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Houston Grand Opera (HGO), located in Houston, Texas, was founded in 1955 by German-born impresario Walter Herbert and Houstonians Elva Lobit, EdwardHouston Grand Opera (HGO), located in Houston, Texas, was founded in 1955 by German-born impresario Walter Herbert and Houstonians Elva Lobit, Edward Bing, and Charles Cockrell. HGO's inaugural season featured two performances of two operas, Salome (starring Brenda Lewis in the title role) and Madama Butterfly. David Gockley succeeded Walter Herbert as general director in 1972 and remained in the post until accepting the general directorship at San Francisco Opera in 2005. Gockley was succeeded at Houston Grand Opera by Anthony Freud, previously the general director at Welsh National Opera. When Freud resigned his post at HGO in 2011 to take the general directorship of Lyric Opera of Chicago, he was succeeded by joint leaders Patrick Summers, who had been music director at HGO since 1998, and Perryn Leech, who joined the company in 2006 and became chief operating officer in 2010. Summers serves as artistic and music director and Leech serves as managing director. Oversight of the HGO Association is provided by a board of directors; a body of trustees also supports the organization. The company presents six to eight productions per season and has a current operating budget of $27 million. Houston Grand Opera performances are held in the Wortham Theater Center, a venue with two performance spaces: the Alice and George Brown Theater and the smaller Roy and Lillie Cullen Theater. Their combined capacity is more than 3,300. However, HGO performed all of its 2017–18 season at the “HGO Resilience Theater,” a temporary space the company created in an exhibit hall at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, after the Wortham Theater Center was closed due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The Wortham Theater Center is scheduled to reopen in September 2018. In 1973–74, Houston Grand Opera began regularly commissioning and producing new works—almost exclusively from American composers—and the company continues to do so. HGO has also staged seven American premieres. The Houston Grand Opera Studio, founded in 1977, was one of the earliest comprehensive young artist training programs in the United States. It provides advanced training and professional opportunities to outstanding young artists, many of whom have gone on to establish international careers. Through its HGOco initiative, HGO partners with educational and community organizations to provide a variety of artistic experiences to the greater Houston area and the Gulf Coast region. Houston Grand Opera is supported by an active auxiliary organization, the Houston Grand Opera Guild, established in October 1955.The company has received a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, and three Emmy Awards, and is the only opera company in the world to win all three honors.