Houston Grand Opera Presents Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor 1/28/11

Houston Grand Opera Presents Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor 1/28/11

Houston Grand Opera (HGO) continues its 2010-11 season with a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, Gaetano Donizetti's bel canto masterpiece, opening on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown Theater of the Wortham Theater Center.

"Lucia di Lammermoor is a veritable showcase of elaborate and athletic singing," said HGO's General Director and CEO Anthony Freud. "It requires a central quartet of singers of the greatest technical virtuosity and vocal charisma. We have assembled some of the best young voices for this new production."

The volatile religious and political conflicts of two ancient Scottish clans fuel the drama of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. HGO Studio alumni Albina Shagimuratova and Scott Hendricks, who thrilled audiences in HGO's production of Verdi's Rigoletto in 2009, make their role debuts as Lucia and her brother Enrico. "Far beyond its Scottish setting, its interesting history, and its performance challenges, Lucia di Lammermoor is, more than anything, a celebration of the human voice," says HGO Music Director Patrick Summers. "The first time I heard the voice of Albina Shagimuratova, I thought I had indeed stepped back into a golden age, for rarely had I experienced such tonal radiance coupled with a timbre that sounded like none I'd ever heard."

American tenor Dimitri Pittas, whom Opera News calls "a huge talent with an easy ringing tenor voice," makes his HGO debut in the role of Edgardo, the scion of the Ravenswoods and secret love of Lucia. American bass and HGO Studio alumnus Oren Gradus (Leporello in HGO's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, 2006) joins the cast as the minister Raimondo.

Drama Desk and Tony Award-winning Scottish director John Doyle (Sweeney Todd - Broadway, 2006) and designer Liz Ascroft create intense drama amid the ever-shifting Scottish landscape in this new Houston Grand Opera production. Late seventeenth-century period costumes and broad expansive skyscapes dominate this new production. "It will be a beautiful production that is both true to the spirit of Sir Walter Scott's novel, and to the intense drama of Donizetti's thrilling opera," explains Freud. This production also features lighting by British designer Jane Cox.

Exciting young Italian conductor Antonino Fogliani, renowned throughout the opera world for his interpretation of the great bel canto works, will make his North American debut with this production. Fogliani has conducted Lucia di Lammermoor in Bergamo, Italy, Liège, Belgium and Lucerne, Switzerland. Richard Bado is the Chorus Master.
Lucia di Lammermoor will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. This new production is a co-production with Opera Australia and Teatro La Fenice, Venice.

Performance Summary
All performances of Houston Grand Opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor are held in the Wortham Center's Brown Theater, Texas Avenue at Smith Street, Houston, TX.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Performance Dates

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. *
Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 6, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 11, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

* ON for Young Professionals intermission mixer and performance

Ticket Information:
· Single tickets for Lucia di Lammermoor are available now and start at $24.

· Tickets may be obtained online at www.houstongrandopera.org or by phone at 713-228-OPERA (6737) or 1-800-62-OPERA (800-626-7372)

· Tickets are also available at the HGO Box Office (in the lobby of the Wortham Theater Center) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The Box Office operates on weekend performance days from 11:00 a.m. till the first intermission (hours are subject to change).

· All performances will take place at the Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Avenue, Houston, Texas 77002. The Wortham Theater Center features wheelchair access to both theaters, with a choice of seating locations and ticket prices. An infrared listening system, underwritten by Shell Lubricants, is available and free of charge at all performances. Disabled access and TDD: 713-228-OPERA (6737) or 1-800-62-OPERA (800-626-7372); Descriptive Services: 713-546-0230.

· Opera Insights Lectures take place forty-five minutes before each performance. Guest speakers present a twenty-minute informal lecture in the orchestra level of the Brown Theater. These lectures, free and open to all ticket holders, are intended to enhance the audience's enjoyment by preparing them for the production they are about to attend.