OPERA IN THE HEIGHTS PRESENTS PUCCINI’S MADAMA BUTTERFLY IN A NEW JAPANESE AND ENGLISH ADAPTATION BY EIKI ISOMURA AND JOSH SHAW – FOUR PERFORMANCES APRIL 26 – MAY 4, 2019

The cast features Japanese‐American singers in the Japanese roles

OH Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Eiki Isomura conducts

this co‐production with Pacific Opera Project, which debuts in Los

Angeles April 6

 

For its fourth and final production of the season, Opera in the Heights (OH), the opera company that provides a stage for emerging performers and affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area, presents Puccini’s enduring classic Madama Butterfly – with a difference. This co‐production of OH and the Los Angeles‐based Pacific Opera Project actualizes the heart of the opera’s tragic cross‐cultural love story by translating its original Italian libretto into the two languages of the protagonists – Japanese and English – and featuring Japanese‐American singers in the Japanese roles.

 

OH Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Eiki Isomura, who conducts all performances, has adapted the libretto for the Japanese‐speaking characters, and Pacific Opera Project Artistic Director Josh Shaw, who originated the concept, has written the English. As with all OH productions, supertitles in English will be projected above the stage. The production is directed by Josh Shaw, and the costumes are by Sueko Oshimoto of Kimono SK of Los Angeles. Pacific Opera Project presents the production’s premiere in Los Angeles April 6, 13, and 14. The production is sponsored in part by an Innovation Grant from Opera America.

 

Opera in the Heights presents four performances of Madama Butterfly:
Friday, April 26, at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 28, at 2:00 pm
Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 pm, at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard in Houston. The Sunday matinee will be followed by a “Talk Back” with the cast, and the May 2 performance is followed by a “YOLO Cocktail Hour.” For tickets, priced from $40.50 to $94.50, visit www.operaintheheights.org/butterfly.

 

The cast includes Keiko Clark as Cio‐Cio‐san, Peter Lake as Pinkerton, Kenneth Stavert as Sharpless, Kimberly Sogioka as Suzuki, Eiji Miura as Goro, Hisato Masuyama as Bonze, Steve Moritsugu as Yamadori, Norge Yip as Imperial Commissioner, and Chelsea Obermeier as Kate Pinkerton. “My hope is that this new interpretation of Madama Butterfly will be a stimulating experience for the audience, giving them a greater understanding of what is at stake in the story and allowing them to better empathize with the characters,” said Eiki Isomura. “Opera as an art form continues to thrive because it is an unparalleled generator of empathy. This has always been my greatest motivation for being involved with opera – how it helps us engage more deeply with someone else's experience.”

Madama Butterfly, which premiered in 1904, tells the story of an ill‐fated love affair between an American naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, and a teenage Japanese girl, Cio‐Cio San (Butterfly). After marrying her, Pinkerton leaves for America, promising to return. Three years later, Cio‐Cio San, who has since had Pinkerton’s child, learns that he is returning to Japan, but with an American wife. Cio‐Cio San agrees to give him the child if he will see her, but then commits suicide before they can meet. Madama Butterfly has remained one of the world’s most popular operas, and includes the famous soprano aria “Un bel dì” (“One fine day”).

 

Translating a beloved classic

When Josh Shaw approached Eiki Isomura about working on the libretto translation with him, Isomura realized that it would be an opportunity to bring more nuanced insight into what he considers an unfair portrayal of Japan. Since most opera libretti – or theatrical plays, for that matter – are in a single language, that language represents the entirety of an audience’s perception of the characters’ interaction, Isomura points out. The use of Japanese and English shows how stark is the cultural divide between Pinkerton and Cio‐Cio‐san; “when we come to terms with how one‐sided their communication must really have been, we sense more profoundly than ever Cio‐Cio‐san's naivete, Pinkerton's selfishness, and that their undeniably potent attraction is sparked not in spite of, but because of the barriers between them."

 

Isomura adapted a 1930 Japanese translation of the libretto, working to bring it closer to the meaning of the original Italian while using syllables that might be more singer‐friendly. Because of the strict social codes built into Japanese grammar, Isomura says, “you often end up with quite a few more syllables to say something in Japanese than you would in Italian.” One recurring example: because of the often indirect nature of address and the expected use of honorifics in Japanese, every time the libretto said, 'tu' (informal 'you'), it presented a linguistic and musical dilemma. Any approximate equivalent takes at least three syllables rather than one, presenting a musical issue that compounds the inherent problem, said Isomura – “which is that it wouldn't be an appropriate way to address a Japanese person in the first place! Every line of text presented such a dilemma, leaving me to either defer to the extant translation, or to make terribly tough choices: prioritize the literal meaning, or the culture, the singability, or fidelity to Puccini's rhythms. It was a humbling exercise!"

