Houston Grand Opera Returns To Wortham Theater With THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

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Houston Grand Opera opens its 64th season with The Flying Dutchman, Wagner's eerie romance about the redeeming and transformative power of a woman's love. This new production by director Tomer Zvulun, making his HGO debut, heightens the dramatic elements of the famous legend of a cursed ghost ship. The production doubles as a welcome home for the company after being displaced by Hurricane Harvey for over an entire year.

The production is part of HGO's Seeking the Human Spirit, a six-year multidisciplinary initiative designed to highlight the universal spiritual themes raised in opera; as well as expand and deepen Houstonians' connections to opera and to art. This year's theme is transformation and includes the mainstage productions of Florencia en el Amazonas and The Phoenix, a world premiere.

HGO's first Wagner opera since the four-part Ring cycle, The Flying Dutchman is described as a haunting love story in which every seven years, the Dutchman comes ashore for a chance to break the curse that binds him to the desolate seas. His quest for true love leads him to Senta, a captain's daughter who has been obsessing over a mystifying portrait of him. When the two meet, the Dutchman is hopeful, but Senta must decide between her arranged marriage and her overpowering love for the Dutchman.

The opera, sung German, will have projected English translation and runs 2 hours and 20 minutes with no intermission.

Houston Grand Opera Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers, now in his 20th season, will conduct Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, opening on October 19, 2018. Polish baritone Andrzej Dobber, who impressed audiences as Scarpia in HGO's 2015 Tosca, sings the title role of the Dutchman, while the demanding role of Senta will be sung by American soprano Melody Moore, who will also appear as Donna Elvira in HGO's spring production of Don Giovanni. Senta's father, Daland, is Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson. Tenor Eric Cutler, who sang the Duke of Mantua in HGO's 2009 Rigoletto and Florestan in the Stuttgart 2016 production of Fidelio, will take the role of Erik. The Flying Dutchman is a co-production of Houston Grand Opera with The Atlanta Opera, and Cincinnati Opera.

Tickets range from $20 to $270. For more information and to buy tickets, visit HGO.org or call the box office at 713-228-6737.

Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is one of the largest, most innovative, and most highly acclaimed opera companies in the United States. HGO was the only American finalist for Opera Company of the Year at the 2017 International Opera Awards. In fulfilling its mission to advance the operatic art to serve an ever-evolving audience, HGO has led the field in commissioning new works (65 world premieres to date) and in training and nurturing promising young artists and administrators. The company contributes to the cultural enrichment of Houston and the nation through a diverse and innovative program of performances, community events, and education projects that reaches the widest possible public. HGO's pioneering community engagement initiative, HGOco, has served as a model for other arts organizations.

The NEXUS Initiative is HGO's multi-year ticket underwriting program that allows Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy opera without the barrier of price. Since 2007, NEXUS has enabled more than 250,000 Houstonians to experience superlative opera through discounted single tickets and subscriptions, subsidized student performances, and free productions.

HGO has toured extensively and has won a Tony, two Grammy awards, and three Emmy awards. It is the only opera company to win all three honors.

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