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Seeking the Human Spirit 2017–2023

A six-year multidisciplinary initiative designed to highlight the universal spiritual themes raised in opera and to expand and deepen Houstonians’ connections to opera and to art.

WORKS

The 2018–19 Mainstage operas, will speak to the theme of “Transformation”: 

Wagner: The Flying Dutchman • Fall 2018

This work represents Wagner’s fascination with the supernatural and the transformational redemption that comes from pure, faithful love. The Flying Dutchman, cursed to sail the seas until he finds the pure love of a woman, is eventually released from his doomed existence through Senta’s sacrificial death.

Catán: Florencia en el Amazonas • Winter 2019

During a boat trip down the Amazon, Florencia Grimaldi, a world-famous opera singer, reflects on the emptiness of her life and hopes to reunite with her long-lost lover Cristóbal.  In Daniel Catán and Marcela Fuentes-Berain’s masterful work, rooted in magical realism, we witness an otherworldly, enchanting transformation born out of Florencia’s deep love for Cristóbal.


Tarik O'Regan and John Caird: The Phoenix • Spring 2019
World Premiere 

In HGO’s 66th world premiere, composer Tarik O’Regan and librettist John Caird humorously explore the numerous transformations Lorenzo da Ponte must make to survive his adventurous life. From priesthood to debauchery to family man, from destitution to the emperor’s librettist, from immigrant to greengrocer to opera producer and academic professor in America, Da Ponte may be the true impresario of transformation itself.

Handel: Saul

Donizetti: La favorite

R. Strauss: Salome
 
Wagner: Tannhäuser

Adam Guettel: World premiere based on H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man

HGO launched Seeking the Human Spirit in 2017–18 season with three works tied to the theme of “Sacrifice”: 

Verdi: La traviata • Fall 2017
 
Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek: The House without a Christmas Tree • December 2017
World Premiere

Bellini: Norma • Spring 2018

Opera takes the human spirit in this grand cathartic way and sings it back to you.

- HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers

EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

EVENTS

All events listed below are open to the public.

Discovery Green
Transforming the Spirit Through Song
December 15, 2018, 7 PM

Join members of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus and HGO Studio in a holiday sing-along led by HGOco Music Director and Composer-In-Residence Damien Sneed. Free and open to the public. Will coincide with Flea By Night and GUST - an interactive art installation created by Cocolab, a Mexico City-based studio for the Discovery Green Conservancy


Museum of Fine Arts Houston Book Club
November 2018

Join the MFAH online bookclub and read “Love in the Time of Cholera” at your own pace. The novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was one of Daniel Catan’s sources of inspiration as he composed “Florencia en el Amazonas”, one of HGO’s winter productions.

Visit MFAH.org for details about the program. 

PROGRAMS 

Programs listed below are not public events. 

The Women's Home/ The Institute for Spirituality & Health at Texas Medical Center 
Fall 2018

The Courage to Search - a 14-week spiritual exploration program supporting women in recovery. HGO facilitates an empathy workshop, lunch time recital and Q&A by a mainstage artist. Participants attend one performance of an HGO mainstage opera.


Methodist Hospital
December 2018

Music Therapy Program residency working with residents in the Psychiatric short term care unit. HGO Studio Artists or HGOco Teaching Artists will work with program therapists to integrate song into recovery care and self-management. The 3-day residencies will also take place in December, February, and May .

EVENTS

Presentation: Der Fliegende Holländer: Transformation of the Fallen Soul
October 17, 7:30 PM
Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Blvd, 713-524-8253

Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman provides opportunities to explore the notion of archetype, how it works in everyday life, and the ways it is reflected in great works of art, especially opera. The Flying Dutchman tells the story of a sea captain, cursed to perpetually sail the seas until he finds redemption in human love. A major theme is transformation, and we will explore several different aspects of the transformative process through archetypal motifs, including the fall, call, journey, wanderer, anima, separation, and redemption.

The Flying Dutchman
October
Fri
19
07:00 PM
October
Sun
21
02:00 PM
October
Sat
27
07:30 PM
October
Tue
30
07:30 PM
November
Fri
02
07:30 PM
Florencia en el Amazonas
January
Fri
18
07:30 PM
January
Sun
20
02:00 PM
January
Sat
26
07:30 PM
January
Wed
30
07:30 PM
February
Sun
03
02:00 PM
The Phoenix
April
Fri
26
07:30 PM
April
Sun
28
02:00 PM
May
Sat
04
07:30 PM
May
Tue
07
07:30 PM
May
Fri
10
07:30 PM

What I love about opera is that it connects us all…We are communicators, we are messengers. We are not the message.

- Ana María Martínez

PARTNERSHIPS & DONORS

Houston Methodist/Center for Performing Arts Medicine

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Jung Center, Houston

The Rothko Chapel

The Women’s Home/Institute for Spirituality and Health

Sacred Sites Quest



With a special thanks to our Major Donors

Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Wyatt Jr.

Dian Graves Owen Foundation

The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation

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

Louisa Stude Sarofim Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Byron Dyer

OPERA America

Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Sweeney

Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Loperena

Mrs. Pat Breen

The Alkek and Williams Foundation

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