Houston Grand Opera announces its 2017-18 season today, one that no longer has one of Wagner's Rings to call upon (the last part plays this spring) but still has some crowd pleasers of lasting appeal, including the season opener, La traviata, with soprano Albina Shagimuratova.
For the first time in 25 years, HGO will be presenting Strauss's Elektra featuring outstanding soprano Christine Goerke in the title role. Rossini's The Barber of Seville returns as well. And Norma offers the singing abilities of soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton.
HGO will present an opera version of West Side Story as well as try its hand at another winter holiday opera, this time The House Without a Christmas Tree by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek.
HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers was quoted as saying in an HGO press release: “In this season we are thrilled to bring back after nearly 25 years two masterpieces that have long captured the imaginations of opera lovers but whose extraordinarily demanding title roles have daunted many a performer; in Liudmyla Monastyrska (Norma) and Christine Goerke (Elektra) we have artists whose vocal and dramatic virtuosity illuminate these roles for our time."
For a full list of the upcoming performances, here's the lineup (and go to the HGO website for more information) :
La traviata: Star coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova returns in a new HGO production staged by noted director Arin Arbus, conducted by Eun Sun Kim in her North American debut (October 20–November 11, 2017)
Julius Caesar: Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (HGO’s 2017–18 Lynn Wyatt Great Artist) and soprano Heidi Stober make role debuts in James Robinson’s art deco–era production (October 27–November 10, 2017)
The House without a Christmas Tree: Ricky Ian Gordon/Royce Vavrek world premiere features soprano Lauren Snouffer and baritone Daniel Belcher (November 30–December 17, 2017)
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Elektra: First HGO performances in 25 years feature superstar soprano Christine Goerke and role debut of Tucker Award–winner Tamara Wilson as Chrysothemis in David McVicar production of Strauss tragedy (January 19–February 2, 2018)
The Barber of Seville: Rising star Lucas Meachem makes HGO debut as Figaro and Eric Owens returns as Don Basilio in popular Els Comediants staging of Rossini classic comedy (January 26–February 10, 2018)
West Side Story: Francesca Zambello directs first major American opera house presentation of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins’s beloved musical, featuring soprano Andrea Carroll and tenor Norman Reinhardt (April 20–May 6, 2018)
Norma: Acclaimed soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton headline Kevin Newbury production of Bellini’s bel canto masterwork (April 27–May 11, 2018)