Ars Lyrica Houston Introduces Live Streaming on its YouTube Channel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            

Media Contact: Jacqueline Altobelli
Marketing & Administrative Director
Ars Lyrica Houston | 713-622-7443
info@arslyricahouston.org

 

Ars Lyrica Houston Introduces Live Streaming on its YouTube Channel

Grammy nominated early music ensemble will live stream their 2016/17 Season starting September 9

ALH’s YouTube Channel can be found at www.youtube.com/c/ArsLyricaHouston/live

ALH’s YouTube Channel can be found at www.youtube.com/c/ArsLyricaHouston/live

HOUSTON, TX (September 2, 2016) – Ars Lyrica Houston (ALH) returns to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts this September with the season opening performance of Les Plaisirs de Versailles, its first event to be live streamed around the world.  Early music fans everywhere will be able to watch the concert on September 9, starting with a pre-concert Moment with the Artists at 7pm CT/8 pm ET on ALH's YouTube channel, followed by the performance. ALH’s YouTube channel currently hosts a collection of videos, with a varied selection of season highlights from previously recorded performances and album recordings. Recent additions include the ensemble's latest recording, Heart & Soul: Devotional music from the German Baroque, to its highly acclaimed production of Domenico Scarlatti’s La Dirindina, featuring Cardiff Singer of the World mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. “YouTube has been a successful platform for mainstream artists to share some of their great musical performances, most recently in major musical festivals, but now it’s our chance to open up our unique programming to a massive audience,” said Jacqueline Altobelli, Director of Marketing.

The organization, known for both its innovative programing and developing early music performances in Houston, is proud to present its HD, multi-camera video content to the YouTube audience. "We are very excited about live streaming our subscription programs this season,” says Executive Director, Kinga Ferguson.  “We are hoping to expand our reach well beyond the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and make our programs accessible to a worldwide audience. We also want to engage more viewers in a social conversation in real time and energize early music community in Houston and beyond.”

“I was so happy to learn about Ars Lyrica's new live streaming initiative,” says ALH’s Young Professionals Society member and patron Dave Morris. He adds: “[this] has the potential to impact so many young aspiring musicians around the world who have not yet had a chance to experience the beauty of early chamber music.” ALH’s YouTube page currently boasts over 12,500 views and has a growing subscriber base. While the bulk of ALH’s YouTube audience (32%) is in the U.S., they have significant viewership spread across other countries, including top viewers Spain, France, and Mexico who combined (35%) are higher than the US audience.

A feature of the season opener includes the highly anticipated return of stage director Tara Faircloth, “Tara and I are both delighted to be collaborating on Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles again, which we collaborated on first in 2010,” adds Dirst. Patrons can expect many highlights, including the sounds of mezzo-soprano Ellie Jarrett Shattles, baritone Mark Diamond, theorbist Michael Leopold, and so many more! “What’s not to like about this little gem of an opera? Delightful subject matter, laugh-out-loud funny, gorgeous tunes, and all within barely 30 minutes — I only wish there were more of these in the repertoire!” says Matthew Dirst, Artistic Director.

ALH's 2016/17 Season Fables & Follies future live streaming dates include: Charpentier's Les Plaisirs de Versailles - FRI, SEPT 9 AT 7:30 PM; Handel's Jephtha - SAT, OCT 15 AT 7:30 PM + SUN, OCT 16 AT 2:30 PM; Bachanalia: Cantatas for the New Year - SAT, DEC 31 AT 9PM; Scalable Heights - SUN, FEB 12 AT 6 PM; Classical Spectres - SUN, APRIL 2 AT 6 PM; and Don Quixote's Excellent Adventures - SUN, MAY 21 AT 6 PM. ALH’s YouTube Channel can be found at http://www.youtube.com/c/ArsLyricaHouston/live


Ars Lyrica is a member of the Hobby Center Foundation’s Uniquely Houston® series sponsored by Houston Area Lexus Dealers and United Airlines.

King Louis XIV Reigns Supreme Once Again this Season

 
 

King Louis XIV Reigns Supreme Once Again This Season

Charpentier’s Chamber Opera Les Plaisirs De Versailles Opens Ars Lyrica Houston’s 2016/17 Season

HOUSTON, TX (August 12, 2016) – Ars Lyrica Houston, the Grammy nominated early music ensemble, revisits the works of Marc-Antoine Charpentier for their opening season program with Les Plaisirs de Versailles, September 9, 2016, on the Zilkha Hall Stage at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Charpentier’s witty chamber opera returns for an encore performance after his Les arts florissants was performed to a sold out audience in the previous season’s “Homage to the Sun King.”

Most of the opera’s characters represent the pleasures enjoyed at the Palace of Versailles: La Musique (Music), La Conversation (Conversation), Le Jeu (Gambling), Comus and Un plaisir (A Pleasure). This gilded event sets the scene for the program, devoted to lighthearted repertoire from the ancien régime, exploring familiar pleasures—wine, music, conversation, and complaint—that come together most amusingly throughout the colorful evening. “What’s not to like about this little gem of an opera? Delightful subject matter, laugh-out-loud funny, gorgeous tunes, and all within barely 30 minutes — I only wish there were more of these in the repertoire!” says Matthew Dirst, Artistic Director for Ars Lyrica Houston.

Additionally, our cast of composers includes two giants of the French Baroque—Jean-Baptiste Lully and François Couperin—plus two of Paris’ most enterprising musical entrepreneurs. Surrounding these gems are short instrumental dances from various Lully sources, including his charming 1668 pastorale La Grotte de Versailles and a collection of Trios pour le coucher du Roy (for the King’s Bedtime).

A feature of the evening includes the very highly anticipated return of stage director Tara Faircloth, “Tara and I are both delighted to be collaborating on Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles again, which we collaborated on first in 2010,” adds Dirst. Patrons can expect many highlights, including the sounds of mezzo-soprano Ellie Jarrett Shattles, baritone Mark Diamond, theorbist Michael Leopold, and so many more!

