What: Houston Grand Opera presents Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers as the second offering in its winter repertoire, opening Jan. 25, 2019, at the Wortham Theater Center. A rarely performed gem of the opera world, The Pearl Fishers is noted for its extraordinary musical beauty. Composed 12 years before Bizet’s masterwork Carmen, this opera tells the story of two best friends and the bond that is interrupted by the arrival of a priestess to bless the pearl harvest. The romantic love triangle between the best friends and the priestess leads to dramatic consequences.
International stars Mariusz Kwiecień and Lawrence Brownlee headline the cast and come together to perform The Pearl Fishers duet, widely recognized as one of the most beautiful and famous duets in opera.
Who: Kwiecień, one of the leading baritones in opera today, is known for his handsome voice, incisive musicianship and captivating stage presence. He performs with the Metropolitan Opera; The Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Paris Opera; Vienna State Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Bavarian State Opera; and with many other renowned theaters around the world. Named 2017 “Male Singer of the Year” by both the International Opera Awards and Bachtrack, American-born tenor Brownlee has been hailed by The Guardian as “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars.” He performed as Belmonte in HGO’s 2017 production of The Abduction from the Seraglio. Soprano and HGO Studio alumna Andrea Carroll sings the role of the priestess Leïla and has been hailed by Opera News for her “strong, vibrant soprano” with a “rich, dark low register and gleaming top.” She appeared as Maria in HGO’s West Side Story. Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis takes on the role of Nourabad and was praised in Opera News as singing with “deep-voiced authority.”
Rising conductor and winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Roderick Cox is conducting The Pearl Fishers with E. Loren Meeker directing. The colorful, eye-popping production designed by Zandra Rhodes will transport you to a fantasy-inspired version of the island of Ceylon. Rhodes’s production design was originally for San Diego Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. The lighting design is by Mark McCullough.
The Pearl Fishers is appropriate for all ages and lasts 2 hours and 40 minutes, including two intermissions. It will be sung in French with projected English translation.
When: Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave.
Tariff: Tickets range from $20 to $270. For more information and to buy tickets, visit HGO.org or call the box office at 713-228-6737.
About Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is one of the largest, most innovative, and most highly acclaimed opera companies in the United States. HGO was the only American finalist for Opera Company of the Year at the 2017 International Opera Awards. In fulfilling its mission to advance the operatic art to serve an ever-evolving audience, HGO has led the field in
commissioning new works (65 world premieres to date) and in training and nurturing promising young artists and administrators. The company contributes to the cultural enrichment of Houston and the nation through a diverse and
innovative program of performances, community events, and education projects that reaches the widest possible public. HGO’s pioneering community engagement initiative, HGOco, has served as a model for other arts organizations.
The NEXUS Initiative is HGO’s multi-year ticket underwriting program that allows Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy opera without the barrier of price. Since 2007, NEXUS has enabled more than 250,000 Houstonians to experience superlative opera through discounted single tickets and subscriptions, subsidized student performances, and free productions.
HGO has toured extensively and has won a Tony, two Grammy awards, and three Emmy awards. It is the only opera company to win all three honors.