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A group of HGO Studio alumni including Reginald Smith, Jr. (pictured) won in the Best Opera Recording category.

Opera singers who trained in Houston shine at the 2021 Grammys.

Alumni of the HGO Studio, the Opera’s prestigious training program for young artists, were well-represented at this year’s Grammy awards.

HGO Studio Director Brian Speck said it was gratifying to see so many alumni recognized among this year’s winners and nominees. “We are fortunate to have such a high level of talent in our HGO Studio artists,” he said, “and our wish is to see
their musical and artistic gifts shared with the world.”

The honorees included Ryan McKinny (2005-08), who won for his work as a soloist in the Best Classical Compendium category for Michael Tilson Thomas’s From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke.

Eric Owens (1995-97), Denyce Graves (1988-90), Frederick Ballentine (YAVA 2011), and Reginald Smith, Jr. (2013-15) also won, in the Best Opera Recording category, for their work on the Metropolitan Opera’s recording of Porgy and Bess.

Joyce DiDonato (1996-98) was nominated for a Grammy for Best Opera Recording for Agrippina. Nicholas Phan (2002-05) and Myra Huang (2001-03) were nominated in the Best Classical Vocal Album, for Clairières – Songs by Lili and Nadia Boulanger. And Laquita Mitchell (2002- 05) was nominated in the Best Choral Performance category for Sanctuary Road.

“These artists have a great impact on the world through their performances,” said Speck, “and their deep connection with HGO brings special meaning to these awards for our company and city.”


Learn more about HGO Studio

Catherine Matusow

About the author

Catherine Matusow

Catherine Matusow is Associate Director of Communications at Houston Grand Opera.

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