Houston Grand Opera Announces 2021-22 HGO Studio Artists

By Logan Martell

Houston Grand Opera has announced its 2021-22 HGO Studio Artists, comprised of three new singers and nine returning artists who will train with the HGO Studio for the duration.

The first-year artists are baritone Luke Stiff, tenor Eric Taylor, and mezzo-soprano Emily Treigle. In the 33rd Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers Concert of Arias, they placed as a finalist, second place winner, and third place winner, respectively.

Returning artists are baritone Blake Denson, tenor Ricardo Garcia, basses Cory McGee and William Guanbo Su, sopranos Raven McMillon and Elena Villalon, and pianist/coaches Alex Munger and Bin Yu Sanford.

Over the last year, HGO has partnered with multiple opera companies to coordinate virtual auditions. From hundreds of applicants, the HGO Studio selected their 12 finalists, with the Concert of Arias being held on February 5, 2021. In addition to training and performance opportunities, Studio Artists work with HGO Artistic Advisor and soprano Ana Maria Martinez, as well as HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.

“The resilience that our returning HGO Studio artists have shown over the past year is awe-inspiring. It’s been an incredibly difficult time for the artistic community, and we are extremely proud to have been able to pivot our efforts to create art for this digital world we are living in,” said HGO Studio Director Brian Speck. “Next season, we look forward to once again offering our artists the opportunity to perform for audiences live and in person. And we are beyond excited to welcome three new talented first year artists to our program.”