Hi y’all, this month we send The Sound of Music to Houston Grand Opera (HGO) in Houston, Texas. This show is actually a co-production (Co-Pro) with HGO. A co-production is when two different companies come together to share a production of a show, usually with one company taking the lead and making the initial offer.  The initial approach usually involves a pitch of some kind, with potential collaborators on the table and an overall vision already in mind. Each co-production is different, because each company is different, so if one company has better storage space and more capabilities to build the set or costumes, it is up to the individual circumstance to decide who will be doing what. These early stages of negotiation involve the Artistic Director and the Director of Production.

Photo by Karli Cadel of The Sound of Music (2022) at the Glimmerglass Festival

 In some ways co-pros are easier, in that other companies are able to bring up the specific challenges they face prior to the technical design phase. That way, when we are engineering things we know more about what the scenery needs to do, and can set parameters that work for both companies. It also means that sometimes we plan for a scenic element to have the option to operate in a different way. As is the case with The Sound Of Music, you might remember that when we did The Sound Of Music here, three rows of trees flew in from above to create the hills and then a small portion of the first row of trees rolled on.

In Houston, they have more offstage room on stage right than we do. So that first row of trees is designed to be able to fly in or it can be attached to a wagon and the entire row can roll on stage. Co-Pros often call for this sort of multi-function engineering. In fact, one of our popular shows, West Side Story, has 3 different configurations: Short-Shallow, Tall-Shallow, and Tall-Deep, so that it can be scaled to fit a renting venue. 

Photo by Karli Cadel of West Side Story at The Glimmerglass Festival (201
Photo by Karli Cadel of West Side Story at The Glimmerglass Festival (2018)








Co-Pros are very beneficial as they offer a way to split the costs associated with producing production materials for a show. They also allow for a show to spread the magic that we create on our Glimmerglass Festival stage with other companies, and vice versa. Some of our popular Co-Productions include Porgy and Bess with Washington National Opera, The Sound of Music with Houston Grand Opera, La Traviata with Washington National Opera, and West Side Story with Houston Grand Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Most recently, we did a Co-Pro with Washington National Opera in 2023, for our production of Romeo & Juliet.

Photo by Evan Zimmerman of Romeo and Juliet (2023) at The Glimmerglass Festival


The Sound of Music performs April 22nd through May 12th at the Houston Grand Opera. For tickets and more information, visit their website here: https://www.houstongrandopera.org/on-stage/the-sound-of-music

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