This years gala will feature an once-in-a-lifetime artistic performance with ballet, opera and art. A fully immigrant cast will tell the “immigrant story”.
Karina González is a native of Caracas, Venezuela and a silver medal winner of the New York International Ballet Competition in 2007. She trained at the Gustavo Franklin Ballet School in Caracas, Venezuela and has danced professionally with Ballet National of Caracas and Tulsa Ballet, where she reached the rank of principal in 2007. Ms. González joined Houston Ballet as a soloist in 2010, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2013. She has danced principal roles by the world’s foremost choreographers, including Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty. Andre Prokovsy’s The Great Gatsby; John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrews (Kate); Ai-Gul Gaisina’s staging of Giselle; George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Serenade, and Emeralds. Sir Kenneth McMillan’s Elite Syncopations; Nacho Duato’s Por vos Muero, Remansos and Gnawa; Jirí Kylián’s Forgotten Land, Petite Morte and Falling Angels. Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and The Brahms-Hayden Variations. Stanton Welch’s Bruiser, Maninyas, Tu Tu, The Core, Indigo, Divergence, Clear and Tapestry. Christopher Bruce’s Rooster; William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Jerome Robbin’s In the Night and Jorma Elo’s ONE/end/ONE.
González has been a guest artist at the Gala International Colombia (2006) and at the New York International Ballet Competition’s Gala (2009). Ms. González has also guested with Ballet Estable del Teatro Colon in Argentina, performing the role of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. In 2011, she participated in the Career Transition For Dancers’ 26th Anniversary Jubilee in New York City, New York and The Festival de Danza Cordoba in Mexico. In the summer of 2012, Ms. González performed in the International Ballet Gala in Malaysia and was invited as a guest artist with Michele Wiles and Charles Askegard’s up and coming company Ballet Next at the Joyce Theater in NYC.
Ms. González has been featured on the cover of Pointe Magazine’s February/March 2008 issue, Dance Magazine’sNovember 2011 edition and A+C Houston Magazine’s November 2011 edition.
Ms. Gonzálezwas promoted to principal dancer in February 2013 following her performance as Nikiya in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere.
Mexican bass Daniel Noyola is a current member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. His honors include first prize in the 2015 Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota; third place in the 2016 Meistersinger Vocal Competition in Graz, Austria; and an encouragement award at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions New England regionals, among many others. In HGO’s 2018-19 season, Mr. Noyola performed Masetto in Don Giovanni and Colline in alternate-cast performances of La Bohème. He returns to HGO in the 2019-20 season as Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Laurentino in the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering, and First Soldier in Salome. Other performance credits include the title roles in Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Colas in Bastien und Bastienne, Papageno in The Magic Flute and Mustafà in The Italian Girl in Algiers. In summer 2019, he joined Wolf Trap Opera as the Loudspeaker in Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Scapin in L’île de Merlin before traveling to Prague as a finalist in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition.
Painting is what I’ve done since I was 10 in El Salvador under the tutelage ofVioleta Bonilla, student of Diego Rivera. Settled every Saturday morning in her modest house and ravine on the San Salvador Volcano, I had the privilege of her Diego stories, her deep understanding of art, and caring mentorship. I still cherish painting outdoors, which I do often, and the intimate stories about Diego, which haven’t yet made it into the history books.
Growing up in a country with poverty that envelops, with religion that defines, and with society that imposes, I worked hard to earn the privilege to go to University in the United States, where I could question, learn, explore and redefine. Vassar College Art History and New York City were my first stop, followed by Rice University Architecture and Art and Houston. I found no upper limits.
New York City, San Francisco, San Antonio and Houston became home, and my creativity went into designing sustainable spaces for people. Clean lines, elegant solutions, geometry, and tight constraints were the constructs of my design. Art is my freedom.
The ancient knowledge of my Maya Pipil ancestors about living in balance with nature, being part of a larger universe, and deep time that bridges humanity past, present and future is what I think, and what I am. Human migration and the essence of what connects us all is what I paint. My spirituality defines me; my children’s courage inspires me.
The joy of creating is a privilege.
BEACONS OF LIGHT
Magali Suárez Candler
Dr. Himesh Lakhlani
Ruby Lichte Powers
Anuj A. Shah
Dr. Behyar Zoghi, MD, PhD, FACP
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