May. 1, 2023

Meet You on the Hill!


On May 19 and 20, Houston Grand Opera will present two free performances of Verdi’s La traviata at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, one of our city’s true jewels. Thousands of Houston families will converge for an evening of entertainment on the hill, enjoying the same acclaimed production, directed by Arin Arbus, that opened our season last fall.  

HGO’s springtime outdoor operas are not only a treasured tradition, but also core to the company’s mission. “We strongly believe that everyone in Houston deserves access to first-rate, high-quality arts experiences,” says HGO Director of Community and Learning Jennifer Bowman. 

The Miller performances will feature a cast of tremendously talented artists including soprano Meryl Dominguez as the courtesan Violetta, tenor Ricardo Garcia as her lover Alfredo, and baritone Anthony Clark Evans as Alfredo’s father Germont. Alex Amsel conducts the renowned HGO Orchestra in Verdi’s timeless tragic masterpiece. 

Each year HGO seeks out grants and allocates resources from its own budget to present world-class productions like La traviata with the aim of removing barriers to the operatic art form and sharing its beauty with as many Houstonians as possible. 

“A central location like Miller Outdoor Theatre, which has a longtime history as a free, accessible community venue, allows us an opportunity to bring Houstonians to a familiar location to experience our performances,” says Bowman. “If someone leaves a Miller performance and buys a ticket to HGO, that’s great, but if the Miller performance becomes their primary experience with HGO, that’s great too, because HGO is still in their lives.”  

Bowman, the former Director of Music Education for the Kennedy Center, joined HGO as Director of Community and Learning last summer. A native Houstonian, she knows the importance of Miller Outdoor Theatre to our community firsthand.  

“It’s a very important landmark for Houston,” she says. “Miller is, for a lot of Houstonians, one of the first places where they remember seeing a performance in the city.” She herself remembers seeing her first Tosca there, in a production from the Houston Ebony Opera Guild featuring celebrated soprano Latonia Moore, a Houston native.  

Bowman cannot wait for Houston to experience one of the world’s most popular operas, La traviata, with its soaring score and universal themes that never fail to resonate. “La traviata is an amazing entry point into the art form because it contains a lot of well-known melodies that people have heard in films like Pretty Woman and in commercials,” she says. “The story is easy to follow, and the music is beautiful.”  

See for yourself—join us on the hill for an incredible evening! 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20. Free! For more information, visit 

about the author
Catherine Matusow
Catherine Matusow is Director of Communications at Houston Grand Opera.