 

Eiki Isomura (OH Artistic Director and Conductor) joined Opera in the Heights in 2015 as Interim Conductor, was named Principal Conductor in 2016, and appointed Artistic Director in 2017 for an initial term of three years. Previously, he served on the music staff at HGOco from 2013‐15. His appointment as Director of Orchestral Activities at Lone Star College‐Montgomery in 2012 brought him to Houston from Ann Arbor, MI, where he completed his doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan. He also holds a master’s degree in orchestral and opera conducting from the University of Arizona. He has been a conducting fellow at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the CCM Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has studied with some of the foremost conducting teachers in the profession, including Kenneth Kiesler, Thomas Cockrell, Mark Gibson, Colin Metters, and Gustav Meier. He also spends summers on the music staff at the Opera in the Ozarks Festival. www.eikiisomura.com

 

Keiko Clark, soprano (Cio‐Cio san) Ms. Clark’s repertoire includes the title roles of Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. She has performed the lead roles of Constanza and Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Norina in Don Pasquale, and Madame Goldentrill in The Impresario. She has performed multiple renditions of the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Riverside Lyric Opera, Repertory Opera, Pasadena Lyric Opera, Bakersfield Symphony, Pacific Palisade Symphony and USC Thornton Opera. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Clark trained under a scholarship with legendary tenor Carlo Bergonzi. She holds a Master’s of Music degree in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory in Boston. www.keikoclark.com

Peter Lake, tenor (Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton) In the summer of 2018 Peter Lake made his role debut in the title role in Natchez Festival of Music’s production of Faust, and sang Pang in Mississippi Opera’s Turandot. In March of 2018, he was invited to perform as a soloist on the Sherrill Milnes Gala Honoring Denyce Graves, and in February he performed the role of Don José in a condensed Carmen for the Mobile Opera Gala. In 2017 as a Resident Artist for Opera North Peter made his role debut as Paris in La belle Hélène. In December 2017 Peter was invited to China to perform American art song recitals, selections by Samuel Barber, Rorem, Ives, and Foster at prestigious universities including Central Conservatory of Music and Shandong University. Later this year, Peter will return to Natchez to sing Rodolfo in La bohème, and to Savannah Opera to perform in Forever Plaid. www.peter‐lake.com

 Kenneth Stavert, baritone (Sharpless) Praised for his strong “sense of theatricality,” Kenneth Stavert has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Recent career highlights include Silvio in Pagliacci, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Ping in Turandot (Dayton Opera), Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera), Yamadori in Madama Butterfly (Santa Fe Opera) and Renato in Un ballo in maschera (Opera in the Heights). Kenneth’s orchestral credits include Berlioz’s Lélio, Fauré’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore. He has also been a featured recitalist throughout the United States specializing in less‐performed English art song. Upcoming engagements for Kenneth include a return to Dayton Opera where he will perform Marcello in La bohème. www.kennethstavert.com

 Kimberly Sogioka, mezzo‐soprano (Suzuki) This season, Kim performs Nicklausse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Opera Orlando, and as a soloist in concerts in St. John's of Lattingtown and with the Whatcom Chorale. Last season, Ms. Sogioka sang in Symphony Silicon Valley’s Misa Tango concert, Opera in the Heights Presents Madama Butterfly April 26 – May 4, 2019 ‐ Page 4 of 5 which explored the style of the Argentine tango in the form of large‐scale orchestral compositions, and as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Additional recent engagements include Carmen in scenes from Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, workshops of Bruce Wolosoff’s The Great Good Thing and Sarah Mattox’s Heart Mountain, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Grand Rapids, and productions with Michigan Opera Theater as Siébel in Faust and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, which she also performed with Northern Lights Music Festival. www.kimberlysogioka.com

 

Eiji Miura, tenor (Goro) Japanese‐American tenor Eiji Miura, a San Francisco native, is an active and sought‐after Boston‐based singer and educator. As a performer, Miura regularly appears in concerts, operas, musicals, and in the sacred music scene in and around the Boston area, and also records vocals for video game soundtracks. In addition to maintaining an active performing career, he holds faculty positions at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has previously taught at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and Clark University (Worcester, MA). Miura earned is M.M. in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the Boston Conservatory.

