Skip to main content
Music & Meditations

Seeking The Human Spirit

May 18, 2023
Concerts, 6:00PM & 7:00PM
Labyrinth walk, 7:45-8:30PM

Seeking the Human Spirit, Houston Grand Opera’s six-year multi-disciplinary initiative, highlights the universal spiritual themes raised in opera. STHS explores a different theme each year, starting in 2017 and concluding in 2023, as it relates to select operas from each season.

On May 18, 2023, the initiative will culminate with the world premiere of six chamber works, each inspired by one of our themes:

  • Sacrifice—when will we do what must be done, composed by Zach Redler, with a libretto by Jerre Dye;
  • Identity—Take Your Eyes Off My Joy, composed by Jocelyn C. Chambers, with a libretto by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton;
  • Spirit—Indigenous / Undigenous I, composed by Brent Michael Davids, with his own text, translated to Comanche;
  • Faith—A Stillness that Moves, composed by Shih-Hui Chen, based on text inspired by Houston’s Rothko Chapel;
  • Character—Drives, composed by Mark Buller, with a libretto Euan Tait; and
  • Transformation—hela, composed by J.E. Hernández, set to Nahuatl poems.

The premieres will take place in two cultural havens in Houston’s Museum District, Rothko Chapel and The Menil Collection. Each site will present three compositions in two performances at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.; guests can also take advantage of HGO teaching artists providing walking tours of the spaces and guided interpretations of the compositions.

Following the concerts, at 7:45 p.m., a final gathering at Menil Park will welcome audiences to take part in a temporary labyrinth installation constructed for the evening by local artist Reginald Adams, and a performance by Houston 2022 poet laureate Outspoken Bean. The experience will be enhanced with take-home artifacts—meditation beads crafted by Houston multidisciplinary artist Eepi Chaad—as participants reflect on the event and the past six years.

  • Price
    Free and General Admission
  • Age
    Appropriate for all ages.
  • Running Time
    Concerts, 6:00PM & 7:00PM | Labyrinth walk, 7:45-8:30PM
  • Language

New to the Opera? Visit our FAQ page


May 18th, 2023




Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon St. 
The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St.
Menil Park, 1423 Branard St.




Concerts, 6:00PM & 7:00PM
Labyrinth walk, 7:45-8:30PM




Free and General Admission

Cast & Creative

Creative Team
J.E. Hernández

Composer - Hela

Deborah DEEP Mouton Headshot
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton

Libertto - "Take Your Eyes Off My Joy"

Jocelyn C Chambers Headshot
Jocelyn C. Chambers

Composer - "Take Your Eyes Off My Joy"

Brent Michael Davids Headshot Photo Credit Chris Line
Brent Michael Davids

Composer - "Indigenous / Undigenous I"

Shih Hui Chen Taiwan Faculty 0013 Copy 2
Shih-Hui Chen

Composer - "A Stillness that Moves"

Redler Headshot
Zach Redler

Composer - "when will we do what must be done"

Jerre Dye Headshot Photo Credit Joe Mazza
Jerre Dye

Libretto - "when will we do what must be done"

Mark Buller Photographer Lynn Lane Hi Res 14
Mark Buller

Composer - "Drives"

Euan Tait Brandenburg
Euan Tait

Libretto - "Drives"


Lead Funders
  • Harlan and Dian Stai

  • Lynn Wyatt

  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

  • The Brown Foundation, Inc.

  • Mathilda Cochran

  • Connie Dyer

  • Claire Liu and Joe Greenberg

  • Elizabeth Phillips

  • Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Sweeney

  • The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

  • Albert and Anne Chao/Tin Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation

  • Mr. John G. Turner and Mr. Jerry G. Fischer

  • Louisa Stude Sarofim Foundation

Cookie Notice

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience on our site.

To find out more, view our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Back To Top Back to top