Musical Flavors of Argentina, Germany, Italy, England, and More Abound in Mercury's 2017-18 Season
Mercury Artistic Director Antoine Plante and Executive Director Brian Ritter announced the orchestra's seventeenth season today.
Beginning August 31, 2017, and featuring a vibrant mix of composers from various countries and a diverse range of works, the 2017-18 season offers something for music lovers of all ages.
Piazzolla's mesmerizing Libertango, a multi-media infused Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, traditional English Carols, Corelli's joyful Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 4, Bach's beloved St. Matthew Passion, and an original staged performance focusing on the life and works of Clara Wieck Schumann are just a few of the incredible works that will be performed.
Houston's premiere period instrument ensemble continues to perform in top venues around the city. Through its flagship seven concert Downtown Series at The Wortham Center, free community concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL) concert series, and the multi-venue Neighborhood Series at the Museum of Fine Arts, MATCH, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, and Dosey Doe in The Woodlands, Mercury continues to be accessible to its ever-growing audience.
Artists appearing with Mercury this season include violist James Dunham; sopranosDominique Labelle, Hannah Lu, Lauren Snouffer and Mary Wilson; mezzo-sopranos Meg Bragle and Cecilia Duarte; countertenor Daniel Taylor; tenors Derek Chester, Nicholas Phan, and Eduardo Tercero; basses Mark Diamond, Michael Kessler, and Michael Sumuel; directors Tara Faircloth, Carole Nelson, and Betsy Cook Weber; the Houston Boy Choir; Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Ensemble; Luna Tango; and Tango Boreal. Mercury's concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey also appears as soloist.
The ensemble also continues its collaboration with the world-renowned Juilliard School, introducing Houston to the next generation of great period performance musicians through its Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship. Joining Mercury this season will be cellist Keiran Campbell,and violinist Augusta McKay Lodge.
Season tickets go on sale August 14 at tickets.mercuryhouston.org.
BACH & PIAZZOLLA
Mercury says goodbye to summer and welcomes the coming 2017-18 season with two concerts. Revel in the experience of Bach's gripping and romantic Die Kunst der Fuge; exciting, soulful, and passionate music from the master of Tango followed by two compelling works from renowned contemporary Canadian composer Denis Plante. Antoine Plante conducts.
8 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2017, UHCL, 2700 Bay Area Blvd.
8 p.m. Saturday, September 2, 2017, Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. (This performance is free.)
BRAHMS & MENDELSSOHN
One great evening, two amazing works -Mendelssohn's tempestuous and triumphant Symphony No. 5 and Brahms' cheerful Second Symphony. Antoine Plante conducts.
8 p.m. Saturday, October 7, 2017, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-show lecture, location TBD.)
HAYDN & MOZART
Haydn's best-known symphony, No. 22 and his dark-hued No. 49, share the stage with Mozart's only complete surviving work in the Sinfonia concertante genre. Jonathan Godfrey, violin; James Dunham, viola; and Antoine Plante, conductor.
8 p.m. November 18, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture 7:15 PM, location TBA.)
CORELLI'S CHRISTMAS CONCERTO
Celebrate the season of Christmas with Corelli's Christmas Concerto, Haydn's Christmas Symphony, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and selections from Mozart. Soprano Lauren Snouffer performs. Antoine Plante conducts.
Corelli's Christmas Concerto performance is 8 p.m. December 9, 2017. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture, location TBA.)
LOVING CLARA SCHUMANN
Be sure to get your tickets for this scintillating staged performance around the life and works of Clara Wieck Schumann and her relationships with Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Features Tara Faircloth, director, and Antoine Plante, conductor. Soloists TBA.
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture, location TBA.)
HANDEL & PERGOLESI
Lose yourself in an incandescent journey through a beloved selection of operatic flavored emotional works by two Baroque masters, culminating with one of the most popular of all settings of the Stabat Mater. Joining Mercury are two internationally renowned interpreters of Baroque music, Canadians soprano Dominique Labelle and countertenor Daniel Taylor. Features Dominique Labelle, soprano; Daniel Taylor, countertenor; and Antoine Plante, conductor.