PERFORMANCE & TICKET INFO:

Les Plaisirs De Versailles

Friday, September 9, 2016 at 7:30pm

Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

 

Ticket Prices: $39-$65, $22 Students

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center Box Office at 713.315.2525

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON ANNOUNCES 2016/17 SEASON - FABLES & FOLLIES

Media Contact
Jacqueline Altobelli for Ars Lyrica Houston | 713-622-7443 | jaltobelli@arslyricahouston.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON ANNOUNCES 2016/17 SEASON: FABLES & FOLLIES

HOUSTON, TX (March 24, 2016) – Ars Lyrica Houston, the Grammy nominated early music ensemble, announces a 2016/17 season that mixes beloved masterworks of the Baroque with rare gems from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.Fables & Follies opens on September 9 with an encore visit to the world of King Louis XIV, with Marc­Antoine Charpentier’s comic chamber opera Les Plaisirs de Versailles. Handel’s late masterpiece Jephtha will be offered twice, on October 15 and 16and will feature a stellar cast of soloists plus the award-­winning Moores School Concert Chorale from the University of Houston. On December 31 a festive program rings in the New Year with cantatas J.S. Bach wrote specifically for this holiday.Bachanalia also includes Ars Lyrica’s annual holiday gala and silent auction following the program.

With Scalable Heights on February 12, Ars Lyrica visits the virtuoso world of Antonio Vivaldi and Alessandro Scarlatti, whose talents inspired some of the most spectacular music of the late Baroque. Classical Spectres on April 2 features musical depictions of the supernatural from J. C. F. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. Ars Lyrica’s May 21 season finale, entitled Don Quixote’s Excellent Adventures, explores one of history’s greatest literary figures in a pan­European survey of Baroque music devoted to this Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season include the return of countertenor Ryland Angel, tenors Derek Chester and Joseph Gaines, soprano Lauren Snouffer, violinist Adam LaMotte, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, and stage direction by Tara Faircloth. Making their Ars Lyrica debuts during 2016/17 are baritone Thomas Meglioranza, mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky, and soprano Dominique McCormick.

Ars Lyrica’s 2016/17 season of Fables & Follies will include six subscription programs, all of which take place in the intimate and lively acoustics of Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Those who purchase season subscriptions prior to June 3 will receive additional perks, including a complimentary ticket to one of the 2016/17 programs and major discounts to the New Year’s Eve Dinner & Fundraising Gala -- a holiday tradition for our Houston patrons!

Ars Lyrica also announces their world première recording of Alessandro Scarlatti’s La sposa dei Cantici (Sono Luminus, Fall 2016) features soprano Meghan Lindsay and three of the world’s leading countertenors—John Holiday, Jay Carter, and Ryland Angel—along with Ars Lyrica string and continuo players, all under the direction of Matthew Dirst.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 713.315.2525. (Press 4 for Ars Lyrica Houston)

2016/17 SEASON  l  FABLES & FOLLIES

LES PLAISIRS DE VERSAILLES
Event Date: Fri, Sep-9-2016
Event Time: 7:30 pm
Marc-Antoine Charpentier's witty chamber opera Les Plaisirs de Versailles — an ode to both wine and chocolate!

www.arslyricahouston.org/les-plaisirs-de-versailles

HANDEL'S JEPHTHA
Event Date: Sat, Oct-15-2016 / Event Date: Sun, Oct-16-2016
Event Time: 7:30 pm / Event Time: 2:30 pm
Handel's final masterpiece, on a searing Old Testament tale about a foolish promise and its consequences

www.arslyricahouston.org/jephtha

BACHANALIA: CANTATAS FOR THE NEW YEAR
DINNER | CONCERT | GALA
Enjoy New Year's Eve with Ars Lyrica! This very special evening begins with an elegant pre-concert dinner, continues in Zilkha Hall with the Bachanalia program at 9:00pm, and concludes with their Annual NYE Gala (along with silent auction) through Midnight so that you can ring in 2017 with us!

www.arslyricahouston.org/bachanalia

SCALABLE HEIGHTS
Event Date: Sun, Feb-12-2017
Event Time: 6:00 pm
Beloved works from late Baroque masters who catered to the emerging cult of the virtuoso, including J. S. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.

www.arslyricahouston.org/scalable-heights

CLASSICAL SPECTRES
Event Date: Sun, Apr-2-2017
Event Time: 6:00 pm
A keen interest in the uncanny can be seen in a number of musical works from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including vocal and instrumental works from this transitional age by J. C. F. Bach and Beethoven.

www.arslyricahouston.org/classical-spectres

DON QUIXOTE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES
Event Date: Sun, May-21-2017
Event Time: 6:00 pm
One of history's greatest literary figures, Don Quixote also animates a number of fable-like musical works from the Baroque

www.arslyricahouston.org/don-quixotes-excellent-adventures

ARS LYRICA TAKES ON HANDEL’S MESSIAH WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST

ARS LYRICA TAKES ON HANDEL’S MESSIAH WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST

Experience the world’s most beloved choral work as it was always intended, with stellar soloists, a world-renowned conductor and some interesting yet controversial ideas.

MARCH 1 , 2016 — First performed in the spring of 1742, this musical masterpiece by George Frideric Handel has become one of the world’s most beloved musical works.  Although more traditionally performed during Christmastime, this timeless Baroque masterpiece was intended by Handel as an Easter offering.

The critically acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Singers from Dallas will return for a collaboration on this monumental oratorio with conductor John Butt, whose recent recording of the Mozart Requiem with the Dunedin Consort won a Gramophone Award in 2014. 

An Easter Messiah will be a performance of the complete work, with a cast of stellar soloists, like tenor Aaron Sheehan (2015 Grammy Winner for Best Opera Recording) and soprano Melissa Givens, and full Baroque orchestra lead by Artistic Director Matthew Dirst. Full of glorious choruses and moving solos, this grand oratorio will showcase some of Handel’s most inspired works, including “Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted,” “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” and the famous “Hallelujah” chorus.

Nearing 275 years, the controversy surrounding the music of Messiah still attracts scholars across the globe to debate on the history and meaning of it all.  In recognition of the timelessness of this debate, Ars Lyrica has partnered with the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, in conjunction with the performance, for a very special event:   

“AND HIS BURTHEN IS LIGHT"? HANDEL'S MESSIAH and ITS CULTURAL BAGGAGE — This symposium takes place at the Moores School of Music, (Room 160) University of Houston, on Friday, April 1 from 2:30-4:30 pm. Featured speakers include Michael Marissen, author of Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah: The Unsettling History of the World’s Most Beloved Choral Work (Yale University Press, 2014); and John Butt, Matthew Dirst and Jeffrey Sposato of the Moores School musicology faculty.

n Easter Messiah performance will take place on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30p.m., at ZILKHA HALL, HOBBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 800 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002. Tickets range from $37 to $59. Student tickets are $22. A limited number of concert tickets for this performance will also be available at the Hobby Center Box Office up to one hour prior to concert start time.  To purchase tickets, visit the Ars Lyrica Houston website atwww.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center Box Office at 713-315-2525

