PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Houston

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Page 47 of 195

HEARTS 46 G lorious music res- onated throughout the Wyoming wed- ding of internation- ally renowned opera conductor and HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers and attorney Beau Miller. From the strains of Chopin, Mozart, and Debussy to "La Vie en Rose," the celebration was a grand fĂȘte musicale. Mezzo-sopranos Frederica von Stade and Susan Graham, close friends of the Houston duo, shared their talents in the outdoor ceremony that took place at Snake River Ranch just outside of Jackson Hole. Music has been the intermezzo that connected the two from their fi rst meeting six years ago on a Sunday afternoon at a Tex-Mex restaurant. Summers began studying piano at Indiana University at age 13 and to date has conducted nearly 200 operas worldwide as well as numerous world premieres and recordings. Miller, a music education major at LSU (where he was drum major for the storied Tiger band), taught high school music in Austin before earning his law degree at the University of Texas. The couple's online wedding post reveals a playful contradiction to the musical connection. "There will be wedding vows, of course, but the 'real' vows are probably along the lines of, 'Patrick, do you promise to be a loyal Tiger fan' and 'Beau, do you promise to sit through every Wagner opera I conduct?'" Even their engagement on London's Waterloo Bridge had a musical component. Summers was in London on HGO business last year when, thanks to the assist of soprano Joyce DiDonato, Miller surprised him on the bridge that has long fascinated Summers. "I love Waterloo Bridge because from the center you have the site of ancient London, St. Paul's, the House of Commons, the Savoy Hotel, and gardens," Summer says. "So it's one of our favorite places. It was very meaningful that Beau chose that." The couple chose another meaningful destination for their wedding. "The Tetons are a real spirit home for me and Beau," Summers says. At Snake River Ranch, they found the perfect setting: a bridge crossing over Lake Creek with an aspen grove and the snow-tipped Tetons creating a pastoral tableau. Sixty friends joined them on that perfect afternoon in June. Close friends Chris Harris Gwaltney of Indiana and Nancy McGregor Manne of Houston conducted the ceremony that Summers composed. "I just took an afternoon and thought about the things I wanted to say and the readings I wanted to have," he says. "Rumi. The famous Second Corinthians SHELBY HODGE HAS THE SCOOP. PHOTOGRAPHY PRISCILLA DICKSON AND WILSON PARISH. HOUSTON GRAND OPERA'S ARTISTIC AND MUSIC DIRECTOR PATRICK SUMMERS + BEAU MILLER WITH A SONG IN THEIR reading. But I used a pre-King James Bible translation, a translation from the Greek that is very, very beautiful. We also had a Buddhist prayer for the journey of life." With so many opera greats as friends, Summers decided to limit that component of the guest list to the two who have been closest to him throughout his career: von Stade and Graham. A cellist and violinist accompanied as Graham performed an aria from the opera Ariodante by Handel. Von Stade sang "As Time Goes By," arranged by composer Jake Heggie. They performed a duet of "My True Love Hath My Heart" by Heggie, who was among the wedding guests. At the close of the ceremony, guests dropped delphinium petals into the creek as a symbol of going out into the world. "The ceremony was on this bridge, and the only other thing you could hear was the gurgling creek," Summers says. "It was just magical." Several evenings of parties preceded the ceremony, including one musical event that probably should have been recorded. "I played four-hand piano twice at that party, once with Brad Moore of HGO," Summers says. "We played the Mozart C Major Sonata for Four Hands. And with composer Jake Heggie, the Debussy Petite Suite for Four Hands." Graham then took the spotlight to sing the French love song "Ah Chloris" and was joined by Heggie for "La Vie en Rose." Bravo! Beau Miller and Patrick Summers put a fashion spin on the day in bespoke suits by Houston tailor Terry Wayne Jones. Snake River Ranch near Jackson Hole, the site of the wedding of Patrick Summers and Beau Miller

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