In 2010 I was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera for a one-act opera with playwright Eugenie Chan, for HGO’s East + West project, part of the multi-year “Song of Houston” series sponsored in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Courtside was the first East + West opera. It premiered in early 2011, and its success has led to a second commission to compose the final opera of the series. I’m thrilled to work with the wonderful HGOco team again, and feel especially honored to be selected both to initiate and close this innovative commissioning project.
Houston’s colorful past, present, and future set the stage for HGOco’s Song of Houston — an ongoing initiative that commissions works based on stories that define the city’s unique character. Song of Houston makes opera relevant through stories that engage hearts and minds. These stories are told through local, national, and international collaborative projects. More than 335,000 people have experienced Song of Houston through music making, photography, creative writing, and other programs that incorporate all of the arts.
East + West is a series of chamber operas that celebrate Houston as a meeting place for Eastern and Western cultures. A total of eight operas have been commissioned for the project. Each chamber opera honors culture and community through storytelling and music. HGOco engages artists and individuals from different countries, allowing us to create art about, by, and for Houston’s vibrant Asian cultures.