(www.arslyricahouston.org/easter-messiah)

# # #

For high-resolution images, please contact Jacqueline Altobelli, Director of Marketing at jaltobelli@arslyricahouston.org

ABOUT ARS LYRICA:

Founded in 1998 by harpsichordist and conductor Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston presents a diverse array of music from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. Its local subscription series, according to the Houston Chronicle, “sets the agenda” for early music in Houston and it also appears regularly at major festivals and conferences, including the 2014 Berkeley Early Music Festival & Exhibition. Ars Lyrica’s distinctive programming favors Baroque dramatic and chamber works, and its pioneering efforts have won international acclaim: the ensemble’s world première recording of Johann Adolf Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, hailed by Early Music America as “a thrilling performance that glows in its quieter moments and sparkles with vitality,” was nominated for a Grammy Award® for Best Opera 2011. Both the Hasse recording and Ars Lyrica’s recording of Domenico Scarlatti’s comic intermezzo La Dirindina feature 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World Jamie Barton, who returns for a program with the ensemble during the 2015/16 season. Details about Ars Lyrica’s latest recordings and upcoming programs can be found at www.arslyricahouston.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations. Especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, she's been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear,” [Houston Chronicle]. Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century. An Early Music America review of her performance in the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concerts praised her voice as “beautiful and rich, [singing] Baroque music with conviction.” She serves on the faculties of Sam Houston State University and Texas Southern University. Givens holds DMA, MM, and BM degrees and is an alumna of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, and Davidson College.

Tenor AARON SHEEHAN has established himself as a first rate singer in many styles. His voice is heard regularly in the United States, South America, and Europe, and he is equally comfortable in repertoire ranging from oratorio and chamber music, to the opera stage. His singing has taken him to many festivals and venues including; Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, the early music festivals of Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver, Houston, Tucson, Washington DC, and Madison, as well as the Regensburg Tage Alter Musik.  Aaron also continues to work extensively in the chamber music world. He has sung with Theater of Voices, Blue Heron Choir, Tenet, Fortune's Wheel, La Donna Musicale, Folger Consort, Newberry Consort, Dünya, The Rose Ensemble, and the Pro Arte Singers. Aaron has appeared on many recordings, including the Grammy nominated operas Thésée and Psyché of Lully, recorded with BEMF on the CPO label. A native of Minnesota, Aaron holds a BA from Luther College and a MM in Early Voice Performance from Indiana University. He is currently on the voice faculties of Boston University, Wellesley College, and Towson University. 

Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock is widely admired as a performer of interpretive eloquence and technical sparkle. A frequent soloist, concertmaster, and leader with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, the Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Italian ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, she is also a member of several of California’s finest period instrument ensembles, including Musica Pacifica, Trio Galatea, the Arcadian Academy, and Trio Galanterie. She has appeared with period orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and abroad, and has performed for the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, Germany's Goettingen Handelfestspiel, Los Angeles Opera, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Oulunsalo Soi festival in Finland, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, among many others. With over 90 recordings to her credit, she has recorded for harmonia mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Classics, Dorian, BMG, Reference Recordings, and Koch International. She is instructor of baroque violin at the University of Southern California, and has taught at the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and the Austrian Baroque Academy, and has coached university Baroque ensembles at USC, Roosevelt University, the University of Virginia, and California Institute of the Arts.

Ars Lyrica Founder & Artistic Director MATTHEW DIRST, the first American musician to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including the American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition (1990) and the Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993). Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting, the Dallas Morning News recently praised his “clear and evocative conducting” of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, which “yielded a performance as irresistibly lively as it was stylish.” Dirst’s recordings with Ars Lyrica have earned a Grammy nomination and widespread critical acclaim. His degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar and as an organist, Dirst is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, and Organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. His book Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. He is also the editor of Bach and the Organ, which appears in the Bach Perspectives series from the University of Illinois Press in early 2016.

For a complete line-up of Ars Lyrica Houston's performances and information, artists and events, including education programming, visit  WWW.ARSLYRICAHOUSTON.ORG

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON INVOKES LOVE FROM MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON INVOKES LOVE FROM MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD

Romantic sounds and sultry voices will fill Zilkha Hall this Valentine’s Weekend, as returning soloists mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte and tenor Eduardo Tercero join on stage to sing songs about springtime during the 2016 Houston Early Music Festival.

JANUARY 7, 2016 — Artistic Director Matthew Dirst will lead the highly anticipated program, entitled All in a Garden Green after an English folksong. A menu of delectable tunes mixes items from English, Italian, French, and Spanish musical cultures and includes Vivaldi’s Spring, along with songs and cantatas by William Byrd, Thomas Morely, Juan del Encina and others. Love will definitely be in the air at this Valentine’s weekend program!

The performance will take place on Friday, February 12, at 7:30p.m., at ZILKHA HALL, HOBBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 800 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002. Tickets range from $37 to $59. Student tickets are $22.  A limited number of concert tickets for this performance will also be available at the HobbyCenter Box Office up to one hour prior to concert start time. 

To purchase tickets, visit the Ars Lyrica Houston website at www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center Box Office at 713-315-2525. 

# # #

For high-resolution images, please contact Jacqueline Altobelli, Director of Marketing at jaltobelli@arslyricahouston.org

 

ABOUT ARS LYRICA: 

Founded in 1998 by harpsichordist and conductor Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston presents a diverse array of music from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. Its local subscription series, according to the Houston Chronicle, “sets the agenda” for early music in Houston and it also appears regularly at major festivals and conferences, including the 2014 Berkeley Early Music Festival & Exhibition. Ars Lyrica’s distinctive programming favors Baroque dramatic and chamber works, and its pioneering efforts have won international acclaim: the ensemble’s world première recording of Johann Adolf Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, hailed by Early Music America as “a thrilling performance that glows in its quieter moments and sparkles with vitality,” was nominated for a Grammy Award® for Best Opera 2011. Both the Hasse recording and Ars Lyrica’s recording of Domenico Scarlatti’s comic intermezzo La Dirindina feature 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World Jamie Barton, who returns for a program with the ensemble during the 2015/16 season. Details about Ars Lyrica’s latest recordings and upcoming programs can be found at www.arslyricahouston.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

MEZZO-SOPRANO, CECILIA DUARTE - Latest appearances: Isabella (Rapaccini’s Daughter) with University of Houston; Daniel (Handel’s Susanna) with Ars Lyrica Houston, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Opera in the Heights; Jessie Lydell (A Coffin in Egypt) with Houston Grand Opera and the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, CA; and Loma Williams (Cold Sassy Tree) with University of Houston. Cecilia created the role of Renata in Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, -the first opera with mariachi music- and has toured with it at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris,France, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera. An early music enthusiast, Cecilia has often performed with the Bach Society of Houston, Ars Lyrica Houston, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Festivalensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Festival de Música Barroca de San Miguel de Allende, México. She lives in Houston, where she is active in the contemporary music circle, performing and collaborating with composers and premiering their works. Upcoming performances include singing for Nobel prize Mario Vargas Llosa in October with the Casa Cultural de las Americas, an appearance in Charpentier’s chamber opera Les arts florissants (Nov) and All in a Garden Green, songs about springtime (Feb) with Ars Lyrica Houston.

