The Houston Grand Opera Hosts Book Signing and Children's Book Drive Tied to World Premiere of A CHRISTMAS CAROL Today

Houston Grand Opera will partner with Houston organizations for a public book signing with esteemed English actor, director, and author Simon Callow; and for a children's book drive during the run of the company's world premiere production ofA Christmas Carol this December.

Book Signing with Simon Callow, today, December 3 at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, December 3, HGO and Brazos Bookstore will co-host a book signing event with author Simon Callow and his book Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World-hailed as the "best biography for Dickens newcomers" by Library Journal- in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Theater Center beginning at 6:00 p.m. The vivid biography detailing the life and works of Charles Dickens, the famed author of the timeless novella, A Christmas Carol, will be available for purchase. Guests will have the opportunity to mingle with Callow and gain insight into his successful career as an actor, director, and author. Books will be available for purchase on-site or via pre-order through Brazos Bookstore.

One of Britain's most adored actors and winner of an Olivier Award for Best Direction, Simon Callow will direct and penned the libretto for HGO's upcoming world premiere opera, A Christmas Carol. He can be recognized from films such as Amadeus and Four Weddings and a Funeral, and has successfully portrayed Dickens on Broadway, in London's West End, and in television's Doctor Who. When he took to the stage with the monodramatic version of A Christmas Carol that forms the basis of his libretto, Callow was heralded as "an absolute master when it comes to Dickens" (Telegraph, U.K.).

Children's Book Drive with Books Between Kids, December 5-21

Charles Dickens was a crusader for improving the lives of those in need, and particularly better education for children. In honor of Dickens's legacy, HGO will partner with Books Between Kids (BBK)-a nonprofit organization committed to building home libraries for children in need-for a children's book drive to take place in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Theater for two hours prior to every performance of HGO's A Christmas Carol. Beginning December 5, opera-goers can bring their gently used books to designated book drops in the Wortham, to be collected by Books Between Kids. BBK will redistribute the books to at-risk, elementary-aged children in Houston.

A Christmas Carol: world premiere launches HGO's cycle of new holiday-themed commissions

(Dec. 5-21, 2014)

A Christmas Carol launches HGO's cycle of presenting holiday-themed works and adds to the company's longstanding tradition of creating and premiering important new operas. The 90-minute opera runs from December 5 through 21, 2014, at the Wortham Theater Center. The score is the work of composer Iain Bell, of whose first opera, A Harlot's Progress, the New York Times observed: "Mr. Bell knows how to write for the human voice." Bell based his recasting of Charles Dickens's festive favorite on the author's little-known performance adaptation: an eerie, yet ultimately heartwarming, one-man show in which a single narrator undertakes all the roles, from Scrooge to the three ghosts he encounters. Tenor Jay Hunter Morris, whose distinguished international career includes major roles in new operas as well as standard repertoire, will perform The Narrator. A Christmas Carol's opening run will be led by Warren Jones, former assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and "a musician par excellence no matter what he is interpreting" (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

Houston Grand Opera's presentation of A Christmas Carol is made possible in part through the generous support of the Houston Grand Opera Endowment, Inc.; The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Anthony G. Petrello;

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and PwC.

About Houston Grand Opera

Since its inception in 1955, Houston Grand Opera has grown from a small regional organization into an internationally renowned opera company. HGO enjoys a reputation for commissioning and producing new works, including 54 world premieres and seven American premieres since 1973. In addition to producing and performing world-class opera, HGO 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 has toured extensively, including trips to Europe and Asia, and has won a Tony, two Grammy awards, and two Emmy awards-the only opera company to have won all three awards.

Through HGOco, Houston Grand Opera creates opportunities for Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to observe, participate in, and create art. Its Song of Houston project is an ongoing initiative to create and share work based on stories that define the unique character of our city and its diverse cultures. Since 2007, HGOco has commissioned sixteen new works along with countless innovative community projects, reaching more than one million people in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The NEXUS Initiative is HGO's multi-year ticket underwriting program that allows Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy world-class opera without the barrier of price. Since 2007 NEXUS has enabled more than 175,000 Houstonians to experience first-quality opera through discounted single tickets and subscriptions, subsidized student performances, and free productions.

Photo Courtesy of The Houston Grand Opera

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