Enjoy three great performances by Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in May. Patrons can delight in Houston Ballet’s “Madame Butterfly” May 3, the Houston Symphony’s Maestro Graf’s Farewell Concert May 10 and Houston Grand Opera May 24 for “La bohème.” Tickets for the ballet and opera are $20 for orchestra seating. Tickets to the symphony are $15 for orchestra seating. Mezzanine and lawn seating at the ballet are free courtesy of The Wortham Foundation, George P. Mitchell and Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and at the symphony and opera are courtesy of The Wortham Foundation. All performances start at 8 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m.

At Houston Ballet’s performance a love that knows no boundaries goes horribly wrong in a fateful meeting of a Japanese geisha and an American naval lieutenant. What begins as an idyllic liaison turns into the heartbreaking tragedy of an abandoned bride forced to make an excruciating decision. “Madame Butterfly” chronicles the story of beautiful Cio-Cio San Butterfly, who renounces her faith and her family when she marries the handsome Lieutenant Pinkerton. Pinkerton is actually betrothed to an American woman and has no intention of staying married to Butterfly. Although she believes he will return, instead his American wife comes to claim Butterfly and Pinkerton’s son to raise him as her own. The story ends with Butterfly realizing the truth and tragedy ensues. “Madame Butterfly” is a stunning achievement in neoclassical ballet that has been an international success, with performances on three continents. Before the performance of “Madame Butterfly”, enjoy two stunning short classical showpieces of the virtuosity and skill of Houston Ballet’s dancers. These pieces include the duet from the 19th century classic Flower Festival Genzano and the wedding pas de deux for Aurora and her prince from the beloved Sleeping Beauty.

Celebrate Hans Graf’s farewell season at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion May 10 at 8 p.m. for Maestro Graf’s Farewell Concert. The beloved maestro steps onto The Pavilion’s stage for the last time as Music Director of the Houston Symphony. The Symphony’s 2012-13 season is Graf’s grand finale after 12 years at the helm of this world-renowned orchestra. The symphony performs Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to “Euryanthe,” Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” Special guest, Janina Fialkawska, joins the symphony on piano. Join us before the concert in the North Plaza for “A Toast to the Maestro,” a free wine tasting event provided by Hubbell & Hudson.

An impetuous love, the romance of Paris, and the pain of regret all unfold in Houston Grand Opera’s “La bohème.” Returning to The Pavilion’s stage after eight years is the story of Rodolfo and Mimi who meet by chance in the poet’s atelier and fall immediately in love. Mimi joins his group of impoverished, generous friends. They weather break-ups and inevitable reunions, but their love proves fragile as the light of a single candle when they confront the harsh realities of bohemian life. Four of the most talented young singers in America, all Houston Grand Opera Studio members or alumni, perform in this special presentation, along with Houston Grand Opera’s renowned chorus and orchestra.

Pre-concert activities for all three events begin at 7 p.m. in the North Plaza sponsored by Fidelity Investments, Renewal by Andersen and Century 21 Realty Partners. Activities by The Pavilion Partners and Woodforest National Bank also are included. Guests can register-to-win Tommy Bahama’s “Best Seats in the House,” which includes dinner for four at the next performing arts event and participate in Fidelity’s Seat Exchange. At the symphony and opera get insight into the evening’s program with Pavilion Talk, a free pre-concert discussion led by noted music scholar and former college professor Ira J. Black from 7:15- 7:45 p.m. in the North Plaza.

At all symphonies, guests are welcome to have a picnic in their seat or on the hill. Keep in mind that beverages cannot be brought into The Pavilion. Sitting on the hill? Lawn chairs also are provided free for this event! 

Preferred parking is available in the on-site Town Center Garage, located along Six Pines Drive.  Parking is $5 per vehicle for this and most performing arts events. Tickets for on-site parking can be purchased in advance at all Ticketmaster locations and The Pavilion Box Office. Guests also may park in any of the five free parking lots on the southwest side of The Pavilion. The free, color-coded lots are connected to The Pavilion by corresponding pathways with signs leading across The Waterway.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's 2013 Performing Arts Season is presented by The Woodlands Development Company and sponsored by Audi of America, official automobile of The Pavilion, The Pavilion Partners, The Wortham Foundation and United Airlines, official airline of The Pavilion. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion acknowledges the financial support of The Woodlands Township that is generated by the Event Admissions Tax for its performing arts and educational outreach programs.

If you would like more information about The Pavilion, please visit www.woodlandscenter.org or look for The Pavilion on Facebook or Twitter

# # #

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is part of The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides diverse, high-quality performing arts events for the entertainment and enrichment of a broad regional audience. Through numerous educational and community outreach programs, The Center is a catalyst for attracting new audiences to the performing arts and building strong ties between the arts and educational institutions.

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan