Thursday, May 18, 2023
“Seeking the Human Spirit” Performance
Presented in partnership with Houston Grand Opera (HGO) & Menil Collection
FREE General Admission | In-person event with bench seating
Seeking the Human Spirit (STHS), Houston Grand Opera’s six-year multi-disciplinary initiative, highlights the universal spiritual themes raised in opera. STHS explores a different theme each year, starting in 2017 and concluding in 2023, as it relates to select operas from each season.
On May 18, 2023, the initiative will culminate with the world premiere of six chamber works, each inspired by one of our themes:
- Sacrifice—when will we do what must be done, composed by Zach Redler, with a libretto by Jerre Dye;
- Identity—Take Your Eyes Off My Joy, composed by Jocelyn C. Chambers, with a libretto by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton;
- Spirit—Indigenous / Undigenous I, composed by Brent Michael Davids, with his own text, translated to Comanche;
- Faith—A Stillness that Moves, composed by Shih-Hui Chen, based on text inspired by Houston’s Rothko Chapel;
- Character—Drives, composed by Mark Buller, with a libretto Euan Tait; and
- Transformation—hela, composed by J.E. Hernández, set to Nahuatl poems.
The premieres will take place in two cultural havens in Houston’s Museum District, Rothko Chapel and The Menil Collection. Each site will present three compositions in two performances at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.; guests can also take advantage of HGO teaching artists providing walking tours of the spaces and guided interpretations of the compositions.
Following the concerts, at 7:45 p.m., a final gathering at Menil Park will welcome audiences to take part in a temporary labyrinth installation constructed for the evening by local artist Reginald Adams, and a performance by Houston 2022 poet laureate Outspoken Bean. The experience will be enhanced with take-home artifacts—meditation beads crafted by Houston multidisciplinary artist Eepi Chaad—as participants reflect on the event and the past six years.