TENOR, EDUARDO ALBERTO TERCERO - A native of Panama City, Republica de Panama, is described as a “dashing” performer by the Houston Chronicle and was also listed in Symphony Magazine’s Guide to Emerging Artists.  As a concert artist his credits include the World Premiere of Nicholas of Myra by Robert Nelson in the role of Marcus, Piacere in the Houston Premiere production of Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verita, Adamo in the Houston Premiere production of Il Primo Omicidio by Scarlatti, Messiah by G. F. Handel with the Des Moines and La Cross Symphony Orchetras, Houston Chamber Choir and Bethany (KS) and Augustana (IL) Colleges, Montiverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 with Ars Lyrica Houston in conjunction with both the Houston Chamber Choir and Orpheus Chamber Singers of Dallas and his Houston Symphony debut as the Narrator in Copeland’s The Lincoln Portrait. Most recently he has appeared in the World Premier production of O Columbia with the Houston Grand Opera,  Music Box's production of Godspell in the role of John the Baptist/Judas, the Houston Premiere production of Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns with A Bit of a Stretch productions and as lead ensemble member of the Premier production of Defy Gravity: A Stephen Schwartz Songbook with Standing Room Only productions. A longtime member of the Houston Chamber Choir under the direction of Robert Simpson, he will be making his season debut with Cantare Houston under the baton of Amy Solberg this coming season. He is a frequent soloist for Ars Lyrica Houston under the baton of Dr. Matthew Dirst and Mercury Baroque under the baton of Antoine Plante.  He can also be heard in the Newport Classics' recording of Cassanova’s Homecoming by one of America’s leading composers, Dominick Argento, and is the tenor soloist for the World Premiere recording of Giovanni Paolo Colonna's Psalmi ad Vesperas (1694) now available from MSR Classics. He can be seen next in the role of Franky in Forever Plaid. 

KATHRYN MONTOYA - teaches baroque oboe and recorder at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of North Texas. She appears with a variety of orchestral and chamber music ensembles including the internationally-acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Tafelmusik, the Wiener Akademie, Arion, Pacific Musicworks, and Apollo’s Fire among others. Kathryn received her degrees at Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington. While at IU she was the recipient of the prestigious Performer’s Certificate and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany. Recent projects include the Globe’s Tony award winning productions of Twelfthe Night and Richard III on Braodway, concerts and master classes in Shanghai, and tour of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe with Philippe Jaroussky, Karina Gauvin and the BEMF orchestra. Kathryn very much enjoys the various thrills of recording, has been broadcast on NPR's Performance Today and can be heard on the Erato, Naxos, CPO, NCA, Analekta, and Dorian Sono Luminus labels.

MATTHEW DIRST - Ars Lyrica Founder & Artistic Director, the first American musician to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including the American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition (1990) and the Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993). Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting, the Dallas Morning News recently praised his “clear and evocative conducting” of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, which “yielded a performance as irresistibly lively as it was stylish.” Dirst’s recordings with Ars Lyrica have earned a Grammy nomination and widespread critical acclaim. His degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar and as an organist, Dirst is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, and Organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. His book Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. He is also the editor of Bach and the Organ, which appears in the Bach Perspectives series from the University of Illinois Press in early 2016.

 

ARS LYRICA RINGS IN 2016 WITH A SPECTACULAR FIRE AND ICE CONCERT AND GLITZY GALA

ARS LYRICA RINGS IN 2016 WITH A SPECTACULAR FIRE AND ICE CONCERT AND GLITZY GALA

Houston’s Grammy-nominated early music ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston dazzled guests this New Year’s Eve with the extraordinary evening of Fire and Ice at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts which included an elegant dinner at Artista Restaurant, a concert and a champagne gala.

HOUSTON, TX (JAN 2, 2015) — Glamorous décor and elegant music adorned the Hobby Center when the clock struck midnight.  Fire and Ice soloists, soprano Lauren Snouffer and baritone Mark Diamond led the joyful crowd with an a capella “Auld Lang Syne” accompanied by Matthew Dirst, Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston. Cheerful song and joyful spirit filled the air at the Hobby Center, ringing in 2016 with festive moments and fireworks over the downtown skyline that guests will not soon forget. 

The festivities began with dinner at Artista Restaurant, with signature cocktails and a decadent three-course menu that featured savory dishes inspired by the evening’s theme.  Dinner was then followed by the 12th annual concert, Fire and Ice, presented by the Grammy-nominated early music ensemble. The incredibly synched voices of two rising opera stars,soprano Lauren Snouffer and baritone Mark Diamond, lured audiences to the Zilkha Hall stage in Handel’s dramatic cantata Apollo e Dafne.Violinist Adam LaMotte, who charmed audiences with his virtuosic solos in Vivaldi’s Winter Concerto from The Four Seasons, was another highlight of the evening’s heavily attended performance. Guests continued the elegant affair at the champagne and dessert gala at The Founders Club, which boasted a spectacular view of the downtown skyline and provided an elegant setting for toasting 2016 during the fireworks. 

