Kathy Manley of Hunters Creek Lives and Breathes Music

Kathy Manley.

Hunters Creek resident Kathy Manley doesn’t just like music. It’s in her blood. It helps define who she is. Manley is in her 26th season as a member of the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) Chorus, one of the three pillars of the company’s permanent foundation, along with the HGO Orchestra and HGO Studio. She has sung in around 75 productions and just finished with Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, presented as part of HGO’s winter repertory, describing it as “beautiful, exciting and uplifting.”

The HGO Chorus, which was created at the same time as HGO itself in 1955, has become one of the world’s most acclaimed opera choruses under the direction of esteemed Chorus Master Richard Bado. There are typically about 85 members of the HGO chorus, and auditions are held every year with around 50 new people trying out. Chorus members are integral to HGO, and like Manley, are each artists in their own right.

Manley’s connection to HGO began in high school after she attended her first opera, Anna Bolena, which she found “mesmerizing.” Upon graduation from Stephen F. Austin State University with a vocal degree, she auditioned for the HGO Chorus in 1991 and began singing that same year in La Clemenza di Tito. She also performed for eight years with Opera to Go!, part of Houston Grand Opera’s education and outreach program.

Manley’s passion for music began early on. One of six children in a musical family, Manley and her siblings all played musical instruments and sang, with her focus being on the guitar. This carried over into church as a youth, then later on in college, where Manley performed in musicals. She is a music teacher for the Upper School at Duchesne Academy, serves as a cantor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church and is the mother of three children: Allyson, Jackie and Jacob.

“Music defines who I am,” said Manley. “I feel so fortunate to pursue music in my vocation and as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus. Being a part of this world-class organization, the experiences and friendships I’ve gained are invaluable.”