Photo: Dario Acosta | Courtesy of Houston Grand Opera
Our My Top 5 series showcases a Houstonian impacting the culture of the city and shaping its culture, asking them to share their favorite things to do in their free time. This week we’re happy to feature opera singer Megan Mikailovna Samarin, a Houston Grand Opera performer appearing in two productions this fall.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Megan Mikailovna Samarin
Houston’s Parks – Houston has so many amazing parks! I love to walk with my puppy, especially in Buffalo Bayou Park, which stretches from Downtown to River Oaks. This park has everything! Although it will be closed for a few months for restoration following Harvey, the massive 2-acre dog park includes great ponds for pups to swim and play in. You can also walk to the Lost Lake and have a coffee and some brunch at The Dunlavy. Catch the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony at sunset, and then make sure to take in views from the expansive bridges to see the downtown lights on the water. If you are looking for a running spot, Memorial Park is a great 3-mile loop that is also beautiful!
The Houston Polo Club – The Houston Polo Club is one of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. It is located on 26 beautifully wooded acres just minutes from the Galleria. The Houston Polo Club is the largest polo club in the United States and is also considered one of the top polo clubs in the world. I grew up riding horses in California so this Houston spot feels particularly like home to me. I believe that everyone should experience how wonderful polo is! It is an inexpensive way to spend some time with your friends and family in a gorgeous, relaxing, and unique environment. For the perfect day, end with a meal at Brasserie 19 or Pass and Provisions.
The Menil Collection – This is one of my favorite museums in Houston. The Menil is a place that I can always count on to be inspiring. The exhibitions are never to be missed; with art by some of my favorite artists, such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Fernand Léger, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Pablo Picasso (the list goes on and on). It is a delightful and engaging place to spend a day browsing around. Make sure to check out the Rothko Chapel and to grab lunch at Pax Americana after – the makings of a lovely weekend.
Cezanne Jazz Club – This is a true Houston gem! The jazz club sits above a lovely British pub called the Black Labrador. It is a very imitate space with a small bar and limited seating, open on Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm until midnight. It is a wonderful space to experience local jazz up close and personal. Cezanne’s is particularly special around the holidays; go to see the decorations, have a warm drink, and get some great music in!
The Rockets – I love the Houston Rockets! My boyfriend surprised me with tickets to a game and I am so glad he did! The games are at the Toyota Center in downtown. Basketball has become one of my favorite sports, very fast-paced, packed with spirit. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped and cheered so hard in my life! I will always be a proud Houston Rockets fan!
About Megan Mikailovna Samarin
Mezzo-Soprano Megan Mikailovna Samarin is featured this fall in two Houston Grand Operaproductions. First she will sing the role of Sesto in Julius Caesar, opening October 27 at the Resilience Theatre in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Then she is Carla Mae in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The House Without a Christmas Tree. She’s a 2017 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition Second Place winner, and performed at Carnegie Hall for the Gerda Lissner Foundation Winners Concert. She was also a finalist in HGO’s Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias. Ms. Samarin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and the Houston Grand Opera Studio, she is also a fellowship recipient of the Aspen Music Festival.