Aspects of production may also prove pivotal: a composer’s defining work, for example, or an innovation that brings new vitality to a community, an organization, or an entire industry. Turning points of various kinds permeate our 2020/21 season programming, which mixes drama with sentiment, diverse cultures with beloved classics. A new chamber opera that uses old instruments and a period-style production of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas bookend this exciting season.
In addition to our annual subscription series at the Hobby Center, we introduce a beautiful new location for selected concerts: Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts. With its ornate ballroom, gorgeous art, and lush gardens, Rienzi provides a perfect environment for intimate performances on period instruments. Two distinct Rienzi programs offer subscribers an up-close and personal experience in an exclusive venue.
For the best seats and prices, subscribe now and take advantage of early discounts on either a four or six concert subscription.
Baroque and More! is Ars Lyrica's social networking experience that inspires creativity, discovery and ah-ha moments in the company of fellow listeners aged 21-45. Enjoy unique events and experiences designed for today's engaged Houstonian. Connect with artists and special guests in intimate, on-stage meet-and-greets and backstage tours, join friends for a drink after concerts, and more! Choose three of five Zilkha Hall performances, but keep in mind that we've put together special, curated BAM! events for October 24, December 13 and May 15
Eternity and the Underworld
September 25 - 7:30pm
In this program of dichotomies, period instruments explore their past and modern voices in works that express the pangs of unfulfilled dreams against the promise of eternal peace. Bach’s meditation on death in Cantata 82 proposes that eternity is a better place than our world. One of his best-known vehicles for solo voice, this cantata also blends the melancholy sound of the Baroque oboe with accompanying strings, to magical effect.
Bach, Handel and Hercules
October 24 - 7:30pm
The iconic strongman Hercules earned his place in the pantheon not through conquests but rather for his wisdom and honor. A pillar of mythology since Antiquity, Hercules faces a familiar dilemma, one that found significant resonance in Bach and Handel’s day, when ancient stories were a principal source of moral instruction. Both composers treat this subject with multiple soloists, choir, and colorful orchestrations, though they depict Hercules’ temptation and ultimate embrace of virtue in their own unique manner.
December 13 - 2:00pm
Crossing Borders explores a crucial moment in the musical history of the New World: when European musical traditions began to mingle with traditional folk music practices. This festive program includes poetic and colorful songs for voices and ensemble plus instrumental works drawn from the rich repertoire of 17th - and 18th-century colonial and Latin American cultures. Featuring musical selections by Roque Ceruti, José Duran, Antonio de Salazar, Manuel Joseph Quiroz, and Sebastián Duron.
March 12 - 7:30pm
Certain iconic works define the reputations of their creators. Others provide rare glimpses into the aesthetic of minor masters who might otherwise remain forgotten. Ars Lyrica’s program of Signature Works includes one of classical music’s all-time favorites plus a gloriously operatic setting of the Stabat Mater. The extraordinary power of Pergolesi’s setting of this ancient hymn to the Virgin Mary, which details her lament at the cross, made audiences weep. A Little Night Music, by contrast, is Mozart’s most cheerful serenade.
Dido and Aeneas
May 15 - 6:00pm
May 16 - 2:30pm
Universal stories often revolve around impossible choices between love and duty, hatred and desire, will and destiny. The consequences of such turning points are both beautiful and tragic in opera especially. To close this season of “Turning Points,” Ars Lyrica presents Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, a miracle of operatic economy that tells a transcendent story of love and loss. This new production offers graceful period dancing, memorable choruses, and at its center a noble heroine who loves too well. Join us for a vivid collaboration with The New York Baroque Dance Company in this ultimate reflection on the consequences of our choices.