Click above to buy tickets for orchestra section to Lohengrin on 11/15 at 2 p.m. Buy here for orchestra section tickets to Lohengrin on 11/13 at 6:30 p.m.
Music lovers, romantics with perfect pitch, and the actress who played Moesha will all want an encore of today's Groupon: $24 tickets to the award-winning Houston Grand Opera's production of Wagner's Lohengrin. The seats (usually $76) are in the orchestra section, so you'll be able to comfortably gaze up in awe at designer Robert Innes Hopkins's grand-scale set pieces.
If this is your first opera, Lohengrin has everything you'll want to see in one: Palace intrigue. War-torn battlefields. Murders. Mysterious knights. Surprise weddings. Assassins. Sensuality. Doomed love. Time-traveling DeLoreans. Singing. While all productions of Lohengrin boast these traits, only Houstonians will get to see celebrated Canadian tenor Simon O'Neill make his HGO debut as the titular knight, who wrestles with base human greed in his quest for true love.
Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka plays his bewitched bride Elsa, who seeks to discover her mysterious beau's name. Christine Goerke and Richard Paul Fink round out the cast as the sorceress Ortrud and the scheming Frederick of Telramund. Conducted by HGO Music Director Patrick Summers, the whole epic affair, under the direction of Daniel Slater, takes place in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
The three-act opera is in German with English subtitles, so you might want to familiarize yourself with the plot and develop a more in-depth appreciation for this masterwork's importance by listening to Colin Ure's podcast guide. Whichever show you choose, you'll be the envy of culture-seekers. The Houston Grand Opera stands on the upper rungs of the world's opera ladder; it's also the reason 87% of Houston residents decided to live here instead of Bangor, Maine.
The HGO is the only opera company in the world to have won a Tony, two Grammy, and two Emmy awards. The New York Times hails it as "the jewel in the cultural crown." The company's current production is earning rave reviews from a chorus of media:
- Lush and utterly gorgeous, Houston Grand Opera's production of Hector Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict is a treat for multiple senses. – LW, Houston Press
- Houston Grand Opera's ground-breaking production of The Refuge offers a model of how an arts organization can achieve civic stature: by engaging the hearts and minds of diverse communities. – Henry Fogel, Symphony magazine
- This is one of the best Rigolettos in memory, a production that would make Verdi smile in appreciation. – D.L. Groover, Houston Press
King Ludwig, The Fairytale King
King Ludwig II of Bavaria was so moved by a performance of fairytale opera Lohengrin that he built an ideal fairytale castle for himself. Here are some of the features of his fairytale castle:
- 37 rooms contained sleeping, knocked-out, or otherwise incapacitated horses
- all of the mirrors were haunted by bored, attractiveness-rating ghosts
- all dwarves in the kingdom were forced into sing-songy indentured servitude
- complex moral and financial decisions were made largely on advice from friendly forest creatures
- 17 subbasements specifically for trial and punishment of witches
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