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Da Camera Launches 2019–20 Season With BON APPETIT! September 21

Da Camera of Houston's 2019-20 season launches with Bon Appetit!, an evening of surrealist and culinary musical delights, at the Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center on Saturday, September 21 at 7 p.m. The first of several Da Camera performances this season to prominently feature talented women, the concert is titled after composer Lee Hoiby's comedic operatic take on Julia Child's 1970s television show, with soprano Abigail Fischer as the beloved chef. The program also features the renowned Imani Winds performing Maurice Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin and acclaimed American vocalist Ryan McKinny in his Da Camera debut performing Francis Poulenc's delightfully absurd Le bal masque.

Formed more than 20 years ago, the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds (Monica Ellis, bassoon; Jeff Scott, French horn; Mark Dover, clarinet; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; and Brandon Patrick George, flute) has created a distinct presence in the classical music world through their dynamic playing, culturally relevant programming, virtuosic collaborations and inspirational outreach programs. The quintet's performance of Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, a light-hearted, reflective work that imitates a Baroque dance suite, will set the tone for the fun and festive evening.

Bass baritone Ryan McKinny has been praised for his elegant, articulate and lyrical vocalism. He performed the titular role of Don Giovanni in the Houston Grand Opera's April 2019 production, and returns to Houston this fall to perform Le bal masque. Poulenc's pointed, rhythmic cantata was written as a carnival to texts by the surrealist poet Max Jacob.

Acclaimed concert soloist Abigail Fischer concludes the evening with her portrayal of Julia Child in Bon Appetit!, Hoiby's one-woman, one-act opera adapted from an episode of Child's "The French Chef." Fischer, who has a dramatic stage presence and captivating soprano voice, will bake a chocolate cake onstage in this witty performance.

Da Camera's chamber music series continues with Italian Themes: Quartetto di Cremona on Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22, and A Woman's Life: The Diary of Virginia Woolf on Saturday, November 9.

Tickets for Bon Appetit! start at $37.50 and will go on sale Monday, August 12. Tickets are available by contacting Da Camera, 1402 Sul Ross, at 713-524-5050 or online at Tickets for students and senior citizens are always half-price. $5 student rush tickets are available 30 minutes before the concert begins.

About Da Camera Da Camera's mission is to produce and present concert experiences with a commitment to quality and innovation that broadens the audience for chamber music and jazz. From its founding, Da Camera's varied programming has consisted of chamber music in its broadest definition including both classical music and jazz, bringing highly acclaimed local, national and International Artists together in inspiring productions. Da Camera's programs were among the first in the nation to connect music to literature, theater and visual art, and to use video in multimedia concert productions. Among the first to incorporate jazz into a classical chamber music series, Da Camera is now recognized as the leading jazz presenter in the region.

Committed to the creation of new work, Da Camera has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works in 30 years, many of which continue to be performed around the world by leading musicians. Da Camera has received numerous national awards for its creative programming concepts, and its original productions have been hailed in national press as "trendsetting" (Time Out New York), showing "unusual care and intelligence" (New York Times) and for their "ingenious thematic idea... brilliantly used" (The Washington Post). The Houston Chronicle describes Da Camera as, "a Houston gem."

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