Houston Grand Opera’s Patrick Summers Unveils New Book ‘The Spirity Of this Place’

By David Salazar

Houston Grand Opera Artistic and Musical Director Patrick Summers is releasing “The Spirit of This Place.”

The book, which explores the role of art in society and in individual lives, is available on Amazon and through the Chicago University Press, which published the book. “The Spirit of This Place” places an emphasis on the importance of supporting the arts. He guides readers through encounters at Houston’s Rothko Chapel to a music classroom in rural China.

“The book is a transcript of part of my Campbell Lectures for the Humanities at Rice University a few years ago,” Summers said in a press release. “The inspiration for both the lectures, and therefore the book, is an attempt to discover just one of the many facets of being an artist in the 21st century: why do we create art or, more urgently for me, why do we re-create art?

“There are many reasons, but I continually returned to my own thoughts and summations about the ‘why’ of art. The ‘how’ is relatively easy; ‘why’ is the more profound question.”

Summers has been with the company since 2011, after serving as music director since 1998. He has conducted over 60 productions with the company, including eight world premieres of such operas as “It’s a Wonderful Life, “Three Decembers,” and “The End of the Affair,” among others.