Special Message from the Office of the General Director
Due to not receiving Payroll Protection funding, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) announced that 20% of the administrative staff will be furloughed. In addition, all remaining staff will take tiered reductions in salary that will continue through the end of the current fiscal year.
“This is the first time in HGO history that we’ve had to make such a dramatic and difficult decisions. Although we were one of the first organizations in Houston to submit our application for government funds, we did not receive any support from the available allocation,” states HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech. “We must therefore take actions that stabilize our longer term future and seek additional funding as it becomes available, hopefully in the near term. We are confident that all employees can return to work once additional funding is secured.”
This spring, HGO cancelled productions of The Magic Flute and Salome, in addition to the largest fundraiser of the year, Opera Ball. The projected negative impact of COVID-19 for the organization through next season is currently at $7.3 million and could rise to $15 million in total across a four-year period.
“Our commitment to our artform, our world class artists, and our Houston community remains ever strong. We understand that many people depend on HGO for their livelihoods,” says HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers. “This worldwide pandemic is devastating for us all and we must rally our supporters to help bridge the gap in funding that we are currently facing, while building a stronger HGO for the future.”
To help support HGO, donate to the Support the Artists Campaign, click here.
For more details from Perryn Leech and Patrick Summers, use the link below.
The cancellation of our spring performances impacts every member of our community, including artists, musicians, stagehands, and staff. HGO is committed to the livelihood of all those involved in producing great opera in Houston and we are taking the lead in helping defray the impact of these cancellations. Our commitment is to honor 50% of the expected income of those impacted by these canceled performances.
What events have been canceled?
- Mainstage productions of Salome and The Magic Flute, as well as all supporting activities.
- Outdoor performances of Rigoletto at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
- HGOco’s Opera to Go!, Storybook Opera, and all lectures and workshops through May 31st. Opera Camps are still available for June.
- HGO Studio Spring Recitals
- Opera Ball has been postponed to a later date. More information to come.
The arts bring us together and give us hope and inspiration, especially in challenging times. Following Hurricane Harvey, the message was clear that the arts matter deeply to Houstonians. Our hearts were touched by the outpouring of support, love, and positivity from our loyal subscribers and supporters, which ultimately helped HGO “weather the storm,” and return a stronger, more resilient company.
We know the same will hold true this time around, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your belief in the power of great art, and for your support of the HGO family. We can’t wait to be back in the Wortham, sharing great opera with you.
How can you help?
1. Donate directly to the support the artists campaign here.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to financially impact our organization, especially our artists.
We remain committed to supporting all those who help us bring great opera to the Wortham stage. We will continue to do what we can to lessen the financial burden for our artists and staff.
We cannot do it without your support. Please make a gift to the campaign to support these wonderful artists and technicians. Your gift right now will make a critical difference.
2. Spring Repertoire Tickets Return
If you had tickets to the spring repertoire, we kindly ask that you donate the value of your tickets from these spring productions and events to help us offset the losses of those involved. This is a tax-deductible donation and you will receive a receipt for your records. Please use this form to donate your tickets to help HGO support this effort – click here.
3. Renew or Subscribe to the 2020-21 season
Opera will return to the Wortham next season and we need you in the audience! Please renew your current subscription or purchase a new one today. To get started - click here.
If you have more questions, please email email@example.com.
How can you stay connected to HGO?
Since the show must go on, we will be creating a space of hope and resilience on social media. From excerpts of operas from over the years, to personal videos with artists and staff members, we want to make sure you are getting your opera fix! With so much fear and frustration dominating our newsfeeds, we hope to provide a bit of relief and positivity during this challenging time.
- Monday through Friday: We will post short videos from our HGO family on our social channels for your enjoyment.
- Friday: We will post an archival feature that highlights some of our greatest moments.