Song of Houston
Composer Call

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Houston Grand Opera is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Song of Houston Composer Call:

Jeremy Howard Beck
Tom Cipullo
Nell Shaw Cohen
Marie Incontrera
Laura Karpman
Evan Mack
Helena Michaelson
Reinaldo Moya
Nkeiru Okoye
Cynthia Lee Wong
Luna Pearl Woolf

Commissioned works will be announced during the summer.


HGOco is Houston Grand Opera’s community engagement, education, and creative projects program that connects the company with our community through a variety of collaborations. The “co” in HGOco represents Company, Collaboration, and Community

ABOUT Song of Houston
The nationally recognized Song of Houston initiative commissions new chamber operas and song projects that resonate with contemporary life in Houston and develops community projects that foster collaborations with many Houston-area organizations. Song of Houston commissions are based on stories that define the unique character of our city. These works are produced in the smaller Cullen Theater in the Wortham Theater Center or in alternative spaces around Houston.

Previous Song of Houston commissions include:

  • Some Light Emerges (Laura Kaminsky/Mark Campbell, Kimberly Reed, 2017) is set mostly within the Rothko Chapel and chronicles the direct and tangential intersections of five people across four decades who visit the chapel, as well as the struggles and triumphs of Dominique de Menil in realizing her dream of building the chapel.
  • After the Storm (David Hanlon/Stephanie Fleischmann, 2016). Developed through historical research and interviews with residents of Galveston and Houston, this chamber opera is rooted in one family’s crisis in the midst of a natural disaster. As a massive hurricane hurtles towards the Gulf Coast, a Galvestonian, torn about whether to leave her home, is haunted by storms past.
  • O Columbia (Gregory Spears/Royce Vavrek, 2015), an opera in three acts that examines the past, present and future of the American spirit of exploration through the prism of the Columbia space shuttle disaster of 2003.
  • The Refuge (Christopher Theofanidis/Leah Lax, 2007), a staged oratorio of seven movements, each representing a different immigrant community in Houston. Each of the movements included instruments and performers from the featured culture and the libretto was crafted from community interviews.

For any questions, contact HGOco Programs Manager Emily Wells.