PATRICK SUMMERS, Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera, is known worldwide for his diverse operatic experience and enthusiasm for a wide range of repertoire, from bel canto and late romantic opera to contemporary music.
The young American made his acclaimed Houston Grand Opera debut in 1998 conducting a new Christopher Alden production of La traviata with Patricia Racette. Since then he has led HGO's world premieres of Tod Machover's Resurrection in 1999 (released on CD by Albany in 2002), Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree in 2000, and Rachel Portman's The Little Prince in 2003, as well as a wide range of classic operas and world premieres, such as Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair, Turandot, Don Carlo, and Rigoletto.
Summers has been Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Opera since 1989. In addition to conducting classic operas of Rossini, Verdi, Gounod, and others, Summers has led the SFO in André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire and the acclaimed world premiere of Jake Heggie's and Terrence McNally's Dead Man Walking.
Summers made his Metropolitan Opera debut in December 1998 conducting Die Fledermaus. He returned to conduct the Met's Millennium Gala, 2001's Così fan tutte, and 2002's Lucia di Lammermoor.
In the summer of 2001 in Bregenz, Austria, Summers led the European premiere of the new Francesca Zambello production of Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men to outstanding international acclaim. He has also led the Welsh National Opera, Opera de Bordeaux, Opera Australia, Seattle Opera, Teatro San Carlos, Lisbon, and others in productions of Don Pasquale, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Lee Hoiby's The Tempest, Aribert Reimann's A Ghost Sonata, La Cenerentola, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and The Pearl Fishers.
Summers's recent orchestral engagements include performances with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and his debut with the Montréal Symphony conducting performances of Handel's Messiah.
Summers's growing discography includes 2002's Grammy Award-winning recording Bel Canto featuring soprano Renée Fleming, for which he conducted the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He also recorded revivals of two of Houston Grand Opera's world premieres: Mark Adamo's Little Women (Ondine, 2001) and Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas (Albany, 2002).
Summers was music director of the San Francisco Opera Center from 1989 to 1994. He conducted Falstaff and The Bartered Bride for the Opera Center's Merola Opera Program-the foremost summer opera-training program in the United States-as well as six Grand Finals concerts.
The Indiana University graduate, named Stolichnaya's Artist of the Year in 1998, has twice received the Otto Guth Award from the Merola Opera Program, and was also named its Distinguished Alumnus in 2001.