Proceeds from the gala, which included a luxurious and entertainment-filled silent auction, raised more than $15,000 for Ars Lyrica Houston and will help support the organization to continue its mission of providing Houston area audiences with world-class, historically-informed performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Fire And Ice Gala Supporters Include: Ars Lyrica Founder and Artistic Director Matthew Dirst, Birgitt Van Wijk, Board President and Gala Chair,Silver Sponsors: Alan Austin & David A. White, Polly Johnson & Shelby Allen, and Edward & Rini Ziegler; Board: Richard Buffett, Vice-President, Richard Viebig, Treasurer, Dorry Shaddock, Secretary, Shelby Allen, Taylor Faulkner, Joseph Fleming, Jeanie Flowers, Joyce Fox, Brendan Godfrey, Ed Grusnis, Schubert Huang, Timothy Jones, John Lemen, Ed Rinehart, Dr. Lijda Vellekoop, and Eleanor Viebig; Media Sponsors:Nancy Wozny, Arts+Culture Magazine, and Nick Esquer, Houstonia Magazine.  Silent Auction Donations Provided By: American Corporate Transportation, Amy's Ice Cream, Antiquarium, Armandos Restaurant, Artista Restaurant, Bach Society Houston, Birgitt Van Wijk, British Isles, Chez Nous Restaurant, Collins Creations, Cut Loose Hair Salon, Da Camera Of Houston, Divino Restaurant, El Tiempo Cantina Restaurant, Hanh Gallery, Hobby Center For The Performing Arts, Houston Chamber Choir, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Karbach Brewing Co., Keith Weber, Les Touches Viol Consort, Lewis & Lewis, Attorneys At Law, Pllc, Lillian Farms Country Estate, Maike's Marvels By Maike Van Wijk, Main Street Theater, Matthew Dirst, Matthew Goff, Mercury: The Orchestra Redefined, Met Dance, Metcalf Fine Art Portraits, Museum Of Fine Arts Houston, Norris Of Houston Salon & Day Spa, Opera In The Heights, Preservation Houston, Saks 5th Ave, Sambuca Restaurant, Schubert Huang - Dance Lessons, St Arnold Brewery, Studio Movie Grill, The Chocolate Bar, The Conservatory Day Spa, Theater Under The Stars, Water 2 Wine, Williams Sonoma, Zalla Massage Therapy

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON NAMES NEW OPERATIONS MANAGER

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON NAMES NEW OPERATIONS MANAGER

Michelle Vu to join staff of Grammy-nominated early music ensemble

HOUSTON, TX (November 6, 2015) – Ars Lyrica Houston (ALH) names Michelle Vu as Operations Manager. Ms. Vu will be responsible for database upkeep, artist liaison, managing volunteers, community outreach, publicity, marketing, social media and promotional efforts for the organization.

Ms. Vu is currently pursuing her B.S. in Supply Chain and Logistics Technology with a minor in Business Administration at the Honors College of University of Houston. She has extensive experience in event planning, non-profit fundraising, and social media marketing. Previously ALH’s Public Relations and Marketing Intern, Ms. Vu is excited to continue working with the ALH team and looks forward to help further grow the organization.

Michelle Vu
mvu@arslyricahouston.org

ALH Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

During the month of October, proceeds from Ars Lyrica Houston's Record sales will benefit the GREATER HOUSTON LULAC COUNCIL. 

LULAC Council 4967 advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of the Latino population of Houston and the surrounding area.

Learn More about LULAC HERE

ABOUT NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Read More about Hispanic Heritage Month onwww.hispanicheritagemonth.gov

AUTUMN HUNT PROGRAM & NOTES

AUTUMN HUNT

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 AT 6PM

ZILKHA HALL / HOBBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Our 2015/16 Seasonal Rituals begin with Antonio Vivaldi’s Autumn, the first of four concerti constituting his beloved Four Seasons, each of which appears on its own program this season. Autumn Hunt also includes vocal fireworks aplenty, with Joseph Haydn’s dramatic cantata Arianna a Naxos for mezzo-soprano and strings—in which the mythical figure Arianna imagines herself hunter’s prey—plus a selection of Handel arias.


ARTISTIC PERSONNEL

Jamie Barton
            mezzo-soprano

Adam LaMotte
            violin soloist & concertmaster

Oleg Sulyga
Maria Lin
Andrés González
            violin I

Alan Austin
Hae-a Lee
Alana Youssefian
            violin II

James Dunham
Erika Lawson
            viola

Barrett Sills
Erika Johnson
            violoncello

Deborah Dunham
            violone

Richard Savino
            theorbo

Matthew Dirst
            harpsichord & conductor





 

PROGRAM

Excerpts from Serse
            Ouverture: [Grave] – Allegro – Gigue
            Accompagnato: “Frondi tenere”
            Aria: “Ombra mai fu”

Excerpts from Semele                                 
            Accompagnato: “Awake Saturnia”
            Aria: “Iris, hence away”

Concerto in F Major, Op. 8/3 (“Autumn” from The Four Seasons)
            Allegro
            Adagio molto
            Allegro 

Excerpts from Orfeo ed Euridice  
            Accompagnato: “Ecco un nuovo tormento”
            Aria: “Che farò senza Euridice?”       

“Ho il cor già lacero” from Griselda                                                                       

Intermission

Concerto in E Minor, Op. 6/3: Allegro

“Where Shall I Fly?” from Hercules

Arianna a Naxos                                                                          

George Frideric Handel
(1685–1759)



Handel

 

Antonio Vivaldi
(1678–1741)




Christoph Willibald Gluck
(1714–1787)

Vivaldi

 


Handel

Handel

Franz Joseph Haydn
(1732–1809)


Notes on the Program

A successful hunt requires both hunter and hunted. So, too, with a musical program devoted to this particular activity, whose particulars may change from age to age just as artistic tastes shift from one generation to another. Autumn Hunt thus begins with a hunter: Serse, King of Persia (Xerxes in English), whose ode to a beloved plane tree at the beginning of Handel’s eponymous 1738 opera is really a song about unrequited love. The hunter, in this case, can only pine after his prey. In Semele (1743), on the other hand, the goddess Juno is enraged to learn at the beginning of Act II that Semele has taken up with Jupiter instead of Athamas, whose marriage to Semele Juno had already blessed. Vowing to destroy Jupiter, Juno sends the messenger Iris away brusquely (“Iris, hence away”) so that she can plot revenge on the happy couple, which involves enlisting Somnus, the god of sleep, in the hunt for the doomed Semele.

From operatic ... (CLICK  HERE TO READ FULL PROGRAM NOTES)

New Ars Lyrica Houston Album Just Released - HEART & SOUL

Quantity:
ORDER NOW

Released today by Centaur Records, this much anticipated album features renowned British counter-tenor Ryland Angel, Ars Lyrica Houston's Artistic Director Matthew Dirst on a Baroque-style Fritts organ, and a quintet of Ars Lyrica string players.

"It's a program that explores the richly expressive repertory of 17th-century German sacred music for voice and instruments. This was the first great flowering of art music in the Protestant church: sophisticated yet heartfelt music that encapsulates the joys and sorrows of the early modern age." - Artistic Director Matthew Dirst describes the repertoire.