 

Hisato Masuyama, tenor (Bonze) Originally raised in Tokyo, Japan, Hisato Masuyama came to the U.S. at age 18 and earned his BM in vocal arts and music education from USC. His opera debut was as Ping in Turandot. His other credits include: a tour of a 42nd Street production starring Mariette Hartley, Mame starring Juliet Prowse, and Pacific Overtures starring Mako; Japanese productions of Chicago (Mary Sunshine), Phantom of the Opera, and Tommy; other credits include Dreamgirls, Anything Goes, The Student Prince, Rumors, The Music Man, and The Producers. He has worked as translator and voice‐over artist for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Sesame Place. Also a countertenor, he has toured all over Japan in concert.

Amanda Levy, soprano (Kate Pinkerton) Amanda Levy is Opera in the Heights’ inaugural resident young artist for the company’s 2018‐19 season, covering the roles of Marie (La Fille du Régiment) and Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), performing the soprano roles in John Davies’s Pinocchio and Jack and the Beanstalk and making her mainstage debut with the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. She recently graduated from University of Houston, receiving her Master’s in Vocal Performance. In 2017 Amanda participated as an apprentice artist at Opera in the Ozarks, where she sang the roles of la Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Mrs. Gleaton (Susannah). Ms. Levy, a Long Island native, graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Ms. Levy is also an advocate for new works, premiering the role of Willow in Sonnet Swire’s The Summer’s Case at the New England Conservatory, as well as other premieres. This summer, Amanda has been selected to participate as a Studio Artist in the Young Professional Artist Program at Pittsburgh Festival Opera, where she will perform as Ortlinde in Jonathan Dove’s adaptation of Wagner’s Die Walküre and understudy the role of Nella in Gianni Schicchi.

 

OPERA IN THE HEIGHTS exists to provide a stage for emerging opera performers and to bring affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. Founded in 1996, Opera in the Heights began as an intimate neighborhood opera company. Today, it is nationally recognized as a presenter of outstanding emerging talent, and for making opera accessible to a wide range of audiences. In addition to producing high-quality opera, the organization dedicates significant resources to educational outreach and presentations of operas adapted for a younger audience. Opera in the Heights plays a role in sustaining the future of opera by investing in the next generation of opera professionals and audiences alike.

 

Opera in the Heights presents a co‐production with Pacific Opera Project

MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Giacomo Puccini

New bilingual libretto by Eiki Isomura (Japanese) and Josh Shaw (English) after the

original Italian libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica

 

Eiki Isomura, conductor

Josh Shaw, director

 

Cast:

Keiko Clark, soprano (Cio‐Cio san)

Peter Lake, tenor (Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton)

Kenneth Stavert, baritone (Sharpless)

Kimberly Sogioka, mezzo‐soprano (Suzuki)

Eiji Miura, tenor (Goro)

Hisato Masuyama, tenor (Bonze)

Amanda Levy, soprano (Kate Pinkerton)

Friday, April 26, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 28, at 2:00 pm (followed by a Talk Back with the cast)

Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 pm (followed by a YOLO Cocktail Hour)

Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 pm

Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX

For tickets, priced from $40.50 to $94.50, visit www.operaintheheights.org/butterfly.

Opera in the Heights

1703 Heights Boulevard

Houston, TX 77008

Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor

Paige Myrick, Executive Director

www.operaintheheights.org

March 14, 2019

OPERA IN THE HEIGHTS ANNOUNCES ITS 2019-20 SEASON

The company’s 24th season features something for everyone:
New Works Festival with three world premieres, a timeless children’s classic, and two of the most beloved stories in all of opera.

Houston–February 15, 2019- Opera in the Heights (OH), the opera company that provides a stage for emerging performers and affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area, will present its most daring season yet with its 2019-20 lineup. The company’s 24th season will open October 5, 2019, with Puccini’s iconic opera Tosca, and feature a total of six operas in a total of 21 performances.

A new OH initiative, the New Works Festival, takes place over two weekends in February and March 2020, presenting the world premieres of three operas: Yeltsin in Texas, music by Evan Mack and libretto by Josh Maguire; Kassandra, composed by Anthony Brandt and based in Greek mythology; and The Leader, composed by Karim Al-Zand, adapting a play by Eugène Ionesco (these last two will be performed as a double-bill). The season also includes a Christmas-time presentation of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and a season-concluding production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

All of the productions, which feature the Opera in the Heights Orchestra, will be conducted by OH Artistic Director and Conductor Eiki Isomura. “I’ve strived to broaden our repertoire and impact as a company by expanding our definition of whom we exist to serve,” said Isomura of the new season. “I want our company to provide a stage not only to the finest up and coming singers, but also to directors, designers, and composers; the people who are paving the way forward for our art form. Next season’s programming and the launch of the New Works Festival is a meaningful step in that direction.”

