As part of our annual subscription series, Ars Lyrica will have concerts at the Hobby Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts.
For the best seats and prices, subscribe now and take full advantage of early discounts and perks.
Bach, Handel and Hercules
September 24 - 7:30pm
Ars Lyrica returns to the Hobby Center with a morality tale set to music by both Bach and Handel. The iconic strongman Hercules earned his place in the pantheon not through conquests but rather for his wisdom and honor. Hercules faces a familiar dilemma, one that found significant resonance in the Baroque era, when ancient stories were a principal source of moral instruction. Both composers treat Hercules’ temptation and ultimate embrace of virtue with ravishing arias and grand ensembles.
Eternity and the Underworld
November 13 - 7:30pm
Bach’s meditation on death in Cantata 82 depicts the great beyond as a peaceful refuge. One of his best-known vehicles for solo voice, Ich habe genug also blends the melancholy sound of the Baroque oboe with accompanying strings, to magical effect. In contrast, Jonathan Dove’s L’Altra Eurydice (The Other Eurydice) transports us to the underworld, from which Pluto exposes the treachery of humanity in a remarkable chamber opera for bass-baritone plus a mix of period and modern instruments.
Crossing Borders (at the Museum of Fine Arts)
December 17 - 7:00pm
Crossing Borders explores a crucial moment in the musical history of the New World: when European musical traditions began to mingle with indigenous musical practices. This festive program for the holiday season includes villancicos and romances for voices and ensemble plus instrumental works drawn from the rich repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century colonial and Latin American cultures. Musical selections by Roque Ceruti, José Duran, Antonio de Salazar, Manuel Joseph Quiroz, Sebastián Duron and others.
An Uncommon Chevalier
March 27 - 2:30pm
An accomplished composer, violinist, conductor, fencer, and dancer, Joseph de Bologne became the toast of Paris in the early 1770s. The son of a plantation owner and an African slave, the younger mixed-race Bologne acquired the title Chevalier de Saint-Georges thanks to Louis XV, in whose personal guard he briefly served, and eventually became a favorite of Marie Antoinette. With a tuneful violin concerto from Saint-Georges, a comparable work from a contemporary, and a symphony commissioned by the Chevalier, this program transports us to a lively Parisian concert hall in the mid 1780s, just before the Revolution changed everything.
Dido and Aeneas
May 21 - 6:00pm
May 22 - 2:30pm
The 2021/22 Ars Lyrica season concludes with a new production of the first masterpiece of English opera. Henry Purcell, early modern England’s greatest musical dramatist, infused his chosen texts with both beauty and pathos. His Dido & Aeneas is a miracle of operatic economy, with lively dancing, memorable choruses, and at its center a noble heroine who loves too well: her demise is both tragic and transcendent. 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.
The Well-Tempered Clavier
October 16 - 6:00pm
June 4 - 6:00pm
Ars Lyrica Artistic Director Matthew Dirst continues his survey of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with two performances of excerpts from Book 1 in the sumptuous surroundings of Rienzi, the museum for European decorative arts of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The instrument, inspired by the work of the Gräbner family in Dresden in the early eighteenth century, is visually and acoustically stunning, a perfect complement to the Baroque-era décor at Rienzi.