When Houston Grand Opera took its acclaimed production of The Passenger to the Park Avenue Armory for its New York premiere, patrons and fans followed for a weekend that included not only one of the three performances but also a round of swell parties and activities.
A highlight of their dance card entries was the reception in the swank Park Avenue residence of billionaires Ingeborg and Ira L. Rennert, Lincoln Center board members. The HGO production was part of the Lincoln Center Festival/Park Avenue Armory summer series. ( Rennert is probably best known for his 110,000-square-foot residence in the Hamptoms.)
The Houstonians' itinerary included a private tour of the "Degenerate Art" exhibition at the Neue Galerie, a Lincoln Center Festival performance of Japanese Kabuki theater piece called Kaidan Chibusa no Enoki (The Ghost Tale of the Wet Nurse Tree), dinner hosted by HGO patrons Dr. Ron Pototsky and Barry Narlines, a Northern Trust dinner hosted by Katherine Berry and Gary Reese of the Houston office and a cast party following the opera performance. The latter was held in the Armory's lavishly-appointed Veterans Room.
HGO music and artistic director Patrick Summers conducted the HGO orchestra in the performance that followed the U.S. premiere in January of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera focusing on the Holocaust.
Houstonians in the mix included HGO managing director Perryn Leech, HGOs Rudy Avelar, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Margaret Tudor, Ellen and Alan Holzberg, Robin Angly, tenor Alejandro Magallon and Brucie and Andy Moore. Add Sharon Adams and Rob Jackson, both of Houston First, which was one of the trip sponsors.