Canadian tenor Joseph Kaiser says he'd always wanted to come sing in Houston and now he's gotten his wish; he'll be playing the role of the good-looking riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat this month as the Houston Grand Opera under Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers expands its offerings. It helps that Kaiser, who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2007 as Romeo in Roméo et Juliette, is a fan of musicals and of Jerome Kern, who wrote the music for Show Boat with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical, adapted from an Edna Ferber novel, is set in the years from 1880 to 1927 and tells the lives of people working along the Mississippi River. Famous songs from it include ''Ol' Man River'' and ''Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man,'' and racial bigotry isn’t the only hard truth exposed here. Even if you've watched the movie or seen earlier stage productions, Kaiser says this is a Show Boat not to miss. ''One thing that's really great about doing this in an opera house is that you have operatic voices doing it. I can't wait for people to hear [American mezzo-soprano] Sasha Cooke's Magnolia and [Atlantan] Morris Robinson as Joe; goodness gracious, I think they've put together a really great team.''
Fri., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 20, 2 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 2 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., 2013