Ars Lyrica Sets 2014-15 Season: FLYING HIGH, BACH & SONS and More
Ars Lyrica Houston, the Grammy nominated early music ensemble, announces its 2014/15 season, titled The Power of Music, which explores the variety of expression and shows how great music moves us in ways both subtle and profound.
With six distinct programs, Artistic Director Matthew Dirst notes, this is the "biggest season yet" for Ars Lyrica and a "great opportunity for us to share some amazing music with our Houston friends and patrons."
Season highlights include a Handel oratorio, two distinct programs of music by the Bach family, a festive Hispanic-themed New Year's Eve program and gala and the local debuts of several international artists plus return appearances of local favorites. A variety of musical "stories"- of love, tragedy and the strengths of the human spirit - are sure to inspire and entertain. As always, all programs are performed on period instruments in the warm, intimate acoustics of the Hobby Center for the Performing Art's Zilkha Hall.
Ars Lyrica's 2014/15 The Power of Music subscription series at Zilkha Hall begins on September 7 with Flying High, a program dedicated to the spirited and uplifting world of flight. This season, Ars Lyrica pays a season-long tribute to the great Bach dynasty, as it celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel (C.P.E.) Bach, son of Johann Sebastian, with Bach & Sons: At the Café on November 14 and Bach & Sons: At Court on March 28, 2015. Ars Lyrica's annual New Year's Eve celebration at the Hobby Center invites guests to a Spanish Fiesta with ¡Felices Fiestas!, curated by Grammy nominee and plucked string expert Richard Savino.
On February 14, Ars Lyrica features a program of duets from Claudio Monteverdi and cantatas by Vivaldi and Scarlatti during Love Letters, where two rising stars of the opera world return to the Zilkha Hall stage for this special Valentine's Day treat: countertenor John Holiday and mezzo-soprano Ellie Jarrett Shattles. The 2014/15 season finale on May 17 provides abundant vocal and instrumental fireworks, with Alexander's Feast - Or, The Power of Music by G.F. Handel, produced in collaboration with the Bach Society Houston.
Those who purchase season tickets prior to May 31will receive additional perks, including a complimentary ticket to one of the 2014/15 programs and more. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts box office at 713.315.2525.
Another highlight for the season are the releases of two new CDs - Heart and Soul, expressive repertory of Baroque German sacred music for voice and instruments, and La sposa dei Cantici, never-before recorded and which Ars Lyrica premiered as part of their 2014 season. Both recordings will be released during the 2014/15 season.
ARS LYRICA 2014-15 SEASON PERFORMANCE SUMMARY
All performances are at Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Flying High: Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 6 pm
This concert is dedicated to the spirited and uplifting world of flight, from the natural world of the birds and the bees to the mythological figure Icarus, who soared too close to the sun. French and Italian Baroque chamber works animate the program, which features French-Italian soprano Céline Ricci and viola da gambist Mary Springfels in G. F. Handel's evocative Tra le fiamme. Ars Lyrica previews this program at the world-renowned Berkeley Early Music Festival on June 3, 2014.
Bach & Sons: At the Café: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm
This program includes a rarely performed ode by Carl Philipp Emanuel (C.P.E.) Bach, his younger brother Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach's cantata Die Amerikanerin, plus patriarch Sebastian Bach's beloved "Coffee Cantata." Featured artists include soprano Lauren Snouffer, mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko and baritone Mark Diamond. This program will also be given at Cornell University on October 3, 2014 as part of an international conference on the music of C. P. E. Bach.
¡Felices Fiestas!: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 8 pm
Ars Lyrica's annual New Year's Eve gala offers a festive evening of celebration and beautiful music for ringing in 2015. Grammy nominee and plucked string expert Richard Savino curates this holiday-inspired program, which includes Spanish and Latin American Baroque classics that are sure to be magnificos! Soloists include soprano Melissa Givens and mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, as well as a few surprises. Ars Lyrica's annual fundraising gala surrounds the Zilkha Hall program with cocktails and buffet-style dinner of Spanish fare before the concert plus champagne and dessert gala afterward in the Sarofim Hall Grand Lobby.
Love Letters: Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Italians makes everything sound romantic, especially in music! A swoon advisory is thus in effect for a program featuring duets from Claudio Monteverdi and cantatas by Vivaldi and Scarlatti. Two rising stars of the opera world return to the Zilkha Hall stage for this special Valentine's Day treat: countertenor John Holiday and mezzo-soprano Ellie Jarrett Shattles. This program is part of the third annual Houston Early Music Festival, which runs from February 13-15, 2015.
Bach & Sons: At Court: Saturday, March 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Ars Lyrica's season-long tribute to the Bach family continues with an evening of concertos by Johann Sebastian, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian Bach. Baroque violinist extraordinaire Ingrid Matthews (music director, Seattle Baroque Orchestra) returns for this all-instrumental evening featuring Ars Lyrica's core string players and harpsichordist/artistic director Matthew Dirst.
Alexander's Feast - Or, The Power of Music: Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 6 pm
The 2014/15 season finale, which provides abundant vocal and instrumental fireworks, is produced in collaboration with the Bach Society Houston. This remarkable musical tale relates how the rapturous song of a musician named Timotheus aroused and moved Alexander the Great. This rarely heard oratorio makes for a formidable evening of music and story - an event you won't want to miss!