David Gockley, general director of the company, said the 56-performance season will open Oct. 22 with Giacomo Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" and close on May 15 with Giuseppe Verdi's "Falstaff." The Golden Jubilee Gala April 30 will feature operatic diva Renee Fleming, composer-entertainer Elton John, and guest artist from around the world.
The season also will include a new opera in Spanish by Daniel Catan titled "Salsipuedes" and a revival of Oscar Award-winning composer Rachel Portman's "The Little Prince," which was given its world premiere by the Houston Opera in 2003.
Gockley has headed the Houston opera for more than three decades with the vision of "de-demonizing" opera and bringing it to the masses and has commissioned and premiered 33 new operas. The entire 2003-04 season is being broadcast internationally.