"Heart and Soul" was recorded in 2013 and is the fourth commercial release for the Houston- based early music ensemble in the last three years. Previous Ars Lyrica recordings garnered considerable international acclaim: Gramophone, the leading journal of the classical recording industry, praised Ars Lyrica's debut CD for its "exemplary skill and taste," the ensemble's musicians for their "impassioned performance" of never-before recorded works by Alessandro Scarlatti; while Ars Lyrica's world première recording of Johann Adolf Hasse's Marc Antonio e Cleopatra, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera 2011.

About the "Heart and Soul" Program

  • Johann Christoph Bach: Ach, dass ich Wassers Gnug hatte
  • Johann Rosemuller: Sonata Decima a 5
  • Christoph Bernhard: Was betrubst du dich, meine Seele
  • Dietrich Buxtehude: Nun lob mein Seel den Herren, BuxWV 213
  • Adam Krieger: Der Liebe Macht herracht Tag und Nacht
  • Dietrich Becker: Suite s 5 (from the Musikalische Fruhlingsfruchte)
  • Dietrich Buxtehude: Auf meinen lieben Gott, BuxWV 179
  • Johann Philipp Krieger: O Jesu, du mein Leben
  • Samuel Scheidt: Warum betrubst du dich, meine Seele
  • Philipp Heinrich Erlebach: Trocknet euch ihr heissen Zahren
  • Dietrich Becker: Paduana a 5
  • Adam Krieger: Der hat gesiegt, den Gott vergnugt
     

ABOUT RYLAND ANGEL 
Born on St Cecilia’s day, the British counter-tenor Ryland Angel has built an international reputation on both the opera and concert stage, in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to new operatic commissions at major opera houses, concert halls and festivals throughout Europe and the USA. (Read Full Bio HERE)

Ars Lyrica Artist Jamie Barton, Mezzo, Wins Richard Tucker Award

A HUGE Congratulations to Ars Lyrica Houston's 2015-2016 Season Opening Star Soloist, Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano for her Richard Tucker Award win!!!

Already, the winner of the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Jamie Barton returns to the Ars Lyrica Houston stage at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the 2015-2016 Season Opener: AUTUMN HUNT with Matthew Dirst as Artistic Director.

Season Subscribers will have a private invitation to help celebrate with Jamie and all of our ALH performing artists after the show at our post-concert reception. 

Information on AUTUMN HUNT, or performance tickets and subscriptions can be found online: www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center Box Office: 713-315-2525 (PRESS OPTION 1 FOR ARS LYRICA)
‪#‎SeasonRituals‬ ‪#‎ALH‬ ‪#‎TuckerAward‬ ‪#‎BartonRocks‬

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON ANNOUNCES 2015/16 SEASONAL RITUALS

HOUSTON, TX (March 19, 2014) – Ars Lyrica Houston, the Grammy nominated early music ensemble, announces a 2015/16 season that mixes beloved masterworks of the Baroque with rare gems from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Six subscription programs, all of which take place in the intimate and lively acoustics of Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, include Ars Lyrica’s annual New Year’s Eve gala plus collaborations with the critically acclaimed New York Baroque Dance Company and the Orpheus Chamber Singers. Soloists include mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (2013 Cardiff Singer of the World), tenor Aaron Sheehan (2015 Grammy Winner for Best Opera Recording), countertenor and rising star of the international opera stage John Holiday, violinist Adam LaMotte, recorder virtuoso Kathryn Montoya, and Ars Lyrica Artistic Director and harpsichordist Matthew Dirst. 

An essential part of Dirst’s artistic vision for the season, as he explains, is to “examine some of the most familiar musical rituals of the Baroque within a context that allows us to hear those works afresh. Playing the music on period instruments isn’t quite enough: we need periodically to see how such iconic works are part of a larger musical dialogue, one that began at the moment of their creation and continues to this day.” Seasonal Rituals thus features the four individual concerti of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on separate “seasonal” programs whose musical selections range widely, from Renaissance consort songs to a Haydn hunt cantata. 

Highlights of the 2015/16 season include a French Baroque chamber opera (part of a program commemorating the 300th anniversary of the death of the “Sun King” Louis XIV) and a complete performance of Handel’s Messiah with a stellar cast of soloists and guest conductor (and recent Gramophone winner) John Butt. Ars Lyrica’s performances of Messiah in Houston and Dallas will be accompanied by a public symposium devoted to this oratorio’s peculiar cultural baggage, with speakers including Michael Marissen, whose 2014 book Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah (Yale University Press) has opened a previously insular area of scholarship to wide public attention.

A new logo and “look” accompany the new season, as Ars Lyrica continues to expand and diversify its offerings.

Those who purchase season subscriptions prior to May 22 will receive additional perks, including a complimentary ticket to one of the 2015/16 programs and major discounts to the New Year’s Eve Dinner & Fundraising Gala. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arslyricahouston.org or call the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 713.315.2525. (Press 1 for Ars Lyrica Houston)

Ars Lyrica also celebrates the release of two new commercial recordings during 2015. Heart and Soul: Devotional Music from the German Baroque (Centaur Records, Spring 2015) features countertenor Ryland Angel and harpsichordist/organist Matthew Dirst with Ars Lyrica core string players. Ars Lyrica’s world première recording of Alessandro Scarlati’s La sposa dei Cantici (Sono Luminus, Fall 2015) features soprano Meghan Lindsay and three of the world’s leading countertenors—John Holiday, Jay Carter, and Ryland Angel—along with Ars Lyrica string and continuo players, all under the direction of Matthew Dirst.

Meet Ars Lyrica's New Marketing & Administrative Director

Ars Lyrica Houston Names New Marketing & Administrative Director

Jacqueline Gonzalez to head marketing and publicity efforts for the  Grammy-nominated early music ensemble

HOUSTON, TX (November 3, 2014) – Ars Lyrica Houston (ALH) names Jacqueline Gonzalez as Marketing & Administrative Director. Ms. Gonzalez will be responsible for all media relations, community outreach, publicity, marketing, social media and promotional efforts for the organization. 

Previously, Ms. Gonzalez worked with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Walt Disney World Resort, and has had success in several entrepreneurial roles including promotions and marketing. Ms. Gonzalez has extensive experience in event planning, general and social media marketing as well as non-profit fundraising. She has also served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  She is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio.  

