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Remembering the life and legacy of

Carlisle Floyd


Carlisle Floyd was an American opera composer. The son of a Methodist minister, he centered many of his works around themes from the South. His best known opera, Susannah, is based on a story from the Biblical Apocrypha, transferred to contemporary, rural Tennessee, and is set in a Southern dialect.

Houston Grand Opera has had a unique guardian in Carlisle Floyd (b. 1926). He guided both a postwar American operatic repertoire he had helped create and had strongly influenced in others, as well as a company he quietly fostered for more than half of its history, subtly steering its aesthetics and values.

No other company in the history of opera has had such a long creative relationship with a living composer as has Houston Grand Opera with Carlisle Floyd, who also founded the renowned Houston Grand Opera Studio with David Gockley in 1981.


Carlisle Floyd Operas at HGO:

Bilby's Doll 1975-1976
Cold Sassy Tree 1999-2000
Of Mice and Men 1972-1973, 1976-1977, 2001-2002
Passion of Jonathan Wade 1990-1991
Prince of Players 2015-2016
Susannah 1971-1972, 1995-1996
Willie Stark 1980-1981

Carlisle Floyd, an Appreciation

If you were a friend or colleague of Carlisle Floyd, you will understand loyalty because he showed it to you. ~ Patrick Summers

Read the entire article "Carlisle Floyd, an Appreciation" by HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.



HGO Studio Remembers Carlisle Floyd

Read the tribute: HGO Studio Members and Alum Remember Carlisle Floyd

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