Arts & Culture

Theater District Open House: Another Grand Season At The Opera

Joshua Zinn talks with Houston Grand Opera Managing Director Perryn Leech about the Theater District Open House and the upcoming opera season.

Desperate men, truly epic music, and perhaps a few laughs are among the things you might experience at the opera this season with Houston Grand Opera. As one of the many organizations that make up Houston’s Theater District, they will naturally be a prominent feature of this weekend’s TransCanada Theater District Open House. HGO’s Managing Director Perryn Leech spoke with Houston Public Media’s Joshua Zinn from a train station in Europe about some season highlights and events at the Open House.

Leech, who is also Chairman of the Board for Theater District Houston, says that showcasing all of the groups in the district at once is important because some people “don’t realize it’s quite so busy… quite so active, and has so many different styles of performance going on… during Open House we’re trying to give them that flavor of exactly what they can come and see during the rest of the theater season.”

Among Houston Grand Opera’s activities for the Open House will be backstage tours, wig and costume displays, a demonstration of high-tech intelligent lighting systems (which, according to Leech, originated in rock concerts), and of course previews of the upcoming season.

Some highlights of the season are Gounod’s Faust; the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the same subject matter as the famous Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart film from 1946; and Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio with a (somewhat) updated setting on the Orient Express. And in the spring, Houston Grand Opera finally concludes Richard Wagner’s epic four opera cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen with the final opera, Götterdämerung. The Ring Cycle has been in production for the past four years at HGO and as Leech puts it, “It really is the artistic high point, and the thing that stretches an opera company the most you can possibly stretch it.”

For a schedule of Houston Grand Opera’s Open House events, go to their website or the website for the Theater District Open House.

Share