Houston Grand Opera Managing Director Perryn Leech and Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers have issued the first assessment of flood damage to the theaters at the Wortham Center. Here’s what they report:
The Wortham had water penetration into the front of house areas at a low level due to high water; that water has now receded and left residual dirt. In the back of house, water surged over the storm defense and some water went onto the Brown Theater stage. This was at a low level but has resulted in damage to the surface of the stage.
The Cullen Theater stage has little water damage and the dressing room corridor had water, but also at a low level. The basement of the building is completely full of flood water. We want to thank Houston First, Theater District Inc. engineers, and Andy Frank Security for their great work in protecting the building from even worse damage. The Theater District garage is completely flooded and will undoubtedly be closed for some time for repairs and cleanup.
Fortunately, HGO staff members had the foresight to move valuable instruments and many costumes, including those for our opening productions of La traviata and Julius Caesar, to higher floors in advance of the storm. Houston Grand Opera will be out of our offices until after Labor Day. Our website remains down.
Houston theater district (c) Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune
The following internal assessment was sent to company members:
Dear members of the Company,
Our great city and region is continuing to suffer from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and we know that we are facing a long recovery together. We’ve heard from many of you through various channels, but keep those updates coming so we know you are safe.
To update you on the state of the Wortham Theater Center and Theater District garage: the basement of the Wortham is completely flooded and it will take a long time to restore. HGO staff members had the foresight to move valuable instruments and many costumes, including those for our opening productions of La traviata and Julius Caesar to higher floors in advance of the storm.
The water damage to the stage of the Brown Theater appears to be superficial and can be repaired. There is no damage to the main lobby, though both the Texas Street and Prairie Street entrances did take water and will need time to be restored. The auditorium of the Brown and Cullen theaters took some water, which has now receded and left residual dirt. The damage there is relatively light.
The Theater District garage is completely flooded and will undoubtedly be closed for some time for repairs and cleanup.
We will be out of our offices until after Labor Day and we will update you as soon as we know anything.
Please continue to keep in regular contact with your line managers, but also feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions or concerns.
We are a company, and we are here for each other. We will recover and deliver a fantastic season to our patrons, giving them the art they need to heal from this calamity. And the only future water we want coming across our stage is that of the Rhine!
Perryn and Patrick
Wortham flooding (c) ABC News