“We aim to make opera a more relatable experience that reflects who we are and where we’ve been,” said Paige Myrick, OH Executive Director. “The stories we bring to life on stage help us to do this. We also consider the wide array of audiences in our midst from life long opera lovers to first-time ticket buyers to families and children. Our 2019-20 season is one that offers something for everyone. As a company, we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve our community through the art form of opera.”

OH is expanding its offerings in 2019-20 by offering five performances each of Tosca and Eugene Onegin – classic operas have in previous seasons had four performances. There will be three performances of Yeltsin in Texas, two of the Kassandra and The Leader double bill and four performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors. All performances in the 2019-20 season will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees, discontinuing previous seasons’ Thursday evening performances.

The casts and directors for the season’s operas will be announced in closer advance of each production. All operas are fully staged and presented in the original language with English translation (where applicable) projected above the stage.

All Opera in the Heights productions take place in Lambert Hall, nestled in the heart of the Heights historic district amidst the revitalized 19th St., walking trails, restaurants, and unique businesses. The historic venue seats approximately 300 people, making for an unusually intimate opera experience.

2019-20 Season Productions

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini – October 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 2019

Puccini’s Tosca, one of the most popular operas in the repertoire, opens the OH season. Depicting a passionate and tragic love triangle set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, Tosca has some of the most celebrated arias in all of opera. This OH production offers audiences the opportunity to hear this tour de force in a small, intimate space.

 

Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti – December 7, 8, 14, 15, 2019

As part of its goal to build family and children’s audiences and serve the Heights community, OH will present the most beloved Christmas opera of all time, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. The OH orchestra will also perform Respighi’s Botticelli Triptych, a symphonic work which, like Amahl, is based in part on a painted depiction of the three Magi, as a prelude to the opera. “We are particularly happy to be offering young audiences the experience of hearing power-house singing within an arm’s length of the stage,” said Paige Myrick. Tickets for children are available at half price for this production.

 

Yeltsin in Texas, music by Evan Mack, libretto by Josh Maguire, World premiere – February 22, 28, March 1, 2020, New Works Festival

Yeltsin in Texas, which opens the OH New Works Festival 2020, riffs on the idea of John Adams’s Nixon in China, but is far from serious in nature. This comedic chamber opera, with music by Evan Mack and libretto by Josh Maguire, dramatizes the unlikely but true story of Russian president Boris Yeltsin's visit to a Houston supermarket and the eye-opening experience that shatters his view of communism. OH has been a champion of Mack’s work, having presented the Houston premiere of Lucinda y las Flores de la Noche Buena, the bilingual holiday opera for family audiences. Mack was recently named one of 30 “Professionals of Year” by Musical America. Yeltsin in Texas is a co-commission with Texas Christian University Opera Studio and Alamo City Opera. This OH presentation is the work’s professional world premiere.

 

Kassandra by Anthony Brandt, World premiere; The Leader by Karin Al-Zand, World premiere – February 23, 29, 2020, New Works Festival  

Continuing the New Works Festival, OH will co-produce two world premieres with new music collective Musiqa, a Houston-based company that integrates new music with other modern art forms. These works are presented in a double bill format in the same night. Kassandra, composed by Anthony Brandt, with libretto by Neena Beber, adapts the Greek myth of Cassandra and Apollo in a modern retelling for the #MeToo era. The Leader, composed by Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand, and based on Eugène Ionesco’s play of the same name, is an absurdist political satire and a call for independent thinking and personal engagement.

 

Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – April 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 2020

To close the season, OH presents its very first Russian opera: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. In this musical adaptation of the classic Pushkin novel, Tchaikovsky’s alluring and sumptuous score tells the story of love, rejection and the changes of heart that come too late between the title character Onegin and his love, Tatiana.

 

Season subscriptions, ranging from $329 to $144 for students, are available for purchase now at http://www.operaintheheights.org/2019-20-subscriptions Early Bird discounts are available through March 25th. Single tickets, ranging in price from $89 to $39 for students, go on sale on August 1st, 2019. For a full list of subscription and ticket options, including senior and student discount prices, visit http://www.operaintheheights.org/2019-20-subscriptions.

