Perryn Leech, the Houston Grand Opera managing director who so deftly helped steer the organization during the year it was booted from its Wortham Center home because of Hurricane Harvey floodwaters, will not be staying through to the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an announcement made by HGO Chairman Allyn Risley, Perryn is scheduled to leave HGO at the end of this year after nearly 14 years with the opera, nine of them as managing director. No reason was given for his departure.
Equally interesting is that the opera has decided to redo its leadership structure. Under the present system, both Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director, and Leech share leadership duties with both reporting to the Board of Directors.
According to an HGO press release: "A search committee will be organized to pursue the recruitment of a General Director, a single leader of the Company. Patrick Summers will remain with HGO as Artistic and Music Director, ultimately reporting to the General Director."
Like all performing arts companies in Houston, HGO has been suffered significant financial loss with its inability to present live performances to full houses. It has been offering HGO Digital programs to keep a connection to its audience.
“Houston Grand Opera is an extraordinary and special company and it has been a huge privilege to co-lead it through some amazing, and some challenging times,” Leech said in the press release. “I am incredibly proud of my colleagues for their outstanding work. I wish the company a bright future and I will continue to be amongst HGO’s biggest fans.”
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.