Stage Door News

Houston, TX: Houston Grand Opera adds Margaret Atwood’s “Songs for Murdered Sisters” to its virtual winter line-up

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

As COVID cases continue to rise in Texas, Houston Grand Opera has made the decision that arts organizations around the country have rolled out over the past few months: to officially cancel its entire 2020–2021 season, with plans to resume performances in fall 2021.

In the meantime, HGO has added some additional offerings to its digital slate, including a filmed version of the song cycle Songs for Murdered Sisters

Five years ago, Joshua Hopkins’s life changed forever when his sister Nathalie, along with two other women, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in a spree that is now considered one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Canadian history. In his grief, Hopkins conceived of this song cycle. Co-commissioned by HGO with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra, with music by Jake Heggie set to poems by Margaret Atwood, this powerful new work is Hopkins’s way of honoring his sister’s memory and speaking out against domestic violence.

The piece, which was originally scheduled to play in-person, is baritone Joshua Hopkins’ musical response to grief after his sister Nathalie and two other women were murdered. James Niebuhr directs the filmed version, to be released online February 19, 2021.

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