HGO's Concert of Arias Celebrates Rising Stars, Offers Notes of Hope

Event chairs Jack Roth and Liz Grimm with first-place winner Navasard Hakobyan

WIDELY KNOWN FOR cultivating and championing young artists, the Houston Grand Opera on Friday hosted its 34th annual Concert of Arias, a vocal competition followed by a seated dinner and celebration of the winners.


A panel of judges — soprano Christine Goerke; HGO’s new general director and CEO ,Khori Dastoor; its music director, Patrick Summers; and its artistic advisor, Ana María Martínez — watched and listened to the talented budding stars from across the globe belt out their best on the Wortham Theater’s Cullen Stage. They awarded cash prizes to four artists, including Armenian baritone Navasard Hakobyan, who took home the grand prize of $10,000.

A livestream version of the showcase was also available, and those who tuned in could even cast their vote for the Online Viewers’ Choice Award, which went to soprano Olivia Smith.

After the conclusion of the competition, a seated dinner was held in the Wortham’s Grand Foyer, which was decked out by The Events Company, who brought in beautiful blooms and spring greens that elicited feelings of hopefulness for a brighter year.

Ana Maria Martinez and Gabriel Attal

Warren and Rachel Ellsworth

Bill Brown and Patricia Holmes

Omar Chaabi, Lulu Tan, Hugh Zhang, Kathy and Marty Goossen

Dreyvon Anderson and Allyson Pritchett

Myrtle Jones and Candice Penelton

Mark Clemens and Anne Tsao

Lindy and John Rydman

Elizabeth and Richard Husseini

Emily Bivona and Ryan Manser

Duke and CC Ensell

Brian McCulloch and Jeremy Garcia

Finalist Tatiana Carlos soprano with Lulu Tan

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