences will experience, for the first time, the most gigantic and inspirational work of music drama ever created.
       Artistic Excellence - Ring


    New productions and world premieres are the lifeblood of great opera companies.

    Revitalizing core operatic repertoire like La bohèmeRigolettoCarmen, and The Marriage of Figaro demonstrates HGO's commitment to artistic excellence and audience development. Also, as the country's leading opera company for world premieres-forty-seven in the last forty years-we plan to continue our tradition of stretching the boundaries of our art form with new works such as A Coffin in Egypt and Siddhartha. Audiences will be inspired by today’s finest directors and designers re-imagining great masterpieces, and composers creating new operas.    Artistic Excellence - New Productions

    CORE PRODUCTIONS ($3 million)

    Great classic operas.

    We are the guardians of some of the greatest creations in Western art: Don GiovanniIl trovatoreAida, TurandotTosca. Programming established productions of core repertoire is critical to HGO’s sustainability and success. Due to their popularity, these operas have significant box office appeal, are accessible to new audiences, and are beloved by seasoned opera patrons. Audiences will make the most compelling and moving works of the operatic repertoire a life-changing presence in their lives.    Artistic Excellence - Core


    Our national musical heritage.

    Over the next several seasons, HGO plans to present classic American musicals, beginning with Show Boat in 2012–13. These are works with an important American legacy, and we will program only those works that will benefit from the artistic resources of an opera company, such as A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Carousel, and South Pacific. For some novice operagoers, these great American works can be a key to unlock the artistic world of opera. For seasoned opera lovers, they can provide a rich opportunity to revisit great national treasures as their composers imagined them, with a fine orchestra and gifted singers. Audiences will connect with the American musical theater tradition as conceived and performed by a great opera company capable of doing justice to these masterpieces.    Artistic Excellence - Musicals

    HOLIDAY OPERAS ($1 million)

    A new holiday tradition.

    HGO’s new series of holiday operas premieres in December 2014. Our goal is to commission world premiere holiday-themed operas, re-establishing HGO’s presence in the Wortham Theater Center during the holiday season. We will engage today’s finest composers to adapt beloved classics for the operatic stage. These adaptations of works such as It’s a Wonderful LifeA Christmas Carol, and The House Without a Christmas Tree have the potential to become a distinctive asset for the company, while also establishing a new holiday tradition in Houston. Just as The Nutcracker is an entry point into the world of ballet, the new tradition of holiday operas will open the world of opera to new audiences.    Artistic Excellence - Holiday

    Discovery Operas ($4 million)

    Masterpieces. Beyond the usual suspects.

    The full operatic repertoire spans 400 years and includes hundreds of powerful works—many of which are rarely staged and deserve to be better known. We want to give our audience members, most of whom see opera exclusively at HGO, the opportunity to see unfamiliar but compelling and moving works like Tristan and IsoldeOtelloErnaniNixon in China, and Rusalka. HGO plans to stage the North American premiere of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger, a twentieth-century masterpiece rediscovered after almost four decades. The Passenger is unique in the operatic repertoire as a powerful artistic exploration of the Holocaust. These works will take audiences on a journey of discovering art that is unfamiliar, provocative, and compelling.    Artistic Excellence - Discovery