8 September 2017

Houston Grand Opera to Relocate Season-Opening Productions of Traviata, Julius Caesar Following Hurricane Harvey Damage to Wortham Theater Center

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA announced today that the company will be forced to relocate its season-opening production of La Traviata, as well as subsequent performances of Julius Caesar, after HGO administrators discovered that its home, the Wortham Theater Center, had experienced greater damage than previously realized in the wake of Hurricane Harvey last week. 

The company announced yesterday that single tickets for its upcoming season are now on sale following the restoration of HGO's website, which was brought down after Hurricane Harvey caused power outages and significant damages to the company's theatrical facilities last week. 

Last Monday, after Hurricane Harvey and the resultant flood waters pummeled Houston, HGO announced that its home theaters — the Brown and Cullen theaters in the Wortham Theater Center — had experienced significant flood damage and would require repairs and cleanup in the weeks ahead. Yesterday, artistic director Patrick Summers and managing director Perryn Leech wrote a letter to staff acknowledging that damage to the Wortham Theater Center was so significant that the company will be forced to relocate its season-opening performances of Traviata and Caesar. Summers and Leech's statement added that company management is "actively working out new locations for these performances. We will announce the details as soon as they are confirmed.” HGO noted last week that, in advance of the storm, its staff had had moved instruments and costumes for both shows to higher floors in the Wortham Center, thus sparing them from flood damage. The company's new production of La Traviata will open on October 20, and its production of Julius Caesar will open on October 27.

"Although we are very sad that Hurricane Harvey has temporarily taken us away from our theatrical home, we are keenly aware that hundreds of thousands of individuals and companies around our great city are suffering much worse damage," the company noted in a press release issued today. "Our hearts, dollars, physical labor, and spirits are all with our fellow citizens at this time. Houston Grand Opera is strong and determined to weather this new storm left in Harvey’s wake."

Following the restoration of its website and the opening of single-ticket sales, HGO also announced that all HGO staff, musicians, and Studio artists and their families are all safe. Though it did say that some company members have lost homes and vehicles or were forced to evacuate.

Currently, the company's only postponements have related to its Studio Showcase — highlighting the work of its studio artists — which it intends to present during the spring, and its Opera without Fear program, which it has slated to present in early October.

The company has set up special funds to both assist HGO employees in rebuilding their lives and to support Houston Grand Opera in its recovery. Contributions can be directed to HGOHarveyStaff@hgo.org and/or HGOHarveyFund@hgo.org. The company asks that you include your name, email, phone number and the amount you would like to donate, but submit no credit card info at this time. HGO will contact donors to process pledges as soon as possible. spacer 

More information can be found at Houston Grand Opera

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