Ars Lyrica Houston has always embraced this inquisitive attitude, in programming that offers a broad mix of dramatic and chamber music from the "Golden Age" of the 17th and 18th centuries, when all music aspired toward the lyric ideal. That trajectory continues during 2018/19 with Out of the Box, a season of six subscription programs celebrates ambition and innovation.
For the best seats and prices, subscribe now and take advantage of early discounts on either a four or six concert subscription.
Ars Lyrica invites patrons aged 21–50 to a deeper connection with the lively Houston arts scene. Members of Ars Lyrica's Young Professionals Society enjoy these benefits:
* Discount (per subscription) is offered for New Year's Eve Dinner, Concert, and Gala tickets purchased separately or as a package
Re-Gifting with Royalty
September 21 - 7:30pm
Leading composers of the Baroque era often repurposed their own works, especially when a royal patron needed a special gift. Bach and Couperin were expert re-gifters: Bach’s “Six Concertos for Diverse Instruments” (as he titled them) were assembled, not composed afresh, for the Margrave of Brandenburg, while Couperin collected his chamber music at regular intervals for the royal seal of approval from Louis XIV. The fifth and sixth “Brandenburg” concertos turned the genre on its head, with an unprecedented harpsichord cadenza (in No. 5) and a violin-free texture of lower strings only (in No. 6). Soloists for this program include violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, flautist Colin St-Martin, harpsichordist and artistic director Matthew Dirst, and soprano Lauren Snouffer.
November 16 - 7:30pm
November 18 - 2:30pm
An instant sensation at its premiere in Venice in 1709, Agrippina established the young Handel’s reputation as a theatrical genius. Its tuneful score, abundant humor, and classic Roman intrigue make for a delightful evening at the opera.
The cast for Ars Lyrica’s production of this early masterpiece includes: Sofia Selowsky, Agrippina; John Holiday, Nero; Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Ottone; Camille Ortiz-Lafont, Poppea; Timothy Jones, Claudio; Tara Faircloth, stage director
December 31 - 9:00pm
Our New Year’s Eve spotlight shines on violinist Adam LaMotte and Ars Lyrica core instrumentalists, as we ring in 2019 with three dazzling concertos. The first and third “Brandenburg” concertos are brilliant ensemble works for strings and winds. Baroque Razzle-Dazzle pairs these works with an equally extravagant violin concerto by Bach’s close contemporary Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello, who served the Württemberg court in Stuttgart.
February 15 - 7:30pm
Need a novel gift for your Valentine? Ars Lyrica offers an out-of-the-box treat: Claudio Monteverdi’s spirited Scherzi musicali (“musical jokes”).
These game-changing publications from 1607 and 1632 gave life to one of the most famous debates in music history: Monteverdi’s experimental style of vocal writing favored the words, whose careful expression justified the occasional compositional impropriety.
Love in all its delicious colors is on the menu, as served up by soprano Dominique McCormick, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte and baritone Brian Schircliff.
San Giovanni Battista
March 30 - 7:30pm
This 1675 oratorio tells the story of the death of John the Baptist with great flair and vivid drama. The prodigiously gifted Italian composer Alessandro Stradella took no prisoners in life or in art: his vocal lines, by turns acrobatic and deeply expressive, resemble his brief but spectacular career. Our cast for this performance, the Houston premiere of San Giovanni Battista, includes counter-tenor Jay Carter in the title role (John the Baptist), soprano Sherezade Panthaki as Herodiade (Salome), and bass-baritone Sam Handley as Herod.
From Brandenburg to Esterházy
May 19 - 6:00pm
Ars Lyrica Houston's 2018/19 season finale travels from Brandenburg to Esterházy, with Bach’s two remaining concertos and a concerto by Franz Joseph Haydn.
The second “Brandenburg” concerto offers the set’s oddest combination of soloists—recorder, oboe, violin, and trumpet—while the fourth is a stealth concerto, ostensibly for violin and two recorders, though the violinist leaves everyone in the dust.
Baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews joins harpsichordist and artistic director Matthew Dirst at center stage, along with Paul Leenhouts (recorder), Kathryn Montoya (Baroque oboe), and Nathaniel Mayfield (natural trumpet).