Click here to see the OH 2019-20 season promo video.

Eiki Isomura (OH Artistic Director and Conductor) joined Opera in the Heights in 2015 as interim conductor, was named Principal Conductor in 2016, and appointed Artistic Director in 2017 for an initial term of three years. Previously, he served on the music staff at HGOco from 2013-15. His appointment as Director of Orchestral Activities at Lone Star College-Montgomery in 2012 brought him to Houston from Ann Arbor, MI, where he completed his doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan. He also holds a masters degree in orchestral and opera conducting from the University of Arizona. He has been a conducting fellow at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the CCM Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has studied with some of the foremost conducting teachers in the profession, including Kenneth Kiesler, Thomas Cockrell, Mark Gibson, Colin Metters, and Gustav Meier.

 

Opera in the Heights exists to provide a stage for emerging opera performers and to bring affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. Founded in 1996, Opera in the Heights began as an intimate neighborhood opera company. Today, it is nationally recognized as a presenter of outstanding emerging talent, and for making opera accessible to a wide range of audiences. In addition to producing high-quality opera, the organization dedicates significant resources to educational outreach and presentations of operas adapted for a younger audience. Opera in the Heights plays a role in sustaining the future of opera by investing in the next generation of opera professionals and audiences alike.

 

 

 

 

 

OPERA IN THE HEIGHTS 2019-20 SEASON

 

Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 6, 2019, at 2:00 pm

Friday, October 11, 2019, at 7:30 pm

Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 13, 2019, at 2:00 pm

 

TOSCA

 

Saturday, December 7, 2019, at 5:00 pm

Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 2:00 pm

Saturday, December 14, 2019, at 5:00 pm

Sunday, December 15, 2019, at 2:00 pm

 

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS


New Works Festival

Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 7:30 pm

Friday, February 28, 2020, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 2:00 pm


YELTSIN IN TEXAS – World premiere

 

New Works Festival
Sunday, February 23, 2020, at 2:00 pm

Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 7:30 pm

 

KASSANDRA / THE LEADER – World premieres


Saturday, April 4, 2020, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 5, 2020, at 2:00 pm

Friday, April 10, 2010, at 7:30 pm

Saturday, April 11, 2020, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 12, 2020, at 2:00 pm

 

EUGENE ONEGIN

For subscription and ticket information, visit http://www.operaintheheights.org/2019-20-subscriptions
Opera in the Heights

1703 Heights Boulevard

Houston, TX 77008

713.861.5303

Opera in the Heights Presents a New Production of Verdi's Un Ballo In Maschera on February 16

HOUSTON (January 25, 2017) -- Opera in the Heights (Oh!) presents a new look at Verdi’s tale of regicide, Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), from February 16 - 24 at Lambert Hall.

Based on a true story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden at a masked ball during the 18th century, Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera is a tale of forbidden love, a dark prophecy, and ultimate betrayal.

Adapted by Verdi to be set in the United States, the opera tells the story of Riccardo, a compassionate and beloved senator, who has two problems: conspirators plotting his assassination, and he is in love with his best friend’s wife.

In a new production envisioned by stage director John De Los Santos with scenic designer Jonathan Dahm Robertson, Opera in the Heights’ production will explore male and female relationships – their bonds by love, wealth and stature, and the eternal back-and-forth in a confused and decadent world – delivered in a sensual style. The disparity between the elite groups who rule and the plight of the lower classes will also be up for analysis on the stage.

Ballo represents Verdi, the quintessential master of Italian opera, at the peak of his compositional powers,” says Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director. “Every moment is charged with visceral emotion and psychological depth. It’s a substantial piece that demands an exceptional cast, and I am quite in awe of the powerful, old-school vocalism these artists are bringing to their performances.”

Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s most acclaimed masterpieces. However, rarely performed in this country,” says Paige Myrick, Executive Director. “Once by Houston Grand Opera in 2007 and Opera in the Heights in 2010 over the past decade. We’re excited to bring a new sleek, severe, and edgy version to Houston audiences.”

Performance Dates and Times
There will be four performances of Un Ballo in Maschera presented at Lambert Hall (1703 Heights Boulevard, Houston, 77008):

• Friday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, February 18, at 2:00 p.m.

• Thursday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Performed in Italian with English surtitles, the runtime is approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, including two 15-minute intermissions.

Ticket holders are invited to a post-performance “Talk-Back” with the cast following the matinee on Sunday, February 18.

YOLO post-performance cocktail mixer with the cast will follow the performance on Thursday, February 22.

