The Ultimate Field Trip - The Elixir of Love

Calling all teachers!

Beginning at 9am this Friday, August 28, HGOco is taking online ticket orders for student performances of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love this fall. We have a new process for ordering tickets - no more faxes - so be sure to read below.

First, though, the nitty gritty details:

Student Matinees (Grades 4 - 8)

November 4 and 6, 2009 at 10 AM
All tickets $10
Beginning 9 AM on Friday, August 28th find a link to Student Matinee tickets here:

High School Night (Grades 9+)

November 9, 2009 at 7 PM

Tickets from $15 - $26
Beginning at 9 AM on Friday, August 28th, find a link to High School Night tickets here:

You need a promotion code in order to purchase tickets to student performances.If you haven't received an email from us that includes a promotion code, please call us at 713-546-0230 or email us at to receive the appropriate code.

We're looking forward to seeing you and your students at the opera this fall!


Tosca Children's Chorus Auditions - sign up starting Aug. 31

We had a call today from a mother who wanted information about opportunities for her daughter to sing. And the good news is, we have a great program in which budding young vocalists can shine!

We're hosting auditions on Sunday, September 20 for the children's chorus and a solo treble role in Puccini's Tosca. Boys (with unchanged voices) and girls aged 7 - 17 are invited to audition at the Wortham Theater Center. You need to sign up in advance, read on for more information or visit us online at

The opera is sung in Italian and conducted by Patrick Summers. Rehearsals start in November 2009; performances begin January 22, 2010 and run through February 7, 2010.

Children’s Chorus director for the production is Karen Reeves.
Audition Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009 from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Audition Location: Wortham Theater Center
510 Preston Avenue, 6th floor
Houston, TX 77002

For this audition, the child should be prepared to sing from memory a song of his/her choice, in a non-belt style. Each child should bring a copy of their music for the pianist, whom the Opera will provide. Taped accompaniment will not be used. Individuals who wish to arrange an audition time or who want further information should contact the Opera's Rehearsal Department at 713-980-8679, beginning Monday, August 31, 2009.

How much drama can YOU create in 3 minutes?

HGO wants to put you in the director's chair!

Now this sounds cool - if only I was adept at video editing...

Choose an opera from HGO's 09/10 season and create a video that tells the story in three minutes or less. The only limit is your imagination -- and the laws of the land. Upload your video to HGO's Facebook page by September 15, 2009. Winners will receive opera tickets, fabulous prizes and at least fifteen seconds of fame.

The opera plots from which you may choose include: Donizetti's Elixir of Love; Wagner's Lohengrin; Puccini's Tosca; Britten's The Turn of the Screw; Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades; and Handel's Xerxes. So, let's see what you can do!

Click on "Read More" for more information about how to enter, or visit us online at:

Upload your video to Houston Grand Opera’s Facebook Event Page at (“Web site”) between 12:01 a.m. CST 8/11/09 and 11:59 p.m. CST 9/15/09.

Log into your Facebook account or register with Facebook. You must be a member of the Facebook Web site and comply with its terms and conditions to enter the contest. Membership to the Facebook Web site is free.

Once you have successfully logged in to Facebook and view HGO’s Video Contest Event Page, select “Attending” in the Your RSVP box on the right-hand side of the screen. Click the “Add Videos” button in the Videos section and follow the onscreen instructions to enter and upload your video submission. You may need to refresh your browser after selecting “Attending” in the RSVP box to see the Videos section.

By submitting an entry, a winner agrees to allow use of his or her entry, name and/or likeness for advertising this or similar promotions without compensation, unless prohibited by law. All entries and all rights of ownership and publication of same will become the property of Houston Grand Opera and will not be returned.

For more details, a list of rules and all applicable regulations visit us online at:


Opera to Go! delivers, starting Oct. 5

One of HGOco's most visible programs is Opera to Go!, which brings 45-minutes of fully-staged, high-energy opera to classrooms and community centers all over Texas. We've had lots of blog posts in the past about OTG (the short form that we often use here in the office) so I won't go into it too much. Suffice it to say, we've got two GREAT operas lined up for the fall.

Hansel and Gretel, the perennial favorite for people of all ages, begins touring on October 5. The cast is full of entertaining characters, one of which is an allergy-prone fairy godmother. Luckily it's not hard to find a singer who has allergies in Houston in the fall! Just kidding, it's all part of our singer's exceptional acting ability.

We're also presenting an opera that's new to Houston, it's called How Nanita Learned to Make Flan. This one is performed in a combination of English and Spanish, and it involves a pair of magic shoes, a talking parrot and the secret behind delicious flan. Know any places in Houston where we can get some good-tasting flan? Let us know! Want to share your grandmother's "secret" recipe? Post it to comments.

If you want to schedule a performance of either Hansel and Gretel or Nanita at your school or community center, visit the Opera to Go! page at

To schedule an Opera to Go! performance, download an ORDER FORM, and email or fax it back to us!

1 performance $450 / 2 performances of same opera back-to-back $700
Maximum audience capacity is 300. Mileage charge for sites 35+ miles outside downtown Houston.

INFORMATION: or call 713-546-0230

Fall Tours: October 5 - December 18, 2009

Hansel and Gretel

Composer: Engelbert Humperdinck Adaptation: Kate Pogue

For Elementary and Middle Schools. This beloved fairy tale, full of magic and musical mischief, takes us to a world with gingerbread houses and not-so-nice little old ladies. In English.

How Nanita Learned to Make Flan

Composer: Enrique Gonzalez-Medina Libretto: Campbell Geeslin

For Elementary and Middle Schools. Nanita makes a pair of shoes that magically transport her far away from home. With the help of an Old Woman and parrot, she returns home and learns the secret of making delicious flan.

How Nanita Learned to Make Flan will also be at the Miller Outdoor Theatre Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 at 11 AM daily.

Spring Tours begin January 25, 2010

Cinderella in Spain / Cenicienta en EspaƱa

Composer: Mary Carol Warwick Libretto:Kate Pogue

For Elementary and Middle Schools. Available Jan 25 - May 28, 2010.
Glass slippers, pumpkins and magical transformations...don't miss the allergy-prone fairy godmother and an unusual pair of evil stepsisters! In English and Spanish.

WORLD PREMIERE: an opera in conjunction with Song of Houston's Mexico 2010

For Middle and High Schools. Available mid February 2010 - May 7, 2010.
A 3,000-mile journey begins following a magical transformation. How does a butterfly find the home it has never seen, but one that its ancestors have inhabited for thousands of years? In English and Spanish.


A New Season - Our New Look

HGOco is back in the blogosphere after a busy summer. Since the HGO mainstage season finished last May, we've hosted or co-hosted 6 summer camps, squeezed in a bit of vacation, and spent lots of time planning some great programs that begin shortly.

This is a new look for our blog, with some new functionality. Let us know what you think by posting a comment or two!

Over the next month or so, several new bloggers will begin posting - we have program participants reporting from the front lines as "embedded" bloggers and a young mobile journalist (MoJo) who will tell it like she sees it. We're still getting our facebook in order but in the meantime you can always follow us on twitter at HouGrandOpera.

So...what do we have in store? Check back tomorrow for more details...