HGO Presents Lineup of Seven Productions Never Before Seen by Houston Audiences for 2019-20 Season

Single tickets to the 2019–20 season will be available on Monday, Aug. 5 at www.HGO.org


There is truly something for everyone in HGO’s 65th season, which features a diverse set of operas containing epic biblical dramas, love triangles, dangerous curses, heart-filling family narratives, stories of true love, tales of revenge, and whimsical quests.

Opening October 18, HGO’s season will be comprised of 42 performances (including three free community performances) of seven productions. In addition to the productions, the organization is proud to host HGO Studio alumnae Joyce DiDonato’s award-winning project In War & Peace: Harmony through Music.  On Thursday, November 6, 2019, DiDonato will be giving a one-night-only performance of the internationally touring project in the Cullen Theater.


  • The season opens with a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, which features some of opera’s most recognizable music. In this tragic tale of jealousy, lust, and revenge, the antagonistic jester, Rigoletto, is cursed after a joke in the court of the villainous Duke of Mantua goes too far. Despite his best efforts to protect his beloved daughter, Gilda, Rigoletto is unable to keep her safe from the dangers of the outside world and the curse’s ultimate fulfillment. (Oct. 18 – Nov. 1)
  • In the HGO premiere of Saul, audiences will see Barrie Kosky’s imaginative production of Handel’s dramatic biblical oratorio, which has been critically lauded for its choruses and breathtaking design. The story begins after David slays Goliath and follows the mental breakdown of the envious King Saul. In this stimulating and emotionally inspired production, Kosky creates a captivating drama highlighting the tension of social class and a world fraught with religious strife. (Oct. 25 –  Nov. 8)
  • HGO’s 67th world premiere is El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering, a prequel to the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, commissioned by HGO in 2010 and last presented in Houston in May 2018. This opera brings audiences back to where it all began, Michoacán, Mexico. Set during Christmas, the story lovingly explores the themes of tradition and familial bonds, while dealing with life-changing decisions and the dream of something more.  (Dec. 5 – 22)
  • Donizetti’s La favorite, which hits the Wortham stage in January 2020, is an HGO premiere that features opera powerhouse and HGO Studio alumna Jamie Barton alongside international star Lawrence Brownlee. Once the most performed opera of its time, this bel canto drama features some of the most challenging arias ever written. Woven into this now rarely performed work is a classic love triangle among a noblewoman, a king, and a warrior. (Jan. 24 – Feb. 9, 2020)
  • Verdi’s timeless Aida returns to the Wortham stage in an awe-inspiring new production directed by Phelim McDermott. This stunning new design is enhanced by the incorporation of visionary artist Basil Twist’s silk choreography. During the pinnacle of a war in ancient Egypt, captive princess Aida falls in love with a conquering general and must choose between true love and loyalty to her country. Verdi’s powerful music heightens this unforgettable story of betrayal and sacrifice. (Jan. 31 – Feb. 16, 2020)
  • Continuing in the vein of biblical dramas, R. Strauss’s powerful Salome returns to HGO for the first time in 20 years, in a production directed by Francisco Negrin. The revolutionary opera is about a deeply disturbed princess who has fallen in love with Jokanaan (John the Baptist). After he denies her advances, she performs the infamous and seductive “Dance of the Seven Veils” for King Herod in exchange for John’s head. (Apr. 17 – May 1. 2020)
  • HGO closes out the season with Mozart’s classic The Magic Flute. Filled with captivating, interactive projections, this breathtaking production by Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade uses a silent-film aesthetic with 21st-century technology to deliver a Magic Flute unlike any that has ever been seen at HGO. The classic story centers on the noble Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue Pamina, a beautiful princess. Along the way, he is tested by forces of darkness and must overcome evil to discover truth and the meaning of justice. (Apr. 24 – May 8. 2020)
  • During the 2019–20 season, HGO’s 68th world premiere will be the HGOco-commissioned, Marian’s Song, composed by HGOco’s 2018–2019 music director and composer-in-residence, Damien Sneed, with a libretto by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Houston’s poet laureate emeritus. The opera is based on the life of Marian Anderson, one of the most celebrated opera singers of the 20th century who broke racial barriers throughout her storied career. This innovative fusion of opera, spoken word, and multimedia projections debuts March 5, 2020.


HGO continues to reach younger audiences through its popular Opening Nights for Young Professionals (ONYP) subscription series, where a 7-opera series subscriptions start as low as $162, and its affordable ticket initiatives that include the Pay Your Age program and the NEXUS ticket underwriting program.

Launched just three years ago, the Pay Your Age program gives those under the age of 25 the opportunity to pay the price of their age for a single ticket. The multiyear NEXUS initiative provides a limited number of $15 tickets for first-time opera goers and student group audiences to all HGO performances.


To learn more about the organization, visit www.HGO.org.

photos: Houston Grand Opera