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Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Houston Grand Opera will present Transforming the Human Spirit through Song, the company’s annual Carols on the Green sing-along at Discovery Green.

Led by soloists from the company’s original mariachi opera, El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering, the evening features holiday songs in English and Spanish. Joining in the celebration are members the HGO Chorus, the HGO Studio, the HGO Bauer Family High School Voice Studio, local children’s ensemble Segundo Barrio, and Trio Chapultepec.

Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Houston Grand Opera presents The Wreckers

Houston Grand Opera presents The Wreckers

Dame Ethel Smyth’s epic 1906 opera The Wreckers gets its first-ever full-scale production from a major American opera company.

This must-see new production stars Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke as the resolute Thirza, whose husband, the preacher Pascoe, declares to the coastal community that shipwrecks along their shore are meant to be pillaged - and meant to be premeditated by leaving the lighthouse dark. But Thirza’s heart and conscience are not with her husband or with his dangerous methods. Someone among them is secretly warning the ships of danger, and the villagers search for the traitor while Thirza embraces her convictions, no matter the cost.

Acclaimed HGO Studio alumni Reginald Smith, Jr. and Norman Reinhardt sing the roles of Pascoe and Mark, the fisherman in love with the married Thirza. Radiant soprano and HGO Studio alumna Mané Galoyan performs the role of Mark’s unhappy ex, Avis. This exciting new HGO production is directed by Louisa Muller and conducted by HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.

An original HGO production, it features English translation by Amanda Holden.

Photo courtesy of Moores Opera Center

Moores Opera Center presents Ainadamar (Fountain of Tears)

Through the memories of actress and muse Margarita Xirgu, Ainadamar (the Spanish pronunciation of the Arabic name ‘Ayn al-dam’, meaning ‘The Fountain of Tears’) explores the life and work of playwright and poet Federico García Lorca, whose anti-fascist stance and open homosexuality led to his death in 1936 at the hands of Franco’s Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. The new production combines classical singing with flamenco dance and song.

Photo courtesy of Moores Opera Center

Moores Opera Center presents Die Fledermaus

Raise a glass to comedy and decadence with Die Fledermaus, one of the most beloved operettas in the repertoire. What could be more fun than a show that revolves around practical jokes, disguises, and gallons of Champagne?

Audiences will attend the ultimate masked ball and discover not only why Johann Strauss Jr. is known as the Waltz King, but also just how far some people will go to exact their revenge.

The Shepherd School of Music presents Street Scene by Kurt Weill

Shepherd School Opera with the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra presents Kurt Weill’s Street Scene.

It’s a typical, scorching summer day outside a New York City tenement – neighbors gossip and go about their business as usual – but inside, tensions are escalating. When a shocking secret is revealed, the tension explodes into violence.

Featuring music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Langston Hughes, Street Scene won the 1947 Tony Award for Best Original Score, blending European opera and American musical theater.

Steven Osgood will be the Guest Conductor and Pat Diamond will be the Stage Director.

Image courtesy of Moores Opera Center

Moores Opera Center presents La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)

Merging film and opera, Jean Cocteau’s classic 1946 film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast comes to life anew with a beautiful and arresting score by Philip Glass.

The Moores Opera Center will be the first university opera program to produce this seminal work by two of the most important artists of modern times. Michael Riesman, Music Director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, joins the University of Houston as guest conductor for this special production.

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Iconic Austin blues club brings the show to fans with new indie livestreaming platform

Live on Live

If legendary Austin blues club Antone’s is your vibe, but the drive to Capital City isn't, you’re in luck. Antone’s Nightclub launched a new service for livestreaming its shows in November.

Kicking off with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show last month with Michael Hale Trio, the full lineup is delineated on the Antone’s website. Specifics were still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.

"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."

Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.

The intimate Antone's shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.

“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”

The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”

Livestreams are at antonesnightclub.com, and links also appear with each applicable event across the site. Prices are listed on the website, and livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.

Alt-rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers heading to Houston for 2023 North American tour

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most pioneering and enduring acts is headed to Houston to close out a highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25, 2023 as part of a North American trek that kicks off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29.

Houston lands the honor of the closeout city for the North American tour (the band will also play a slew of dates in Europe). Effortlessly hip, celeb-fave modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers, along with the talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale this week at 10 am Friday, December 9 online.

Houston fans who can't get enough can also catch the Chili Peppers when they hit The Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 17 — the only other Texas date.

Aside from The Strokes and Thundercat, supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have been played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with major names such as Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Fan-favorite, wood-fired Houston pizzeria quietly opens in the Heights

enough (pizza) to love

A popular Houston pizzeria has opened its second location in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet has begun a quiet soft opening in the former Fegen’s space at 1050 Studewood St.

Since its 2019 debut in Midtown, the Gypsy Poet has earned a devoted following for its wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s personal-sized, 13-inch pizzas exist somewhere on the spectrum between traditional Neapolitan and classic New York — too crispy for the Italians but not quite foldable like an East Coast slice. Options include a classic Margherita and the signature Fancy Backpacker, which is topped with prosciutto, truffle oil, and arugula.

Part of the restaurant’s appeal stems from its friendly service and easy going atmosphere. It regularly hosts informal musical performances and other artistic happenings.

Taken together, Gypsy Poet has earned legions on fans. Yelp users ranked it as Texas’s second best restaurant in 2021. More recently, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy awarded it a high 7.8 rating during a pizza review.

The restaurant opens at a time of transition for pizzerias in the Heights. Dallas-based Neapolitan restaurant Cane Rosso closed last year, and suburban favorite Crust Pizza Co. opened this summer in the former Mellow Mushroom space at N. Shepherd and 20th.

The Heights location of Gypsy Poet will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 pm; Friday from 12-2 pm and 5-10 pm; Saturday 2-10 pm; and Sunday 2-9 pm.