The Moores Opera Center was founded by director Buck Ross in 1986. Then called the University Opera Theatre, it began with a production of Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All produced in Dudley Recital Hall with costumes, a few props, and a piano. The following year brought a complete season of three fully produced operas in various performing spaces around campus. While waiting for Cullen Performance Hall to be renovated, the School of Theatre generously shared their theatres with us. Through the generosity of patron Edythe Bates Old, an endowment was set up that now provides approximately 35% of our funding. For several seasons we were invited by the City of Houston to produce operas at Miller Outdoor Theatre and two tours went to the Galveston Opera House. With the opening of the Moores Opera House in 1997, the name was changed to the Edythe Bates Old Moores Opera Center. That season included our first production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, which put us on the national opera radar. Since then notable contemporary productions have included Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire and Casanova’s Homecoming (released on the Newport Classic label), Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Theofandis’ The Thirteen Clocks, Robert Nelson’s A Room with a View (released on DVD by Newport Classic), and Jonathan Dove’s Flight. More recent seasons have included William Bolcom’s A Wedding and a new second production of The Ghosts of Versailles. This season we will be the first university to produce Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath and only the second to produce Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Other memorable Houston premieres included Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Barber’s Vanessa, Massenet’s Chérubin, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, and Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.