The fantastical and exotic visions of stage director Carlus Padrissa of Barcelona held the gathering of Houston Grand Opera patrons mesmerized at a theater in Sundance Cinemas Wednesday as he teased with a taste of what will be in store when he brings his vision of Wagner's Ring Cycle to HGO. A brief video on his La Fura dels Baus' production of Das Rheingold tempted mightily.
The midday gathering with Padrissa, in Houston for early planning for the 2014 production, doubled as an invitation-only thank you to supporters and as a platform for announcement of the largest gift ever made to HGO for a single production.
HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers and managing director Perryn Leech announced that John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer of Baton Rouge, La., have committed a $2 million gift in celebration of the company's Ring of the Nibelungen. HGO supporters for almost a decade, they are among sponsors of this season's Tristan and Isolde.
In remarks to the gathering, Summers talked about his selection of Padrissa's unique Ring Cycle. "In choosing a Ring production for Houston Grand Opera's first Ring production, it was vitally important . . . that it be a production that will introduce this noble and vast tale in a way that is sustainable over four years and that is visually dazzling."
He added, "Perryn and I are so thrilled that this is Houston Grand Opera's Ring. It's a Ring for our time that is visually dynamic and relevant."