| Opera |

Bring Your Flood and Storm Stories to Rudz; You Won't Be Alone

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Storms, rains, flooding and stories of survival: Whether you've got a few tales from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike – or fresh wounds from April's flooding – you're invited to come out to Rudz and hear songs, poems and storytelling from local creatives. Members of the public are invited to share five-minute performances of their own hurricane stories (poetry, song or spoken word); the evening's lineup includes Houston poet laureate Dr. Robin Davidson, Leslie Anne Sloan (of Miss Leslie and Her Juke-Jointers), poet Deborah Mouton and local blues great The Mighty Orq.

Presented by Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Traditional Arts program, Storm Songs & Stories is an open-mike event that calls attention to HGO's upcoming opera, After the Storm, being presented in both Houston and Galveston. Composed and conducted by former HGO Studio Artist David Hanlon, with text by Stephanie Fleischmann (making her HGO debut), the chamber opera was originally titled The Root of the Wind Is Water and draws inspiration from the Great Storm of 1900, which resulted in more than 6,000 deaths, as well as the more recent Hurricane Ike.

Although Houston Arts Alliance's collaboration with HGO seems an unlikely pairing, Pat Jasper, director at HAA, says it’s exactly what HGO has always been about. “Even though folk arts and opera seem a world apart, HGO has done a great job of going out into the community,” she says. “They are a rare exception around the country in that they put resources into paying attention to the community in unique ways you don’t hear about anywhere else. This show is a great example of that.”

For those wishing to learn more about related HGO events, which include a Cultured Cocktails preview at Boheme (5 to 8 p.m. April 28), a Galveston Historic Homes Tour (2 to 3:30 p.m. May 1), and performances of After the Storm (7 p.m. May 13 at Wortham Theater Center and 7 p.m. May 15 at The Grand 1894 Opera House), call 713-228- 6737 or visit houstongrandopera.org.

8 p.m. Thursday, May 4. Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, 713-581-6126, houstonartsalliance.com/folklife/current. Free.

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