Get your opera on at Houston’s Opera in the Heights

June 14, 2015

By Peggie Miller / performing arts columnist

Let’s face it. The most obvious entertainment limitation on the local scene is classical music, particularly opera.

Without the Young Texas Artists Competition and Contest once a year in the Crighton Theatre, and performances by the Conroe Symphony Orchestra, classical music lovers would face an absence of choices.

Yet even these opportunities present limited opera selections with the robust, rafter-shaking, sometimes whispery soft arias, that opera enthusiasts love.

On the other hand, Houston’s Opera in the Heights taps into that nectar for the thirsty for those who won’t balk at the hassle of getting there. All performances are in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd., 77008.

The new season, just announced, presents four beloved operatic works, beginning Sept. 18.

That first one is Leoncavallo’s comedic I Pagliacci, where a commedia/arts troupe quickly learns how life can imitate art. Performances are September 18, 19 at 7:30, with a 2 p.m. matinee September 20.

Next is Menotti’s The Medium The Telephone at the end of October.

When a medium is visited “from the other side” during a fake séance, her life begins to unravel.

The Telephone part is about a device that makes putting love on hold a breeze (among other things, one might add).

Experience it Oct. 30, 31, Nov.5–7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 1 and 7 at 2 p.m. Rossini’s La Cenerentola becomes the focus during the month of flowers and valentines playing Feb 5–6, and 11—13 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Feb. 7 and Valentine’s Day.

Rossini tells in arias and words how a humble girl and a disguised prince connect in the ultimate ashes to riches story.

Gluck’s Orfeo Ed Euridice, that ends the season, illustrates the belief that even the gods cannot break the bonds of true love.

It runs April 8-9 and 14-16 at 7:30, with 2 p.m. matinees April 10 and 17.

So there you have it. A nice assortment, maybe even better than Forest Gump’s chocolates.

The upcoming season marks 20 years for OH! successes.

It’s filled with diversity, showcasing operatic genius from past to present, from as early as 1762. Another appealing aspect of OH! productions is that the size of its hall fosters an intimate ambiance and comfortable seating. One of its goals is promoting emerging young singers while bringing affordable opera to the Greater Houston area.

Three price levels exist, based on seat choices. Season subscriptions range from $223 all the way to a frugal $49 for students, including fees. However, no student charges are available for the most desired gold locations, and the special pricing is only for those under age 17 with ID.

Seats are reserved and tickets can be exchanged for different performances, with no extra charges applying in most cases. Subscribers also receive invitations for private events reserved only for them.

Deadline for renewal for current subscribers is June 25, and of course unforeseen production changes may become unavoidable.

For more information or to subscribe, go to www.OPERAINTHEHEIGHTS.ORG, call 713-861-5303, or mail check to P. O. box 7887, Houston 77270-7887.

During this 20th anniversary celebration, comes the exclusive Overture! festivity in September, with tickets on sale July 1. There also are some young professional events where rising stars mix and mingle with those of similar ambitions.

 

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