Patrick Summers currently holds the Margaret Alkek Williams Chairs and was named artistic and music director of HGO in 2011 after having served as the company's music director since 1998. He has been responsible for many of HGO's important artistic advances, including the development of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, regularly praised by critics as a world-class ensemble. At HGO, he has conducted world premieres (André Previn'sBrief Encounter, Christopher Theofanidis's The Refuge, Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair andThree Decembers, and Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree) and works that span the operatic canon, including Verdi's Don Carlos, La traviata,Nabucco, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, Falstaff, and A Masked Ball; Puccini's La bohème, Madame Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, and Tosca; Mozart's Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Idomeneo; Donizetti's Mary Stuart, The Elixir of Love, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Don Pasquale; Lehár's The Merry Widow; Handel's Julius Caesar; Rossini's The Barber of Seville; Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos; Britten's Billy Budd, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Turn of the Screw, and Peter Grimes; and Wagner's Lohengrin.
He has enjoyed longstanding relationships with the Metropolitan Opera, where he has conducted regularly since 1998; with San Francisco Opera, where he has been principal guest conductor since 1999; and with Opera Australia. Engagements for the 2012-13 season include Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick with San Francisco Opera, the Richard Tucker Gala at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, a U.S. tour with the Russian National Orchestra and solo pianist Daniil Trifonov, a Carnegie Hall performance of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with Renée Fleming, and The Magic Flute at the Bregenz Festival. For Houston Grand Opera, he conducts Show Boat, Tristan and Isolde, and Il trovatore.