Dame Ethel Smyth’s masterpiece receives its first-ever full-scale
production from a major American opera company

What:   On October 28, 2022, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) will open a must-see new production of Dame Ethel Smyth’s epic 1906 opera The Wreckers. This will be the first-ever full-scale production of The Wreckers from a major American opera company.

Despite being one of the world’s great operas, The Wreckers was neglected for over a century after its premiere, as the world wasn’t ready for a woman composer—much less a feminist, suffragist composer who was attracted to other women—like Smyth. Today, this overlooked work from history, with its beautiful metaphor about the dangers of isolation in a world that demands we help each other, deserves our attention.

The Wreckers shares the story of the resolute Thirza, whose husband, the preacher Pascoe, declares to their coastal community that shipwrecks along their shore are meant to be pillaged—and meant to be premeditated by leaving the town lighthouse dark. But Thirza’s heart and conscience are not with her husband or with his dangerous methods. Someone among them is secretly warning the ships of danger, and the villagers search for the traitor while Thirza embraces her convictions, no matter the cost.

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke takes on the role of Thirza, while acclaimed baritone and HGO Studio alumnus Reginald Smith, Jr. sings the role of Pascoe. Incredible tenor and HGO Studio alumnus Norman Reinhardt sings the role of Mark, the fisherman in love with the married Thirza. Radiant soprano and HGO Studio alumna Mané Galoyan performs the role of Mark’s unhappy ex, Avis. This exciting new HGO production is directed by Louisa Muller and conducted by HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.

The opera runs two hours and ten minutes with one intermission. It is sung in English with projected English translation.

Who:     The cast of The Wreckers includes Sasha Cooke as Thirza, Norman Reinhardt as Mark, Mané Galoyan as Avis, Reginald Smith, Jr. as Pascoe, Daniel Belcher as Lawrence, Paul Groves as Tallan, Luke Sutliff as Harvey, and Sun Ly Pierce as Jack. HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers conducts.

When:  Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 

Tariff: Tickets range from $20 to $210. For more information and to buy tickets, visit HGO.org or call the Box Office at 713-228-6737.

BBC Proms 2022 – Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers – from Glyndebourne Festival Opera conducted by Robin Ticciati [live BBC Radio 3 broadcast].