The Front Row, 07/05/2006

General Director Reba Kochersperger steps down after 6 years with Houston's Opera in the Heights. . .

Lambert Hall in the HeightsTen years ago,ξReba Kochersperger was one of the founders of Houston's third opera comapny. In 200, she decided to decote her energies to the organization full-time, leaving he position as Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at Kingwood College to take over as the General Director for Opera in the Heights. She subsequently guided the company through six yearsξof artistic maturation, audience growth, and administrative and financial stabilization. . .So there was much surprise when she announced, at the conclusion of the company's recently concluded 10th anniversary season, that she was stepping down from her post to return to academia. The company she leaves behind has evolved, not into a minature, suburban version of Houston Grand Opera, but rather into a vehicle that provides early professional performing opportunities for emerging singers. Kochersperger spoke about the company and her tenure with KUHF's AlisonξYoung.ξξAudio here.ξξ

Farrell DydeChoreographer and Dance innovator Farrell Dyde was born in New York City but grew up in Denver. His original dream of becoming a professional baseball player was replaced by early successes as an actor. . .but then discovered modern dance and trained intensively in that art studying briefly at the Martha Graham Company, and with Merce Cunningham, post-modernist Rudy Perez and others. In 1974, Farrell Dyde, together with writer/philosopher James Rosenfield, co-founded his own dance company in North Carolina, and about a year-and-a-half late, moved it to Houston, where over the next 15 years, he and his troupe enjoyed a period of creativity, experimentation and success, with Mr. Dyde sometimes working alone and sometimes working with collaborators. . .first Mr. Rosenfield. . .then dancer-choreographer Laure Fly. . .and, beginning in 1991, following the disbanding of the Farrell Dyde Dance Theatre and its re-animation with a different focus as the NoVoDaDa Dance Theatre, with well-known former Hosuton dancer/choreographer, Sarah Irvin. Afterξa five year stint in New York as a dance administrator Mr. Dyde returned to Hosuton in 2004 and has been slowly, carefully re-establishing his own organization, and this weekend will present the first production to emerge from hisξthis latest phase of his career: an hour-long, three-part solo piece calledξPersona Non Gratis, which continues his career-long push to integrated dance with elements of his original love, theater. Farrell spoke with KUHF's AlisonξYoung.ξξAudio here.ξ

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