25 May 2011

Conductor Patrick Summers Named Artistic and Music Director at Houston Grand Opera  in Administrative Realignment

Houston Grand Opera music director Patrick Summers has been named to the newly created dual post of artistic and music director as part of a realignment of the company's top administrative structure, HGO announced today. 

Summers' appointment, the result of a unanimous vote by the company's board of directors, follows last month's announcement that Houston Grand Opera general director Anthony Freud will depart the Texas company to succeed Lyric Opera of Chicago's retiring chief William Mason. Freud's tenure in Chicago officially commences on October 1, 2011. 

In addition to Summers's new twofold role with the company, HGO's chief operating officer Perryn Leech has been named as Houston Grand Opera's managing director; chief advancement officer Greg Robertson will be the third member of an executive leadership team supported by an eight-person senior management staff. 

"I am as honored by the Houston Grand Opera board's confidence as I am grateful to have been mentored by two extraordinary leaders during my tenure as the company's music director," Summers said in a statement issued today by Houston Grand Opera. "I thank David Gockley, who brought me to Houston in the late 1990s, for the many years we worked together. Most especially, I wish to acknowledge my colleague Anthony Freud, with whom I have enjoyed the most inspired and rewarding artistic partnership of my life over these past six seasons. I look forward to the success he will undoubtedly have with Chicago's historic company."

"Patrick is one of the world's great opera visionaries and conductors," said Glen Rosenbaum, chairman of HGO's board of directors. "Since he joined HGO in the 1998-99 season, Patrick's knowledge and leadership have immeasurably inspired and elevated the quality of our artistic product. The pairing of Patrick's vision with the superb managerial and technical expertise of Perryn Leech provides HGO the leadership to achieve new heights of excellence in all its undertakings. The Board's primary objective was to assemble a world-class leadership team, and we found those individuals within HGO. Each is highly respected in the opera world, and together they assure that our company will build on its successes, continuing and expanding its magnificent record of achievements onstage at the Wortham Center and around the world."

Summers, whose tenure at Houston Grand Opera has spanned thirteen years and includes the formation and development of the company's orchestra, has conducted upwards of forty-five operas during his time in Texas in addition to serving as principal guest conductor at San Francisco Opera and regularly conducting at other companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Bregenz Festival, and Opera Australia. spacer 

More information can be found at Houston Grand Opera and the OPERA NEWS Archives (here, here and here).

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