HOUSTON – January 21, 2019 – Houston Grand Opera (HGO) announces that baritone Mariusz Kwiecień, scheduled to sing the role of Zurga in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, recently withdrew from the production due to personal circumstances.

Alexander Birch Elliott, who is making his HGO debut, will take on the role of Zurga for the upcoming production. Directed by E. Loren Meeker and designed by Zandra Rhodes, this HGO premiere production of The Pearl Fishers opens Friday, January 25, 2019.

Alexander Birch Elliott made an acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut earlier this season, also in the role of Zurga in The Pearl Fishers. Other engagements this season include a return to Opera Omaha for his role debut as Silvio in Pagliacci, his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra for Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs, and returns to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Brander in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for Bruckner’s Te Deum.


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