Message from HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech and Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers
Our hearts go out to our fellow Houstonians rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. We are facing a long recovery, but we know that we are stronger together. This week has proven that fact!
We are relieved that all HGO staff, musicians, and Studio artists and their families are all safe. Some Company members have lost homes and vehicles or were forced to evacuate, and many are assisting family and friends. Like you, it will be some time before we all understand the full impact of this devastating natural disaster.
As for our home, the lower levels of the Wortham Theater Center have flooded and HGO’s power sources, internet, and website connectivity have been badly damaged as well as the Costume Shop and Wig Shop. We hope to be back in our offices soon after Labor Day, but HGO’s administrative functions are facing major challenges. These include many hurdles for our artistic, production, and technical teams in preparing for the upcoming season, limitations in our ability to bring education programs like Opera to Go! to schools and community centers, and delays in our audience outreach efforts. Meanwhile, our own HGOco team are working to bring our Storybook Opera for young children into the shelters next week.
IF YOU NEED TO REACH US IMMEDIATELY, YOU CAN DO SO BY CALLING 323-644-2116. An operator will answer and connect you with one of our staff.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Mayor Turner has set up a Hurricane Relief Fund at ghcf.org/hurricane relief. We have set up a special fund to assist HGO employees in rebuilding their lives, and another fund to support HGO’s recovery so that we can keep our season on track and continue to serve Houston. You can help by emailing your pledge to HGOHarveyStaff@hgo.org and/or HGOHarveyFund@hgo.org. Please include your name, email, and phone number, and the amount you would like to donate, but NO credit card info at this time. We will contact you to process these pledges as soon as we are back in our offices.
We are still planning to open our season on October 20. We are truly grateful for your outpouring of kind words and concerns. Many of you have blown us away by already asking us what you can do to help. A few of you have even offered to come scoop water out of the Wortham with a bucket!
We are a family, and we are here for each other. We can’t wait to deliver a fantastic season to you, giving Houstonians the power of music and storytelling that we all need now, more than ever.
Thank you for thinking of HGO during these challenging times.
Perryn and Patrick