This month marks the world premiere of composer Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix, starring Thomas Hampson in his greatly anticipated debut and Luca Pisaroni at the Houston Grand Opera. This will be Hampson’s second world premiere of the 2018-19 season, previously starring in the title role of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian at the Canadian Opera Company. Hampson and Pisaroni play the different ages of Lorenzo Da Ponte as a group of singing actors come together to create a stage adaptation about the colorful life of the scandalous librettist that created the stories of Don GiovanniCosì fan tutte, and The Marriage of Figaro.

Three mainstage operas at HGO this season: The Flying Dutchman, Florencia en el Amazonas, and The Phoenix, are part of “Seeking the Human Spirit”, the company’s six-year multidisciplinary initiative designed to highlight the universal spiritual themes raised in opera, and to enable a wider segment of the Houston community to experience opera’s beauty, emotional power, and potential to heal. The theme of this season is “Transformation”.

On April 26, 28, and May 4, 7 & 10, Hampson and Pisaroni will share the stage with a sparkling cast of artists, including Rihab Chaieb as Maria Malibran / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Nancy Da Ponte (née Grahl), Chad Shelton as Patrick Kelly / Bishop of Ceneda / Giacomo Casanova / Emperor Joseph II / ‘Opera’ Taylor / Clement Clarke Moore, Lauren Snouffer as Giulietta / Anzoletta / Mary Grahl / Brigida Banti, Elizabeth Sutphen as Faustina / Angela Tiepolo / Annetta / Matilda Grahl / Anna Morichelli. Patrick Summers conducts the HGO Orchestra and Chorus, with the libretto and production by John Caird, and set and costume designs by David Farley.

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson