hgo goes digital

Houston Grand Opera unveils free new way to enjoy performances at home

Houston Grand Opera unveils free new way to enjoy performances at home

Houston Grand Opera presents Aida
Houstonians can now enjoy the opera from the comfort of their homes.  Photo by Tristram Kenton

In May, Houston Grand Opera produced some much-needed good news when it announced that it had restored all furloughed employees and canceled salary rollbacks with a $2.5 million PPP loan.

Now, opera fans can rejoice, as HGO has unveiled HGO Digital, its new program of digital works for the 2020–21 season. The opera will release free, original, bimonthly video content starting in September and running through April 2021, according to a press release.

The digital programming includes one three-act opera, three one-act operas, three concert events, and a special documentary project on the making of HGO’s world-premiere opera based on the children’s book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Additionally, HGO Digital will present the Live from the Cullen Recital Series, featuring opera stars Tamara Wilson, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, Reginald Smith Jr., and select HGO Studio artists in the fall 2020 releases.

Viewers can stream exclusive HGO Digital content worldwide through Marquee TV, an on-demand streaming platform dedicated to arts and culture. This season’s partnership between HGO and Marquee TV, the first of its kind between the streaming service and a US-based performing arts organization, grants audiences access to Marquee TV so they can stream HGO’s 2020–21 season using their televisions.

The subscription-based arts channel will host HGO’s brand-new content and allow users to access it for free through Marquee TV’s website or app, or through Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and other platforms.

To support the series, Sarah and Ernest Butler, longtime HGO supporters, have pledged $1 million to help underwrite HGO Digital programming. The pledge will support both Houston Grand Opera and Austin Opera, creating a strategic partnership between the two Texas companies.

Here is the current HGO Digital schedule:

Friday, September 11, at 7:30 pm – Live from The Cullen: Tamara Wilson
Friday, September 25, at 7:30 pm – Studio Showcase
Friday, October 9, at 7:30 pm – Live from The Cullen: Reginald Smith Jr.
Friday, October 23, at 7:30 pm – Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera
Friday, November 13, at 7:30 pm – Live from The Cullen: Arturo Chacón-Cruz
Friday, November 27, at 7:30 pm – The Impresario and Bon Appétit!
Thursday, December 10, at 7:30 pm – The Snowy Day documentary
Friday, January 8, 2021, at 7:30 pm – Live from The Cullen: Singer to be announced
Friday, January 22, 2021, at 7:30 pm – Giving Voice II
Friday, February 5, 2021, at 7 pm – Concert of Arias