Rice University’s Campbell Lecture Series March 18-20 to feature HGO’s Patrick Summers

Noted conductor will discuss his role as cultural leader and teacher

Patrick Summers, artistic and music director of Houston Grand Opera (HGO), will discuss a conductor’s role as a cultural leader and teacher in the community as part of Rice University’s Campbell Lecture Series March 18-20.

PATRICK SUMMERS

Summers’ lecture series, “Thinking Music: The Artistic Life of a Conductor as a Cultural Leader and Teacher,”  will be March 18, 19 and 20 at 6 p.m. in the university’s Rice Memorial Chapel. The lectures will cover three aspects of the title theme: “Prelude and Fuge: Life in Music” (March 18); “Themes and Variations: Life from Music” (March 19); and “The Sonata of Life” (March 20).

Summers was named artistic and music director of HGO in 2011 after serving as the company’s music director since 1998. He has been responsible for many of HGO’s important artistic advances, including the development of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, regularly praised by critics as a world-class ensemble. At HGO, he has conducted world premieres (André Previn’s “Brief Encounter,” Christopher Theofanidis’ “The Refuge,” Jake Heggie’s “The End of the Affair” and “Three Decembers,” and Carlisle Floyd’s “Cold Sassy Tree”) and works that span the operatic canon, including Verdi’s “Don Carlos,” “La Traviata,” “Nabucco,” “Rigoletto,” “Il Trovatore,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “Falstaff” and “A Masked Ball”; Puccini’s “La Bohème,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Manon Lescaut” and “Tosca”; Mozart’s “Così fan Tutte,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “The Abduction from the Seraglio” and “Idomeneo”; Donizetti’s “Mary Stuart,” “The Elixir of Love,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Don Pasquale”; Lehár’s “The Merry Widow”; Handel’s “Julius Caesar”; Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”; Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”; Britten’s “Billy Budd,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Turn of the Screw” and “Peter Grimes”; and Wagner’s “Lohengrin.” He has enjoyed longstanding relationships with the Metropolitan Opera, where he has conducted regularly since 1998; with San Francisco Opera, where he has been principal guest conductor since 1999; and with Opera Australia.

The Campbell Lecture Series was made possible by a $1 million contribution from Rice alumnus T.C. Campbell, who wanted to further the study of literature and the humanities with a 20-year annual series of public lectures. Through special arrangements with the University of Chicago Press, each lecture series is later published as a book. Previous Campbell lecturers include Robert Pinsky (2005), Ha Jin (2006), Alix Ohlin (2007), Stephen Greenblatt (2008), James Cuno (2009), Zadie Smith (2010) and Stanley Fish (2012).

Hosted by Rice’s School of Humanities, the lecture series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and RSVPs are requested to campbell.lecture@rice.edu. For more information, visit the Campbell Lecture Series website at http://campbell.rice.edu.

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