Visit www.operaintheheights.org/ballo-cast for a list of Un Ballo in Maschera cast.

Single Tickets
Purchase tickets online at www.operaintheheights.org or by phone at 713-861-5303. Prices begin at $40 with discounts for children, students, and seniors.

Group Sales

For 10 or more tickets, email daniel@operaintheheights.org or call 713-861-5303.

About Opera in the Heights

Opera in the Heights is a professional opera company that exists to provide a stage for emerging performers and brings affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. All operas are fully staged with orchestra and presented in the original language with English translations projected above the stage.

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Click Here for a Downloadable Photo

Photo Caption: Opera in the Heights 2017-18 Season Production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Feb. 16 – 24, 2018

Media Contacts:

Raquel Meyer, 713-376-9587, pr@operaintheheights.org

Paige Myrick, 512-636-1810, paige@operaintheheights.org

Opera in the Heights Opens its 2017-18 Season with Six Performances of Mozart's The Magic Flute on Nov 10

HOUSTON (October 27, 2017) -- Opera in the Heights (Oh!) increases the number of performances from four to six for its 2017-18 Season opener, Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), November 10-19, at Lambert Hall.

The Magic Flute, one of the most-often performed and beloved pieces in opera, features Mozart’s sublime score and his cast of wildly colorful characters in Prince Tamino’s quest for love and truth. It’s a timeless classic for seasoned opera fans and an ideal first opera for new and young audiences.

“We are pulling out all the stops for this production, which in many ways, represents our company’s mission and aspirations,” says Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director. “We’re striving to discover and develop the next generation of opera artists as well as future audiences of opera as an art form. The Magic Flute is an irresistible fairytale with storytelling that can delight an audience like nothing else.”

Due to the broad appeal and singular standing in its repertoire, The Magic Flute requires an extensive range of elements to produce – calling for a big cast, one of the largest orchestras, a chorus, and a multitude of technical details.

“There will be a dozen principal singers all with highly distinguished backgrounds making their Opera in the Heights debut,” says Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director. “Half of the artists are local, and the remaining will fly in from long distances for the thrill of singing Mozart with the Oh! Orchestra.”

Opera in the Heights’ production of The Magic Flute will showcase two alternating casts of principal singers, comprising of some of the nation’s finest emerging opera professionals recruited through the organization’s annual auditions in New York and Houston.

“By offering a six-show production, we’re allowing families more opportunities than ever to enjoy opera together, in a setting that is intimate and approachable, which is part of a long-term plan to provide programming that reflects the Greater Houston community," says Paige Myrick, Executive Director.

“Opera in the Heights’ production of The Magic Flute communicates something unique to each audience. Above all, the power of music – its power to heal our hearts, tame our fears, and bring us closer to the truth,” says Dashiell Waterbury, Stage Director. “The piece seems more vibrant and resonant than ever."

 

Performance Dates and Times
There will be six performances of The Magic Flute presented at Lambert Hall (1703 Heights Boulevard, Houston, 77008):

• Friday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, November 12, at 2:00 p.m.

• Friday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, November 19, at 2:00 p.m.

Ticket holders are invited to a post-performance “Talk-Back” with the cast following the matinee on Sunday, November 12, at 2:00 p.m.

Visit www.operaintheheights.org/magic-flute-cast for a list of The Magic Flute cast.

 

Single Tickets
Ticket prices begin at $40 with discounts for children, students, and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.operaintheheights.org or by phone at 713-861-5303.

Group Sales

For 10 or more tickets, email daniel@operaintheheights.org or call 713-861-5303.

 

About Opera in the Heights

Opera in the Heights is a professional opera company that exists to provide a stage for emerging performers and brings affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. All operas are fully staged with orchestra and presented in the original language with English translations projected above the stage.

 

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Artwork Caption: Opera in the Heights 2017-18 Season Production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Nov. 10 – 19, 2017

Photographs: Production images (as they become available) located at www.operaintheheights.org/magic-flute.

Media Contacts:

Raquel Meyer, 713-376-9587, pr@operaintheheights.org |

Paige Myrick, 512-636-1810, paige@operaintheheights.org

Opera in the Heights to Reschedule Opening Production of 2017-18 Season

La Fille Du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) Postponed; Rescheduled as Opening Production for 2018-19 Season

 

HOUSTON (September 2, 2017) -- Opera in the Heights (Oh!) regrettably announces the postponement of its opening production for the 2017-18 Season. La Fille Du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) is rescheduled as the opening production for the 2018-19 Season. At this time, exact dates are pending and will be included in the 2018-19 Season announcement.

