Fall Arts Guide 2018

Flying Dutchman Sails Into the Refurbished Wortham Center

Plus the operas and dance performances we're psyched to see this fall.

By Morgan Kinney August 17, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Jeff Roffman

Houston Grand Opera Chorus Master Richard Bado assures us it’s accidental irony that Wagner’s tempestuous Flying Dutchman opens amid a raging storm.

“Hopefully it won’t give people a feeling of déjà vu,” he says about the company’s first full production at the Wortham Center since it flooded during Harvey.

A joke, yes, but also a distinct possibility given the multimedia projections powering this updated version of the classic, a high-tech co-production with Atlanta Opera and Cincinnati Opera. Video projected across the industrial scenic design accentuates the inner turmoil of the titular Dutchman, a sailor cursed to wander the seas forever unless he finds true love on his allotted once-per-seven-years shoreside furlough.

The HGO’s first post–Ring Cycle Wagner work, this two-hour, no-intermission production might seem breezy by comparison, but don’t be fooled. Bado assures us the opera packs all the scale, schmaltz, and bravura we expect from the genre’s most cinematic composer.

“This is a classic tale of a person who needs someone who can help him pass over,” he says, “and our ending always catches the audience off-guard—it’s quite magical.”

Momix, Opus Cactus Society for the Performing Arts | Sept. 14

After a certain weather event canceled its 2017 SPA performance, the famed Connecticut-based “dancer-illusionist” group Momix comes to town to lift, twist, bend, contort, and slither across the stage in this program of movement mimicking lizards, cacti, and other Southwestern images.

Savage Winter Aperio, Music of the Americas | Oct. 19

This electric guitar–heavy chamber opera—inspired by the poems at the heart of Schubert’s seminal Winterreise song cycle—roars into MATCH to tell the present-day story of a man holed up in a hotel room, sifting through his post-breakup rage.

The Ballad of Baby Doe Moores Opera Center | Oct. 19-22

Doeheads—a small but fervent group of this opera’s superfans—were no doubt overjoyed to hear that the gloriously soapy portrait of life and love in turn-of-the-century Colorado will return to Houston for the first time in two decades.

La bohème | Houston Grand Opera | Oct. 26-Nov. 11

Puccini’s classic reignites the flame of passion as a group of bohemians get swept up in the magic of each other’s love in Latin Quarter Paris. (And yes, this is the basis for Rent.)

When We Take Flight METDance | Nov. 15-17

Witness the combined talents of the company’s artists stretched to the limit as they tackle dance from nationally recognized choreographers including Sean Carmon, Bridget L. Moore, Kyle Abraham, and more.

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