What: Patrick Summers, Houston Grand Opera’s artistic and music director, will sign copies of his new book, The Spirit of This Place: How Music Illuminates the Human Spirit, at Brazos Bookstore on Mar. 10. Copies of the book will be available for purchase in advance and on the day of the event. The book has been described as “a moving credo elucidating Summers’ belief that the arts, especially music, help us to understand our own humanity as intellectual, aesthetic, and ultimately spiritual.”
With arts funding and curricula in school districts under attack, the book is a soul-searching series of essays that examine the role of art in society and in individual lives, arguing that art nurtures freedom of thought and is more necessary now than ever before. Summers notes that the place of the arts in our civic future is uncertain. Faced with the problems of the modern world—from water shortages and grave health concerns to global climate change and the now-constant threat of terrorism—one might question the urgency of supporting the arts. For Summers, the answer to whether the arts are worth fighting for is an emphatic “Yes.”
Summers guides readers through his personal encounters with art and music in disparate places, from Houston’s Rothko Chapel to a music classroom in rural China, and reflects on musical works he has conducted all over the world. Assessing the growing canon of new operas performed in American opera houses today, he calls for musical artists to be innovative and brave as opera continues to reinvent itself.
Who: Summers, who holds the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, is now in his 20th season with Houston Grand Opera.
When: Sunday, March 10, at 4 p.m.
Where: Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St., Houston, 77005
Tariff: Event is free; books retail for $25
More: It is recommended that guests reserve their books online at least 24 hours in advance. Call 713-523-0701 to reserve books on the day of the signing. Arrive early, as parking in the Brazos Bookstore lot is limited. There is abundant street parking nearby. The store can have books signed for those who cannot attend the event. Please pay in advance to guarantee signed books.
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 is the only American finalist for Opera Company of the Year in the 2019 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.