Vinkensport at Houston Grand Opera

Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, a one-act comic opera by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, premiered in 2010 at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Vinkensport, or “finch-sitting,” pits contestants—called “chaffinches”—against one another to see who has the most melodious bird. When a bird makes a proper call (a “susk-e-wiet”), its owner receives a tally mark. The competitor with the most points wins. The sport can be traced back to as early as the 1500s.

In a Houston Grand Opera’s digital production, in association with Austin Opera, Ryan McKinny co-directs and stars in Vinkensport, alongside Alicia Gianni, Kelly Markgraf, Elena Villalón, Ricardo Garcia, Nicole Heaston and Richard Bado.

Watch it now on Marquee TV.


“Vinkensport is billed as comic opera, but there’s so much more to it, thanks to the stunning co-direction from bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and E. Loren Meeker. Visually, it’s a treat, a real movie.”

Houston Press