HGO Resilience Theater is ready for the show to go on at George R. Brown Convention Center starting October 20th
Houston Grand Opera creates “unconventional” new theater in the George R. Brown Convention Center for first three productions of the 2017–18 season
Houston Grand Opera will open its 63rd season with a new production of Verdi’s most romantic opera, La traviata, October 20–November 11 in the new HGO Resilience Theater at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.
Handel’s Julius Caesar, a Baroque opera reset in the golden age of 1930s Hollywood, opens the following week and runs October 27–November 11.
HGO has transformed an exhibit hall in the convention center into an intimate theater after being displaced from its creative home at the Wortham Theater Center by Hurricane Harvey. Every seat will be less than 100 feet from the stage. The space will also give audiences insight into and connection to the theatrical process, in what the company is calling “unconventional opera.”
Tickets are available at HGO.org; seating at the HGO Resilience Theater will be assigned in early October.
All HGO ticket buyers to La traviata and/or Julius Caesar will receive a code for a $30 credit per ticket from Lyft to use for rides to and from the GRB ($15 per ride). Parking for HGO’s performances will be available at the Avenida North garage located at 1815 Rusk Street, across from HGO’s new venue.
A sky bridge connects the parking garage to the GRB, and there will be clear signage to direct patrons to the theater. More information about parking can be found here.
MAKING THE TRANSFORMATION:
Creation of the HGO Resilience Theater
- 13 days – time available to construct and rehearse for opening night
- 24 16-wheeler trucks
- 60 people working 15-hour days, totaling more than 5600 hours of manpower
- Nearly 1 mile of truss for hanging lights and other equipment
Facts about HGO Resilience Theater at the George R Brown Convention Center
- 124,000 square feet of space
- 1,700 audience seats (compared to 2200 at Brown Theater at Wortham Center)
- 100 feet – maximium distance from an audience seat to performance area
- Orchestra will be at the back of the performance area. There is no orchestra pit in this space.
- A Cyclorama provides an acoustical environment for Opera. The Cyclorama is a reflective plastic drop behind the orchestra and the audience seating.
HGO’s 2017–18 season at Resilience Theater continues with the world premiere of composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Royce Vavrek’s holiday opera The House without a Christmas Tree (November 30–December 17).
In January, at a location still to be announced, HGO will present its first performances in a quarter century of Richard Strauss’s revenge-filled Elektra (January 19–February 2), with virtuoso soprano Christine Goerke in the tempestuous title role and 2016 Richard Tucker Award–winner and HGO Studio alumna Tamara Wilson in her role debut as Chrysothemis, under the baton of Patrick Summers.
Rossini’s ever-popular comedy, The Barber of Seville (January 26–February 10), with a cast that includes the HGO debut of baritone Lucas Meachem as Figaro, the return of tenor David Portillo as Count Almaviva, HGO Studio alumna Sofia Selowsky as Rosina, and the eagerly anticipated return of HGO Studio alumnus Eric Owens, Musical America’s 2017 Vocalist of the Year, as Don Basilio, conducted by Julian Wachner.
In April, HGO will give the first presentations of Leonard Bernstein’s classic musical West Side Story (April 20–May 6) by a major American opera house, with a new production by Francesca Zambello featuring HGO Studio alumni Andrea Carroll and Norman Reinhardt as Maria and Tony, conducted by Timothy Myers; and Bellini’s grand-scale tragedy Norma (April 27–May 11), showcasing the role debut of stellar dramatic soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska in the notoriously difficult title role, with HGO Studio alumni Jamie Barton (the 2015 Tucker Award winner) as Adalgisa and HGO Studio alumnus Chad Shelton as Pollione, in a production by acclaimed director Kevin Newbury and conducted by Patrick Summers.
For updates on the company’s season and other developments, please visit www.hgo.org/resiliencetheater.
Featured photo credit: Felix Sanchez