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Ars Lyrica Houston announces 2024/25 season: Ties That Bind

Ars Lyrica Houston proudly announces their 21st anniversary season, Ties That Bind. The 2024/25 season celebrates one of music’s greatest strengths: its ability to connect people across eras and cultures. Through six mainstage subscription programs, Ars Lyrica Houston will continue to present a “stunning mix of music and history” (Houston Chronicle) in Houston and beyond.

The 2024/25 season features internationally acclaimed soloists, programs rich with Baroque masterworks and hidden gems, and a renewed collaboration with the UH Moores School of Music Chorale. Concerts take place in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, St. Philip Presbyterian Church, and Duncan Recital Hall at Rice University.

The season opener on Friday, September 20 in Zilkha Hall, In Praise of Virtue, spotlights countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a “young star” (New York Times) and local favorite since his time in the HGO Studio. Nussbaum Cohen will share the stage with “breakout” soprano (Boston Globe) Hannah DePriest, in her Ars Lyrica debut. This program features two rarely heard solo cantatas by J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel and dramatic excerpts from J.A. Hasse’s noble love story, Marc-Antonio e Cleopatra.

Friday, November 8 in Zilkha Hall spotlights Claudio Monteverdi’s timeless late masterworks, the Madrigals of Love and War, for multiple voices and instruments. Six singers return to Houston to perform these dramatic scenes: sopranos Erica Schuller and Amia Langer, countertenor Michael Skarke, tenors Steven Brennfleck and Thomas O’Neill, and bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca.

Back by popular demand, Ars Lyrica presents Crossing Borders on Tuesday, December 17 at St. Philip Presbyterian Church. The festive holiday program celebrates the rich flowering of music across Hispanic cultures during the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Featured artists include soprano Camille Ortiz and mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, a beloved pairing who have been praised for their “voices [that] blended seamlessly” (NY Classical Review).

Old Meets New on Sunday, January 19 in Duncan Recital Hall expands Ars Lyrica’s usual Baroque repertoire to the present day, with contemporary works written for period instruments. This innovative and all-instrumental program includes a world premiere commission by Houston composer Emma Kent Wine. The ensemble of expert early music performers include Artistic Director Matthew Dirst on harpsichord, violinist Stephen Redfield, and cellist Eric Taeyang Mun.

The grandest program of Ars Lyrica’s season takes place on Saturday, March 29 in Zilkha Hall: Handel’s final masterpiece, Theodora, with five soloists, chorus, and orchestra. The deeply moving oratorio features soprano Nola Richardson, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, countertenor Cody Bowers, tenor Brian Giebler, and bass-baritone Douglas Williams, alongside the University of Houston Moores School Concert Chorale and Ars Lyrica orchestra.

The season ends with Classical Collaborations on Friday, May 23 in Zilkha Hall, an all-instrumental concert that features major orchestral works from the Viennese classical era, including important contributions by female composers. Two acclaimed instrumentalists make their Ars Lyrica debut: fortepiano player Patricia Garcia Gil and Juilliard violin professor Cynthia Roberts.

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