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A Tempo: Houston, Philadelphia Opera Productions Offer Something Different to Audiences

Composer and Suffragist Ethel Smyth

A Tempo this Saturday (10/22 at 7 pm) checks in on two opera companies bringing unique or unusual offerings to their audiences - Houston Grand Opera, which is staging Dame Ethel Smyth's The Wreckers, and Opera Philadelphia, which is distributing some of its opera film productions through movie houses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

As opera companies seek to program more distinctive and adventurous seasons, A Tempo looks at two such examples coming to audiences this Fall. Houston Grand Opera later this month will become the first major U.S. opera company to stage the 1906 opera The Wreckers by composer and suffragist Dame Ethel Smyth. Host Rachel Katz will speak with HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers about this rarely-staged opera, and the challenges Smyth faced in bringing the work to the stage.

A scene from David T. Little's Soldier Songs, one of the film productions Opera Philadelphia created during the pandemic and will be showing at movie houses across the regions.

Philadelphia Opera, fresh off its Opera on Film Festival during its O22 Festival last month, has arranged for screenings of some of its film productions at regional theaters, the next stage in its efforts to incorporate film-based and digital productions into its season that began during the pandemic. Rachel will chat with Opera Philadelphia General Director and President David Devan, and with Chris Collier, Chief Executive of Renew Theaters, whose Princeton Garden Theatre, Ambler Theater and County Theater will be among five theaters showing the films. The films will also be shown at Bryn Mawr Film Institute and The Colonial Theatre.