Bach & Sons: At the Cafe Program Notes

C. P. E. Bach’s Concerto in G Major was first heard on the organ in 1755, at the inaugural of Princess Anna Amalia’s new instrument in the Berlin City Palace. Bach himself later transcribed it for flute, very likely for use at daily concerts at the court of Frederick the Great, whose insatiable appetite for flute music kept Emanuel Bach and his Berlin colleague Johann Joachim Quantz, Frederick’s favorite composer and flute teacher, busy for many years. That this work remained a part of Bach’s concert repertoire, even after his move to Hamburg, is suggested by the survival of several later cadenzas by the composer for each of its three movements. It is a substantial piece, with an extended first movement that contrasts dramatic opening gestures and unison tutti with delicate filigree for the soloist, a wonderfully tragic slow movement, and a light-hearted, even rustic, final movement full of brilliance and good humor. 

A member of Emanuel Bach’s literary circle, Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg, penned the text of Die Amerikanerin, whose musical setting by Philipp Emanuel’s younger brother Johann Christoph Friedrich fed the growing fascination with American culture in the late 18th century. J. C. F. Bach spent nearly fifty years at the at the court of Count Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe at Bückeburg, whose success in the Seven Years’ War brought both prestige and increased cultural activity, at least for a time, to an otherwise provincial court. Solo cantatas set to lyrics by leading poets were de rigueur, and having married a singer who was the daughter of a court colleague, J. C. F. Bach was only too happy to oblige with several “monodramas” that are among his most imaginative creations.

Die Amerikanerin: ein lyrisches Gemählde is, as its subtitle suggests, a lyric depiction of a characteristically 18th-century transformation. Waiting endlessly for his beloved, the poet/singer allows his love for Saide (whose charms are lifted straight out of the Song of Solomon) to become an unhealthy obsession, in which he imagines her imperiled by nature’s darker side: tigers, serpents, and various unnamed monsters. The work’s own transformation—its original 1773 title, Song of a Moor, was switched in 1776 to The American Girl, perhaps in honor of the American Revolution—neatly summarizes European fascination with the latest cultural “other”: native Americans. The cantata’s moral, that even the most painful hallucinations are good for the soul, sits somewhere between the sentimental and the operatic.

 

At least one early source for Sebastian Bach’s “Coffee Cantata” carries the subtitle Dramma per Musica, an unlikely designation perhaps for Bach, who never wrote an opera, but one that suggests that this piece was intended to entertain—unlike his church cantatas, which served to instruct and edify the faithful—and perhaps that it was meant to be acted out. Written for performance by the Leipzig Collegium Musicum (which Bach led) in Zimmerman’s Coffee House, the work dates from the early 1730s, when the coffee craze was at its height. Long satirized as the cause of exotic disease, moral ruin, even death, coffee was actually a very popular (if strictly regulated) drink in many cities in the early 18th century: the Leipzig town council began licensing—and taxing—coffee houses in the 1690s.

Picander’s libretto for the work, though full of platitudes (one aria asserts that coffee tastes “sweeter than a thousand kisses, milder than muscatel wine”), rehearses the timeless story of a grumpy old man (Schlendrian, which in German means a “stick in the mud” kind of guy) whose daughter (Lieschen), having discovered a forbidden pleasure, refuses to give it up until her father threatens to prevent any prospect of marriage. Bach’s music veers from an enraged patter song to ornate, spun-out Baroque tracery—ironically, for some over-the-top hyperbole in praise of coffee—and finally to swinging melodies straight out of comic opera. Tonight’s staging updates the venue a bit, replacing one coffee-obsessed era with another (our own) while attempting to recreate some of the hearty Gemütlichkeit Bach and his friends must have enjoyed at Herr Zimmerman’s establishment. 

 

In 1782 Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, a leading poet of the German Enlightenment, penned an ode entitled Morgengesang am Schöpfungfeste (“Morning Song on the Feast of Creation”) for C. P. E. Bach to set to music. Their fortuitous collaboration did not go unnoticed: a review of its inaugural performance in 1783 noted that the work is “full of sublime simplicity…seldom have poetry and music been more fortunately united.” And indeed, Bach’s music makes the most of Klopstock’s vivid imagery: in the opening measures, for example, where the sun’s absence is keenly depicted with a lowing melodic figure begun in the bottom register of the accompanying strings. The Sun’s eventual appearance is celebrated not merely for its salubrious effect on the natural world and humankind; an explicitly Christian message is also woven into Klopstock’s ode. Unresolved tension between these two poles—traditional Christian doctrine vs. the Enlightenment—animates the last several sections of this ambitious work scored for four voices, flute, and strings.

 

© Matthew Dirst

Ars Lyrica Is Hiring! Marketing and Administrative Director

Position description:
Grammy-nominated early music ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston (ALH) is seeking expert arts administration and marketing professional for its 2014-2015 season and beyond. The marketing and administrative director is responsible for managing all public relations and marketing activities with the goal of creating greater awareness of ALH and its artistic director and founder, Matthew Dirst, increasing ticket sales, and attracting and diversifying audience base. Additionally, marketing and administrative director assists in daily administrative tasks related to artist and event support.  Marketing and administrative director director plays an integral role on the ALH team, works closely with ALH Staff and Board, and reports to the Executive Director.

Status: full-time employee
Pay: competitive, based on experience
Benefits: health insurance, two weeks of paid vacation per annum

Primary duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

PUBLIC RELATIONS
·      Securing coverage of ALH, its artists, recordings, programming, outreach and other initiatives in local, regional, national, and international print, online and broadcast media;
·   Scheduling personal interviews and appearances by ALH’s artists and artistic director for print publications and broadcast media;
·   Placing vcasts and podcasts of ALH performances and interviews with ALH artists, staff and audiences;
·      Nurturing current media relations and creating new relationships with the media;
·      Securing new media sponsorships;
·   Placing listings in local and regional publications, web sites and electronic media;
·      Producing press releases, press kits, season programs and ads;
·      Managing social networking;
·      Working with photographers, videographers, and graphic designers on creating promotional materials;
·      Participating in and assisting with all ALH’s events, including concerts, galas, mixers, and fundraisers.

MARKETING & AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
·   Developing and implementing an annual marketing plan that will include recommendations for effective advertising, direct mail and e-mail campaigns, promotion of ALH recordings, sponsorships, individual ticket sales and subscriptions, donor cultivation program, and identifying and attracting new audiences;
·   Strategizing with the Artistic and Executive Directors on promotional materials, initiatives and partnerships;
·      Managing and expanding Young Professional Society group by building relationships, networking, and organizing events (mixers, collaborations with other groups);
·    Identifying natural partners for ALH in the community and establishing mutually beneficial relationships;
·   Securing sponsorships involving financial and in-kind donations with local businesses;
·      Managing marketing volunteers and interns.

WEBSITE AND DATABASE
·      Maintaining ALH’s website through Squarespace;
·      Maintaining and expanding databases (Patron Manager and TRG);
·      Producing records for marketing and business purposes (i.e., ticket sales and subscriptions, mailings of promotional materials).

