REFLECTION AND REVOLUTION: Music Brings Goya's Art to Life

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REFLECTION AND REVOLUTION: Music Brings Goya's Art to Life

Ars Lyrica, the Grammy-nominated early
music ensemble, adds depth and dimension to the artwork of Goya with an engaging concert
experience on February 22nd at 7:30 pm at the Hobby Center. Richard Savino, Grammy-nominated guest director and expert in Spanish Baroque music, joins with members of the Ars Lyrica orchestra to create a biographical portrait with the vivid colors of guitars, singers, and percussion. Rather than performing complete works, this unique program features selected movements from the major composers living in Spain during Goya's lifetime, chosen according to their ability to communicate the affect of the periods of the artist's life.

Savino's passion for combining art and music was ignited while visiting Rome. After waiting hours in scorching heat with thousands of other art lovers to see a Caravaggio exhibit, he attended a half-empty concert hall of music from the same period. "We have become such a visual society! If music is going to have any chance, we have to integrate it with the greatest art of the time that reflects the same aesthetic." It was from that point on that he set out to develop programs integrating multi-media with music and art.

Like Goya's vast and diverse output of work, the music from this period is also a colorful tapestry of traditions and instrumentation. Spain was and still is a melting pot of influences from Europe, North Africa, India, and Roma culture. Its exotic allure drew visitors from all over Europe, and yet the music of the Iberian Peninsula is rarely heard today. Severe censorship precluded the spread of written music, which created a strong aural tradition dominated by improvisation and styles like Flamenco. From patriotic songs to poetic villancicos, this music reflects every aspect of life in 18th century Spain with an unforgettable sonority.

Bringing this music to life will be local star and mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte as well as guest violinist Adam LaMotte. Of special interest are the theorbo and Baroque guitar which were recently commissioned by Ars Lyrica from builder Mel Wong. These continuo team instruments were underwritten and built in order to allow more artists to perform with the orchestra. Travelling with such delicate and nonconforming parcels often prohibits musicians from sharing their talents with live audiences.

Tickets are on sale at or call the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 713.315.2525 (Press 4 for Ars Lyrica Houston). For more information on our Young Professionals Society and other exclusive event opportunities, visit or contact their events coordinator at

Founded in 1998 by harpsichordist and conductor Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston presents a diverse array of music in its original context while creating connections to contemporary life. Intelligent programming features neglected gems alongside familiar masterworks, and extracts the dramatic potential, emotional resonance, and expressive power of music. Its local subscription series, according to the Houston Chronicle, "sets the agenda" for early music in Houston. Ars Lyrica appears regularly at international festivals and conferences because of its distinctive focus. Its pioneering efforts in the field of authentic performance have won international acclaim.

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