With less than two weeks to go before Mardi Gras season, two gentlemen from Louisiana began the party early for the Houston Grand Opera by deciding to donate $2 million toward the company's ambitious plan to produce four seasons of Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelungen starting in 2014
John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fisher, both longtime supporters of HGO from Baton Rouge, were introduced to an applauding crowd of opera lovers, civic leaders and performers at a noontime gathering at a Sundance Cinema auditorium.
Also introduced to the crowd was director Carlus Padrissa, director of La Fura dels Baus, the theater company behind Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Opening ceremony. Padrissa is in Houston preparing for the launch of the HGO's first Ring cycle, HGO personnel said.
In a press release handed out in conjunction with the event the following comments were made:
Co-donor John G. Turner:
"We are eager to help HGO bring Carlus Padrissa's production of The Ring to Texas. It tells the story concisely while offering amazing, cutting-edge imagery. We are confident this is the right production at the right time and are proud to help make this important artistic project come to fruition. It's about time."
Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers:
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"Wagner's epic cycle of a prologue and three operas, The Ring of the Nibelungen, which Houston Grand Opera will perform over four years beginning next season, is the largest artistic undertaking in our history. John and Jerry uniquely understand and connect to the timeless power and profound vision of this peerless and utterly unique work of art, and I am thrilled, honored, and touched by their enormous generosity."
HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech.
"We are deeply thankful for the many years of support that John and Jerry have provided Houston Grand Opera. Performing the company's first ever Ring cycle is a key part of our artistic goals and contributes to our strategic objectives of artistic and business growth. This gift represents a significant step forward in our reaching benchmarks for the future of HGO.
With this $2 million, HGO has raised $123 million of its $165 million goal by December 31, 2014.