Opera in the Heights presents Little Women, one of the most treasured American operas

Mark Adamo’s production returns to Houston after 17 years
(March 31 through April 8)

(HOUSTON) March 9, 2017 — Opera in the Heights (Oh!) presents Mark Adamo’s Little Women as the final offering of its 21st season, opening Friday, March 31. Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Mark Adamo's Little Women follows the four beloved March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, in an ensemble-driven opera set in the wake of the Civil War. Little Women is a coming-of-age story, with the discovery of love and loss, and reluctant acceptance of change.

"With an eminently tuneful, colorful score set to his own libretto, Adamo honors and illuminates the essence of these beloved characters and their relationships,” says Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director for Opera in the Heights.

Since commissioned and premiered by Houston Grand Opera in 1998, Adamo’s Little Women has been produced by Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, and over seventy other companies across the world. Opera in the Heights is proud to bring one of the most celebrated American operas back to Houston since its landmark television production 2001.

Stage Director Dashiell Waterbury said, "Little Women has never been more relevant, with its simple message about courage and grace. Lambert Hall is the perfect venue to experience Adamo's warm and energetic setting of the story. The intimacy of the theater puts the audience in the middle of the March household, where four ordinary girls find extraordinary strength in the face of life's challenges, leaving us all a little stronger for having joined them."

Performance Dates and Times
There will be four performances of Little Women presented at Lambert Hall (1703 Heights Boulevard, Houston, 77008):

• Friday, March 31, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, April 2, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.
• Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket holders are invited to a post-performance “Talk-Back” with the cast following the Sunday matinee.

Following the Thursday evening performance, members of the Young Opera Lovers Organization (YOLO) will gather for a post-performance cocktail hour at Harold’s in the Heights (350 W 19th Street).

The Cast

“With the deeply insightful direction of Dashiell Waterbury, our stellar cast is bringing beauty and honesty to every note and word,” says Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director for Opera in the Heights.

The cast features Monica Isomura (Tisbe in La Cenerentola) as Jo March, Jennifer Crippen (Annio in La Clemenza di Tito) as Meg March, Julie Hoeltzel (Monica in The Medium) as Beth March, and Leigh Whitney Rosh (making her Opera in the Heights debut) as Amy March.

Opera in the Heights Explores New Depths with a Revamped Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOUSTON, TX, December 31, 2016-Opera in the Heights, a cornerstone of Houston’s vibrant performing arts community, has appointed Paige Myrick as Executive Director, and Eiki Isomura as Artistic Director, effective January 1, 2017.

Mr. Eiki Isomura, who serves as the company's principal conductor, will assume the role of Artistic Director at Opera in the Heights. The organization has seen a considerable rise in performance standard since the start of Mr. Isomura’s tenure in 2015.  In this role, he will implement and administer all aspects of programming and production. "The Board's reinstatement of the artistic director position speaks volumes about their commitment to our artistic product,” said Isomura. “I am extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to devote all of my attention and energies to Opera in the Heights and to team with the extraordinarily talented Paige Myrick whose work I have admired as an ardent fan of the Houston Chamber Choir.”

Ms. Paige Myrick joins Opera in the Heights after serving in various administrative capacities with The Van Cliburn Foundation, Fort Worth Opera, The Boston Conservatory, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, and the Houston Chamber Choir. She is also the founder of Circle of Fifths, an audience development partnership among five local Houston arts organizations. “I think opera has the incredible power to bring people together,” said Myrick. “I admire the mission of Opera in the Heights-- providing an accessible and intimate opera experience to its patrons, and a venue for emerging young professional singers in which to perform the art they love. I’m eager to build upon OH’s vital role within the community, and see to it that the organization soars to new local and national levels.”

Josh Agrons, Chairman of the Board of OH!, stated that “We are delighted to have a leadership team in place to take Opera in the Heights to the next level, to preserve and enhance the quality of our art, and to provide management strength and leadership.”

Opera in the Heights will continue its 21st season with performances of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles on February 3rd, 9th, and 11that 7:30 pm and February 5th at 2:00 pm at Lambert Hall located at 1703 Heights Blvd. Tickets are available at www.operaintheheights.org or call (713) 861-5303.