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture, location TBA.)
BACH'S ST. MATTHEW PASSION
One of the greatest pieces of inspirational sacred music ever written. Joining Mercury in the performance of Bach's magnificent work are celebrated Houston-based director Betsy Cook Weber, five acclaimed singers, and members of the Houston Symphony Chorus. Features Nicholas Phan, tenor - Evangelist; Mary Wilson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Derek Chester, tenor; Michael Sumuel, bass; Houston Boy Choir; Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Ensemble; Betsy Cook Weber, director; and Antoine Plante, conductor.
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture, location TBA.)
VIVALDI'S FOUR SEASONS
Director and creator of two Mercury audience favorites, Bach and Piazzolla (2016) and The Crimson Prince (2015), Denis Plante returns with a new concert. Mercury presents an exciting, multi-media concert featuring two incredible works by Vivaldi and Purcell. Come be transported to a whimsical world of fairies and magic! Created by Denis Plante and Antoine Plante. Antoine Plante conducts.
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert lecture, location TBA.)
BACH & MENDELSSOHN
Enjoy an uplifting evening with Mendelssohn's youthful Octet, and two works by one of the most important composers of all time.
Performance dates, times, and locations:
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 2:30 PM
MATCH, Midtown Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 8:00 PM
AN ENGLISH BAROQUE CHRISTMAS
Join in the spirit of the season with Mercury's An English Baroque Christmas. Features TAVERNER Motets, TALLIS Motets, PURCELL Songs, Hymns, Fantasias and Sonatas, DOWLAND Songs, and TRADITIONAL English Carols.
Performed by Hannah Lu, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; and Eduardo Tercero, tenor. Bass performer to be announced. Antoine Plante conducts.
Performance dates, times, and locations:
MATCH, Midtown Thursday, November 30, 2017, 8:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, December 2, 2017, 2:30 PM
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, December 2, 2017, 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, December 3, 2017, 7:00 PM
SPLENDORS OF ITALIAN BAROQUE
Vivaldi, Locatelli, Corelli, Sammartini! (Need we say more?) Features Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Violins and Cello, Op. 3, No. 11, RV 565; Locatelli: Concerto Grosso, "The Tears of Ariadne"; Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 4; Vivaldi: Concerto for Cello, RV 407; and SAMMARTINI: Concerto Grosso, Op.11, No. 5. Antoine Plante conducts.
Performance dates, times, and locations:
MATCH, Midtown, Thursday, April 12, 2018, 8:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, April 14, 2018, 2:30 PM
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, April 14, 2018, 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, April 15, 2018, 7:00 PM
Innovation, accessibility and dynamism are just three of the distinguishing characteristics of Mercury, the critically acclaimed Houston-based period instrument ensemble that continues to redefine the orchestra experience. Now in its 17th season, Mercury celebrates the power of music - from the Baroque period and more - serving the Houston community and beyond through teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Antoine Plante and three friends in 2000 with the goal to enrich and entertain Houston audiences with an exciting repertoire of Baroque music performed on period instruments, the ensemble gradually expanded its vision to offer fresh, original performances of a broader repertoire and integrated multi-media, unique dance, costume and narrative elements into its programs. In 2013, the ensemble re-branded itself.
In addition to performances in multiple venues throughout the Houston area, including its flagship series at Wortham Center's Cullen Theater, Mercury continues to invest in the community. It offers free community performances annually, including the community concert at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, and the public concerts in the Crain Garden at Houston Methodist Hospital. Recognized for its award-winning education outreach programs comprising classroom music education and performances in Houston area schools, Mercury also presents master classes for school orchestras. Active in the recording scene, to date, Mercury has released eight albums on its own label, featuring works by Corelli, Mozart, Schubert, Rameau, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and Handel.
Mercury continues its new collaboration with The Juilliard School's Historical Performance Program for the second year. The Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship initiative encourages the development of talented young instrumentalists and fosters a strong relationship between two major players in America's period instrument performance scene, as well as introducing Houston audiences to the next generation of great period performance musicians.
Additional information on Mercury, its events and concerts, directions to the venues, and to learn more about its recordings, please mercuryhouston.org.