Houston Treasure for 2017
Photo by: Iraj Ghavidel
Patrick Summers was named Artistic and Music Director, Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, of Houston Grand Opera (HGO) in 2011 after having served as the company’s Music Director since 1998.
He has conducted more than 60 operas at HGO and has been responsible for many important artistic advances, including the development of the HGO Orchestra. Some highlights of his work at HGO include conducting the company’s first-ever complete cycle of Wagner’s Ring; collaborating on the world premieres of André Previn’s Brief Encounter, Christopher Theofanidis’s The Refuge, Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair and Three Decembers, Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree and Prince of Players, and Tod Machover’s Resurrection; leading the American premiere of Weinberg’s Holocaust opera The Passenger, both at HGO and on tour to the Lincoln Festival; and nurturing the careers of such artists as Christine Goerke, Ailyn Pérez, Joyce DiDonato, Ana María Martínez, Ryan McKinny, Tamara Wilson, Albina Shagimuratova, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Norman Reinhardt, Jamie Barton, and Dimitri Pittas.
Maestro Summers is principal guest conductor for San Francisco Opera (SFO), where he was honored last fall with the San Francisco Opera Medal. His work with SFO includes collaborating with André Previn on the 1998 world premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire and conducting several of the performances, and conducting Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was recorded and telecast on PBS’s Great Performances. During the summer of 2016, he was a conductor at the David Gockley Farewell Gala at San Francisco Opera; he also worked once again with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and led an AACA (American Academy of Conducting at Aspen) Opera Scenes Master Class, a program of the Aspen Opera Theater Center.
This season at HGO, he conducts the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life, the Verdi Requiem, and Götterdämmerung, the final opera in Wagner’s Ring cycle.