Houston Grand Opera Loses its Managing Director

HGO's Perryn Leech weathered the storm when Hurricane Harvey forced the opera to move its productions to the George R. Brown.
HGO's Perryn Leech weathered the storm when Hurricane Harvey forced the opera to move its productions to the George R. Brown. Photo by Margaret Downing
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.”
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing