Houston Grand Opera has officially brought the curtain down on in-person performances for the year, announcing the cancellation of its remaining 2020-21 mainstage productions, Breaking the Waves and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, earlier this week.

Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers called the cancelations of these two HGO premieres a “heavy blow,” in a statement that also shared the company’s revised plans to resume mainstage productions in fall 2021. But they won’t just be twiddling their thumbs while waiting in the wings for a whole year. Instead, HGO is extending its already successful digital season through June 2021.

“There is so much to look forward to in the expanded HGO Digital season,” said Summers, “performances by some of the greatest singers in the world, exciting and innovative productions that approach opera in a new way, and some of the most beautiful music of all time.”

HGO's world-premiere staging of Marian's Song in March 2020. 

New additions to the HGO Digital season include Live from the Cullen recital with soprano Nicole Heaston, and a digital presentation of Marian’s Song, which had its world premiere with the Houston opera company in March. Another of the noteworthy inclusion is a filmed version of HGO world premiere, Songs for Murdered Sisters. Commissioned by HGO and Canada’s National Arts Centre, the 25-minute song cycle was conceived by baritone Joshua Hopkins in honor of his late sister and features the poems of renowned writer Margaret Atwood set to music by composer Jake Heggie. 

HGO’s announcement also revealed more details about previously announced The Snowy Day Project. According to the release, this special documentary on the making this new opera, based on the Ezra Jack Keats children’s book of the same name, has been filmed by award-winning documentarian Annalise Ophelian. The new opera, which will be HGO’s 70th world premiere is now set to have a fully staged production in the 2021-22 season.

Meanwhile, the upcoming digital production of Hansel and Gretel, scheduled for May, will feature original animated sets by New York City projection designer Hannah Wasileski and costumes from Sam Norkin Award-winner Montana Levi Blanco. And for those of you clamoring to get those holiday festivities started, HGO is still offering its annual Carols on the Green recital and holiday sing-along, a partnership with Discovery Green, in a digital format.

More info at houstongrandopera.org. See the full HGO Digital schedule below:

Houston Grand Opera: HGO Extended Digital Schedule 

Live from The Cullen: Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Kirill Kuzmin: Nov 13, 2020

Double Bill: The Impresario and Bon Appétit!: Nov 27, 2020

The Snowy Day Project: Dec 10, 2020

HGO Studio Holiday Celebration: Dec 18, 2020 (New Event)

Live from The Cullen: Sasha Cooke and Kirill Kuzmin: Jan 8, 2021

Lawrence Brownlee’s Giving Voice II: Jan 22, 2021

33rd annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers—Concert of Arias: Feb 5, 2021

Songs for Murdered Sisters: Feb 19, 2021 (New Event)

Live from The Cullen: Jack Swanson and Richard Bado: Mar 12, 2021

Suite Española: Mar 26, 2021 (Revised Date)

Live from The Cullen: Nicole Heaston and Richard Bado: Apr 9, 2021 (New Event)

Hansel and Gretel: May 28, 2021 (Revised Date)

Marian’s Song: June 19, 2021 (New Event)