ONE OF OPERA'S most renowned performers — "the world's greatest tenor," per The Telegraph— headlined a concert event with Houston Grand Opera. The show, HGO's first live performance at the Wortham Theater Center since the Covid pandemic started early last year, was followed by a chic dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel nearby.
"Kaufmann is known for his voice which excels in a large variety of repertoire and has received much recognition for his performance of French, German, and Italian roles," explained a rep for the company. "Standout roles include Don Carlo, Otello, Alvaro, Des Grieux, Cavaradossi, Andrea Chénier, Turiddu, Canio, Don José, Werther, Florestan, Lohengrin, Siegmund and Parsifal. The acclaimed artist is in high demand for his solo recitals and concerts and the evening marked his HGO debut and first-ever performance in Texas.
"The concert in [the Wortham's] Brown Theater featured a broad selection of arias and excerpts from the heroic tenor's repertoire, including a generous sampling of the Wagnerian roles for which he has become famous," the rep added.
HGO Artistic and Musical Director Patrick Summers, a Houston institution well loved by opera patrons in Houston, conducted the HGO orchestra himself for the special event. Before the concert, Summers introduced the company's new general director and CEO, Khori Dastoor, who, charming and sparkling in a sequined cocktail dress, addressed opera fans en masse for the first time.
The hotel after, Kaufmann was gifted with custom cufflinks made by local artisan Max Lang in the shape of the state of Texas. Dinner included salmon and beef shortrib and, for dessert, "Mr. Kaufmann's First Texas Pecan Pie." Boldface names among the guests included Margaret Alkek Williams, Ana Maria Martinez, Hallie Vanderhider, Phoebe Tudor, Janet Gurwich, Beth Madison, Betty and Jess Tutor, and Bob and Gracie Cavnar.
Hallie Vanderhider and Glen Reyes
Margaret Alkek Williams and David Wuthrich
Phoebe Tudor and Leigh Smith
Khori Dastoor, new general director and CEO of HGO
Dayo and Funto Seton
Matt Ringel and Louisa Sarofim
Phyllis Allen, Patty Nuss, Ella Prichard and Connie Dyer
Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin
Peter and Teresa Chang
Ana Maria Martinez and Gabriel Attal
Cristina Gracia, Alison Powell, Jennifer Fink and Natalie Mohtashami
Jim and Molly Crownover
Dianne and Fred Burns
Benjamin and Jennifer Fink
Anne and Albert Chao
Beth Madison and Lynne Bensten
Nancy Haywood and Donna Brown
Donna Kaplan and Richard Lydecker
Anna Galonskay and Pavlina Suchanova
Robin Angly and Miles Smith
Rachel Beard Thomson and Dick Kantenberger
Meredith and Ben Marshall