There’s an adventurous spirit that dominates Texas—prior to the phrase being pummeled into the ground in the name of political rhetoric, one could even have dubbed many of the state’s key figures as mavericks. But while the labels may change, a certain lust for risk taking remains the same, and the Houston Grand Opera has not been immune to this same gumption. When David Gockley took the helm of the company in 1972, he lit a creative fire within the organization that led to 35 world premieres and six American premieres in just over three decades. Gockley was also responsible in part for the opening of the Wortham Theater Center, the integration of HGO into the airwaves with radio broadcasts that have an international reach, and the introduction of free outdoor screenings of HGO’s multifarious offerings.
Perhaps nowhere is Gockley’s lasting effect on this Texas metropolis and the country’s opera scene in general more potent, however, than with the Houston Grand Opera Studio program. ...
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