FULL-TIME HGO STAFF (2 positions) - $50,000 eachLaura Canning, Director of the StudioMs. Canning is responsible for the long-term planning and strategic management of the HGO Studio. She helps Studio artists with career management and development. She is responsible for recruiting artists to the program, through her appearances on competition judging panels (such as The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and The Richard Tucker Award) and her connections with music schools and conservatories.Bradley Moore, Music Director of the HGO StudioMr. and Mrs. Albert B. Alkek ChairBradley Moore recently conducted Madame Butterfly at the Castleton Festival at the invitation of Lorin Maazel. He is the founding music director of the Fire Island Opera Festival, and is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Mr. Moore oversees the selection and pedagogy of the Studio artists and gives them individual coachings, music advice, and discusses repertoire development, as well as programs Studio concerts and recitals. This season he will conduct performances of HGO’s The Magic Flute, perform recitals with Susan Graham, and tour internationally with Jamie Barton.RESIDENT COACHES (2 positions) - $25,000 eachPatrick Harvey - Mr. and Mrs. James A. Elkins Endowed ChairPeter PasztorFull time HGO staff members Peter Pasztor and Patrick Harvey coach Studio artists (both singers and pianists) individually on specific pieces of music, concentrating on interpretation and diction. Each artist works with a vocal coach, for approximately one hour every day, on forthcoming roles for HGO as well as new arias and future repertoire. Vocal coaches also work with the pianists on score analysis and how to turn an orchestral score into a piano piece in order to help singers prepare a work of music. Because the coaches work with the artists on a regular basis over two to three years in the Studio, the coaches understand their history and long-term goals and can participate in the long, hard process of slow improvement.DIRECTOR OF VOCAL INSTRUCTION - $25,000 Dr. Stephen King- The Harold Block and Janet Sims/ Jill and Allyn Risley ChairDirector of Vocal Instruction Stephen King focuses on the physical technique of singing. He meets with artists individually each week to work on the “nuts and bolts” of singing, such as breathing technique, positioning of sound and methods of sound production.DIRECTOR OF SHOWCASE - $15,000James RobinsonJames Robinson is the artistic director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he has directed major revivals of Nixon in China, The Ghosts of Versailles, and The Death of Klinghoffer as well as the world premieres of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket, Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 and Terence Blanchard’s Champion. Recent productions include the American premiere of Huang Ruo's Dr. Sun Yat Sen for The Santa Fe Opera and the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne for the San Francisco Opera. Robinson’s work has been seen at HGO in Abduction from the Seraglio (2008, 2002); La bohème (2008, 2002; Don Pasquale (2006); the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Salsipuedes (2004); Julius Caesar (2003); and Lucia di Lammermoor (2003).GUEST COACHES (6 positions) - $5,000 eachDeborah BirnbaumJohn Fisher - James J. Drach Endowed ChairMyra Huang - Laura Lee Blanton Studio Award through the Scurlock Foundation Eric Melear Kevin Murphy Pierre Vallet - Evans Family Endowed ChairGuest Coaches are well–respected experts in their fields and coach regularly at the best opera houses around the world from The Met to Vienna. They offer focused instruction in a particular subject area and are able to bring a fresh perspective and “eureka moments” to the Studio artists. They teach group masterclasses as well as individual one-to-one sessions in their time at HGO (usually between three and five days). DRAMA COACH - $5,000Tara FairclothDrama Coaches work with Studio artists in one-on-one and group sessions over the course of the season. They offer instruction and guidance in stage movement, dialogue work, role preparation, and characterization – skills that are vital in auditions, recitals, and on stage. They also observe main-stage rehearsals to give specific dramatic feedback and assistance. Drama Coaches are esteemed directors who work regularly in the top opera houses in the U.S. and abroad.LANGUAGE INSTRUCTORS (5 positions) - $10,000 eachChrista Gaug, German - Sponsored by Robert L. Turner in honor of John G. Turner and Jerry G. FischerJonathan Ludwig, RussianJulie Muller, EnglishEnrica Vagliani Gray, Italian - Sponsored by Marsha L. MontemayorNicole Uhlig, French - Sponsored by Jennifer SicklerEvery Studio artist has two hours of one-to-one language classes a week. Individual artists choose which languages to study (some focus on one language, while others may divide the two hours into two or more languages). The lessons focus on grammar, conversation, and vocabulary. The individualized attention allows the teacher to tailor the lessons to each artist’s learning style. Understanding the language helps the artist not only with pronunciation, but with understanding the libretto, and communicating meaning on stage. It is also a vital tool for working successfully abroad. Artists can request multiple languages. We also offer ESL for non-native English speakers.PIANO INSTRUCTORs (2 positions) - $3,000 eachBrian Connelly – Sponsored by Ursula and Saúl BalaguraTimothy Hester Piano teachers work specifically on pianistic technique and interpretation with the Studio pianists.STUDIO BENEFACTOR - $1,500A contribution of $1,500 designated towards the HGO Studio supports the general operations of the program.HGO STUDIO TRAVEL FUNDA contribution of any amount to the Travel Fund helps current HGO Studio artists offset the costs of travel to key auditions, competitions and programs. These opportunities can greatly enhance their development and accessibility as professional artists and are critical to their success. The Travel Fund also accepts contributions in the form of airline miles. HGO STUDIO ALUMNI FUNDA contribution of any amount can help recent graduates of the HGO Studio as they continue their professional development beyond the walls of HGO. The Alumni Fund helps support the continuation of their training by providing funding for activities such as voice lessons, language study, special coaching, role study, competitions, or audition tours.
Support for Houston Grand Opera Studio is provided by the following funds within the Houston Grand Opera Endowment, Inc.:
The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation Endowment FundThomas Capshaw Endowment FundCarol Lynn Lay Fletcher Endowment FundWilliam Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship FundCharlotte Howe Memorial Scholarship FundElva Lobit Opera Endowment FundMarian and Speros Martel Foundation Endowment FundErin Gregory Neale Endowment FundShell Lubricants (formerly Pennzoil-Quaker State Company) FundMary C. Gayler Snook Endowment FundTenneco, Inc. Endowment Fund