Everything You Need to Know About Houston Grand Opera 2017-18 Season

By David Salazar

The Houston Grand Opera announced its 2017-18 season Thursday with opening night featuring Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

In sum, there will be seven operas overall between October 20, 2017 and May 11, including one World Premiere.

The 2017 Operas

La Traviata” opens the season for seven performances with Albina Shagimuratova. This will be the soprano’s fourth run of the work in the last four years and the first time she takes it on outside of Russia. She sang Violetta in Moscow during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons. Her last set of performances were in May 2016. Joining her will be Dimitri Pittas as Alfredo Germont and George Petean as Giorgio Gerrmont. Eun Sun Kim conducts while Arin Arbus directs.

“Traviata” is followed up by Handel’s “Giulio Cesare,” which premieres on Oct. 27 and runs for five performances, the last being on Nov. 10. Anthony Roth Costanzo sings the title role with Heidi Stober as his lover Cleopatra, Stephanie Blythe as Cornelia, Megan Mikailovna Samarin as Sextus, David Daniels as Ptolemy and Federico De Michelis as Achillas. Patrick Summers conducts.

As the company heads into the holiday season it will feature the world premiere of “The House Without a Christmas Tree.” The work is based on a 1972 television film and runs for seven performances between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14. The cast includes Lauren Snouffer, Daniel Belcher, Patricia Schuman, Heidi Stober with Bradley Moore in the pit.

The 2018 Operas

Once the calendar strikes 2018, the company will kick things off with Strauss’ “Elektra” on Jan. 19 for five performances. The last show of Elektra will be on Feb. 2. Christine Goerke takes on the lead role for the first time since 2014 when she sang it in three different productions in Detroit, London and Warsaw. Tamara Wilson, Michaela Martens, Chad Shelton and Greer Grimsley round out the all-star cast.

January 26 kicks off the premiere of “The Barber of Seville,” which will run alongside “Elektra” until its final performance on Feb. 10. Leading the cast is Lucas Meachem as Figaro, David Portillo as Count Almaviva, Sofia Selowsky as Rosina, Eric Owens as Don Basilio and Peixin Chen as Doctor Bartolo. Julian Wachner conducts.

The company takes a break for a few months before showcasing “West Side Story” for seven performances starting on April 20. The famed musical will be directed by Francesca Zambello and star Andrea Carroll as Maria, Norman Reinhardt as Tony, Brian Vu as Riff and Alicia Gianni as Anita.

Running alongside “West Side Story” will be Bellini’s “Norma” which bows on April 27. Liudmyla Monastyrska will be making her role debut as Norma with Jamie Barton singing Adalgisa and Simon O’Neill taking on Pollione. Peixin Chen sings Oroveso while Patrick Summers conducts. The production ends on May 11, effectively ending the company’s 2017-18 season.