Opera in the Heights' 2016-2017 Season Launches with the Support of Hundreds of Passionate Supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          

Opera in the Heights' 2016-2017 Season Launches with the Support of Hundreds of Passionate Supporters

Houston, TX (August 19, 2016) - Opera in the Heights (Oh!) announces that the company has met its ambitious fundraising goal of $85,000. The 2016-17 season will go forward as planned!! Another $65,000 of fundraising is targeted to facilitate planning and executing the 2017-18 season.

In a Town Hall meeting held earlier this week to update benefactors and community members on the status of its funding efforts and to garner support, Executive Director Mariam Khalili made a presentation laying out the financial challenges Oh! has faced in the last year. This includes the loss of $65,000 from a major benefactor that has refocused its foundation’s giving priorities, along with decreases in grants from other foundations. Part of this is a reflection of the energy industry downturn in Houston.

Held at Lambert Hall, approximately 55 people attended the meeting, which opened with an aria from La Bohème by Amanda Kingston-Beetle, along with her impassioned speech about the importance of Oh! to the careers of young, emerging artists like herself. Kingston-Beetle explained how critical Opera in the Heights has been to advancing her career as an opera singer by giving her a stage to share her talents and passion for the art-form with appreciative audiences.

“This year, Opera in the Heights has experienced one of the greatest challenges of its 21-year existence,” says Mariam Khalili, the company’s Executive Director. “We are humbled by the support of so many. In just 1 month our community pulled together to make this upcoming season a reality. I must express my deep appreciation to our ‘Oh! angels’,” Khalili continues. “We still have a long way to go to raise an additional $65,000 to ensure the financial health of our organization but we are thrilled to officially announce the start of our 2016-2017 season! Opera in the Heights employs approximately 100 artists during the season, providing not only a paycheck, but incredible opportunities to perform in a nurturing and intimate environment, in front of opera-goers both seasoned and new. Our singers are also the leading force behind our education outreach, where they help Oh! to make a difference in the lives of students across Houston.”

Khalili then introduced Perryn Leech, Houston Grand Opera’s (HGO) Managing Director, who articulated how important Oh! is to the arts community in Houston by providing these unique and rich opportunities for young artists. “These young artists don’t start their professional careers at HGO, but at Opera in the Heights,” he says. “They work unbelievably hard just to get a chance to do their art, and we must all push their agenda.”

Leech went on to say that Houston Grand Opera is the big brother in town and wants to see Oh! not only survive, but thrive. “Opera in the Heights is a vital part of the Houston arts scene. We all want the company to continue in its mission, as it makes us all better. The arts are life-changing, and we must support them, including arts programming in schools.”

Khalili outlined several future initiatives to improve Oh!’s bottom line, including increasing the number of board members from 9 to 20 by July 2017. Highly stressed was the importance of maintaining the level of individual giving the company has received each year; those who are struck by the beauty they see on stage are encouraged to invite friends to a performance and consider giving a gift to further support the company.

The company is proud and excited to launch the season on August 31, with their annual kick-off party, Overture, hosted by Tommie Vaughn Ford.  Guests will enjoy intimate performances from Oh! Stars while mingling and enjoying light bites provided by Harold’s in the Heights and local brews by Town in City Brewing Company.  Tickets are available now.

If you’ve never seen an Opera in the Heights production, now is the time. The 2016-17 season kicks off in September with Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, with shows on Sept. 16, 18, 22 and 24. Tickets to Overture and season performances are available online at www.operaintheheights.org or by calling the box office at 713-861-5303. The diverse season also includes Puccini’s La Bohème, Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles or The Pearl Fishers and Mark Adamo’s Little Women, adapted from the book by Louisa May Alcott; and during the holidays, Oh!’s ConciertOh! de Invierno.

 

 

 

 

15k in 15 Days Recap - A Smashing Success!

We are blown away by the outpouring of support from our loyal patrons and donors during the 15k in 15 Days campaign. The campaign originated when the Oh! Board of Directors pledged to match every donation dollar for dollar - up to $15,000 - over the course of 15 days in an effort to jump start our overall fundraising initiative. Friends of Oh! completely rocked this challenge, raising over $33,000 which launched Oh! to a total of $48,865 (including the match) at the end of the 15th day!

THANK YOU for your support!

A Letter from the Maestro

A Letter from the Maestro

Dear Friends, 

I hope that this finds you well, as we here at Opera in the Heights look back on our wonderful 20th anniversary season. To commemorate our milestone year, we offered a repertory that celebrated the diverse history and scope of opera, ranging from the seminal work of Gluck to the modern lyricism of Menotti. I am hopeful that you enjoyed this collection of distinct musical styles, all rooted in traditions of rich storytelling.