ARTIST RELATIONS
·      Managing guest artist travel, accommodations, and local transportation.

Job requirements
·    Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of three years in PR/marketing/arts administration/customer service/special events or related fields;
·    Understanding of Houston media market is required;
·    Knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, Salesforce, and Squarespace a plus
·    Experience in working with non-profit arts organizations is preferred;
·    Interest, knowledge, and enthusiasm for classical music a plus;
·    Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills;
·    Demonstrated success in implementing diverse media and marketing strategies
·    Availability during ALH events on some weekends and evenings.

Application process:
Please e-mail your cover letter, résumé and references to Kinga Ferguson, Ars Lyrica Houston Executive Director at kferguson@arslyricahouston.org. Each prospective candidate of interest will be invited to interview with the executive director. In the meantime, questions or comments should be directed to Kinga Ferguson. 

Thank you for attending the season premiere

Flying High was a huge success thanks to our wonderful patrons. Celine Ricci's voice soared throughout the hall while the entire ensemble treated the audience to an evening of Baroque fireworks. Afterwards, subscribers mingled with the artists at the post-concert reception. Photos from the event may be found on our flikr page HERE.  We hope to see all of you throughout the season! 

Flying High Program Notes

Program

Les Caractères de la Danse: Fantaisie
Jean-Baptiste-Féry Rebel (1666-1747)        

Pièces de clavecin avec voix ou violon
J.-J. Cassanéa de Mondonville (1711-1772)

Sonata in D Minor
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
   

La Folia
Anonymous (17th century)

Suite in G
Michel Corrette (1643-1704)

Tra le fiamme (Il consiglio), HW 170
George Frederic Handel (1685-1759)                       

Program Notes

With a whirlwind suite of dances and Handel’s extravagant musings on the fate of Icarus as bookends, Flying High surveys the heights of the Italian and French Baroque while featuring a bit of shameless virtuosity. From Mondonville’s endless roulades to an anonymous but memorable Folia, this program gives virtually every member of the ensemble a chance to soar. 

Though the most celebrated musical products of the ancien régime are its operas, instrumental works from this environment are no less rich in musical invention and effect. The celebrated violinist Jean-Baptiste-Féry Rebel, whose 1716 royal appointment as Maitre de Musique transformed musical life at the court of the elderly Louis XIV, pioneered what came eventually to be known as “program music.” His ballet Les Caractères de la danse, first presented (with choreography) at the Paris Opera around 1720, enjoyed widespread popularity with and without dancers; Handel presented the work in London just a few years later. Subtitled “fantaisie,” this fleet suite includes virtually every French Baroque dance within a highly compressed time frame. Its deft detours—from one dance type to the next, mostly without pause—surely gave P. D. Q. Bach much to admire.

The suite that opens the second half of tonight’s program is a kind of “performer’s choice” comprising movements from several different sources, including a Concerto comique by Michel Corrette, which itself borrows from both Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Les Sauvages, from Rameau’s opera-ballet Les Indes galantes and as arranged by Corrette, is perhaps this musical travelogue’s most memorable morceaux. Though American Indians would have been baffled by such music, for the French Rameau’s thumpy rhythms and simple tune conjured up an exotic world an ocean away. The Musette en Rondeau, along with the closing pairs of rigaudons and tambourins, come from the same stage work, whose four suites of dances are endlessly colorful. The remaining movement of our invented suite, Rousseau’s Quand on scait aimer et plaire, is included for both musical and ideological contrast. Not content to write only philosophy, Rousseau proposed his own melody-dominated musical style against the busier textures of Rameau. Though we don’t remember him principally for his compositions, the man certainly knew how to write a good tune!

Despite their nonchalant title, nearly all of Mondonville’s ten Pièces de clavecin avec voix ou violon require both voice and violin; each, moreover, puts the performers to work in novel and interesting ways. The composer, who enjoyed great prestige at the French court, apparently wrote these pieces for his wife, who was a talented harpsichordist and singer. Their sacred texts, which seem oddly out of place in settings that are alternatively sensuous and virtuosic, may well have been motivated by the dedication of the volume to the archbishop of Rennes.

Though comparatively few in number, Alessandro Scarlatti’s surviving instrumental works are filled with idiomatic melodies and figuration. The Sonata in D minor for cello and continuo, one of a set of three such works, is by turns darkly brooding and intensely sweet. Precisely what kind of cello Scarlatti intended is an open question: early cellos came in various sizes, from the normal four-string instrument familiar today to the smaller five-string violoncello piccolo, which was popular among the Italians and Germans.

Throughout the Baroque era, one of the most common ways to generate instrumental music involved improvisation on standard harmonic progressions. The folia (or Folies d’Espagne), although longer than most Baroque bass patterns, falls quickly into a familiar groove, which may explain its spectacular longevity from the late Renaissance to the beginning of the 19th century. This evening’s Folia, from a manuscript housed in the Biblioteca Nacionale in Madrid, consists of a single though quite extraordinary violin part, to which an accompaniment may be improvised.

Handel composed Tra le fiamme in Rome in 1707, to a libretto by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili that conflates two similar analogies: butterflies flirting with flame, and Icarus’ fatal flight too near the sun. Such a topic was right up the good cardinal’s alley: Pamphilii’s literary name, as a member of the Arcadian Society, was Fenicio (Phoenix) Lariesseo. Scholars have used this and other provocative clues to propose a biographical connection with the young Handel, whose music reawakened the cardinal’s muse in ways that seem to have unsettled this prince of the church. 

With this cantata libretto was Pamphilii warning Handel to keep his distance from soprano Vittoria Tarquini (who was someone else’s mistress)? Did Pamphilii want the young Saxon all for himself? Or might there be a more general message here—not to forget your proper station in life, for example? In any case, Handel created a lavish musical frame for Pamphilii’s text: in addition to the customary soprano and continuo, Tra le fiamme calls for two recorders, oboe, two violins, and viola da gamba. In its three arias the virtuosic obbligatos for viola da gamba create an intimate foil for the singer, who relates this story as a lesson to those who, like Icarus, might aspire toward the unattainable.   

© Matthew Dirst

New Website

We are excited to launch our new website just in time for the start of the 2014–2015 Season. Please make sure to read all about the upcoming season and our talented musicians in a note from the Directors here. We hope to see you at upcoming concerts. Don't forget about discounted rates through Subscription ticket offers and our Young Professional Society.

Sincerely, 

Ars Lyrica Staff