Houston Grand Opera to Open Verdi’s Falstaff on October 27

Company presents Shakespearean comedy for the first time in two decades Reginald Smith, Jr. stars; Patrick Summers, celebrating his 25th year at HGO, conducts

WHAT: On October 27, 2023, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) will open Falstaff, Verdi’s popular comedic masterpiece. Baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. stars as the drunken, vain, endearing Sir John Falstaff, in a story based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and King Henry IV—Parts 1 and 2. HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers, who has led the company to artistic excellence for 25 years and counting, takes the podium for this iconic Elizabethan production directed by Paula Suozzi.

As the opera opens, Falstaff has fallen on hard times and, plotting to pay off his debts, decides to seduce and swindle two married women, Alice Ford and Meg Page. But Alice and Meg quickly discover his scheme and vow revenge, and Falstaff—along with the rest of the men in this joyous comedy—soon realizes that he’s deeply outmatched by the women.

The opera runs two hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission. It is sung in Italian with projected English translation.

WHO: The production will feature a remarkable cast dominated by artists who currently or previously trained with Sarah and Ernest Butler Houston Grand Opera Studio: baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. in the title role; soprano Nicole Heaston as Alice; baritone Blake Denson as her husband Ford; mezzo-soprano Emily Treigle as Meg; and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano as the women’s accomplice Mistress Quickly. Soprano Andrea Carroll performs the role of Nannetta, with tenor Jack Swanson making his mainstage debut as Fenton.

WHEN: Friday, October 27, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 10, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave.

TARIFF: Tickets range from $25 to $210. For more information and to buy tickets, visit HGO.org or call the Box Office at 713-228-6737.

PHOTO: Link to Falstaff photos can be found here.

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. General Director and CEO Khori Dastoor assumed leadership of the organization and responsibility for its strategic vision in 2021. HGO was the only American finalist for Opera Company of the Year in the 2019 International Opera Awards, and the only American company to be nominated twice. In fulfilling its missionto advance the operatic art, to serve the Houston community, and to be a global leader in the future of opera, HGO has led the field in commissioning and producing new works (74 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 and Learning initiative has served as a model for other arts organizations. The company invites all Houstonians to experience superlative opera without the barrier of price 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.