When Houston Grand Opera moves back into the Wortham Center in September, an old friend and one of the world’s greatest singers, Plácido Domingo, will take the stage for perhaps the greatest opera homecoming party Houston lovers have ever witnessed.
The September 26 celebration and concert, succinctly titled HGO and Plácido — Coming Home!, will feature the world-renowned tenor along with Houston soprano Ana María Martínez, a frequent collaborator, and of course the HGO Orchestra conducted by HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers for an evening of operatic and popular musical favorites.
There could be no better choice than the multiple Emmy-and-Grammy-winning Domingo to sing opera’s return to the Wortham, as HGO began its inaugural season in the Wortham in 1987 with Verdi’s Aida, starring Domingo. But this brilliant creative relationship between HGO and Domingo actually began half a century ago when he played Faust in 1967 and Don José in Carmen that same year.
After the concert, the Coming Home gala evening will continue with a celebration dinner in the Ballroom at Bayou Place, and all proceeds will benefit HGO’s post–Hurricane Harvey activities. The evening’s chairman and presenting underwriter is Margaret Alkek Williams.
During Hurricane Harvey the Wortham’s basement was filled with more than 12 feet of toxic water that caused extensive damage to the building’s mechanical systems as well as the physical plant. HGO lost its two performance spaces, rehearsal spaces, and offices, along with its costume shop and several vehicles. The company’s total losses are expected to amount to as much as $15 million.
With the repairs and restoration to the Wortham taking a year to complete, HGO was forced to get creative with space for its season to go on. Less than two months after Harvey’s flooding of the Theater District, Summers and HGO managing director Perryn Leech, with help from Houston First, arranged for the assembling of a temporary performance space within George R. Brown Convention Center. That performance venue within the Convention Center was dubbed the Resilience Theatre and has become HGO’s home away from the Wortham home for the entirety of their 2017-2018 season. Yet no matter how well the company and Houston opera lovers have adapted, the return home will no doubt be music to their ears and certainly the perfect occasion to celebrate with one of opera’s legends, Plácido Domingo.
To purchase package tickets to the gala concert and dinner, contact HGO’s director of special events, Brooke Rogers, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713–546–0271. Pre-sales to HGO subscribers will begin in late June. A limited number of tickets to the concert only will be available in July.