Orlando Consort to Perform at Hobby Center, 2/11

Acclaimed British male vocal quartet the Orlando Consort will bring its 25th-anniversary program "Forward to the Past: 25 Years of the Orlando Consort" to the Houston Early Music series, presenting a concert of medieval and early-Renaissance music at Zilkha Hall in The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m.

"Rather than regarding medieval and Renaissance music as something old and dusty, we find so much of what we encounter to be invigorating, refreshing and surprising," said Orlando Consort founding member AnGus Smith. "Our approach is to treat it as 'new' music, and we are sure much of it will be new for audiences."

The first half of the concert will consist of the chansons from Guillaume de Machaut's masterful narrative poem "Le Voir Dit" (The True Story), written between 1363 and 1365. This poem purports to tell the true story of the elderly and infirm Machaut's relationship with a beautiful young noblewoman named Peronne. The satirical work unfolds through a series of lyrics and letters supposedly exchanged between the two lovers and mocks the medieval tradition of courtly literature.

In the second half of the concert, the Consort will celebrate the singer-composers of the 15th century, music the group has formed an especially close bond with over the years. Featured will be sacred works by Dunstaple, Ockeghem, Compère, Josquin, Dufay and others.

In addition to tenor Smith, the Consort includes alto Matthew Venner, tenor Mark Dobell and baritone Donald Greig. They comprise one of Britain's most sought-after chamber ensembles, combining entertainment and fresh scholarly insight in imaginative and original programs marked by superb vocal skills.

The Orlando Consort will present "Forward to the Past: 25 Years of the Orlando Consort" on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. at Zilkha Hall in The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St., Houston, Texas 77002. A pre-concert talk with ensemble members will begin at 6:45 p.m.

The concert is part of the Houston Early Music Festival, which will take place at venues across the city from February 8-16, 2014. Joining Houston Early Music in the festival are Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Society Houston and Mercury - The Orchestra Redefined.

General admission tickets for "Forward to the Past: 25 Years of The Orlando Consort" are available for $40; seniors $35; and students with valid student ID cards $20. Tickets are available at the box office of The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, thehobbycenter.org/.




More On: Hobby Center, Renaissance, Gus Smith, Mercury, The Orchestra,

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