PAST SEASONS in Review
We have thoroughly enjoyed the last several seasons and are looking forward to many more!
To purchase a CD recording of some of our favorite performances, visit the Recordings section of our website.
A Day with Marie Antoinette
This special evening with France’s most famous queen includes a violin concerto by her music teacher Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, operatic excerpts from C. W. Gluck’s Orphée, and Haydn’s “Paris” Symphony No. 85, subtitled “The Queen.”
Long Live the Queen
In a program featuring the award-winning Moores School Concert Chorale, Ars Lyrica celebrates the musical legacy of two important royal patrons from the Baroque era with J. S. Bach’s rarely heard Trauerode, written for the funeral of Christiane Eberhardine of Saxony, and Handel’s Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne.
Esther & Jonah
Ars Lyrica’s 2018 Houston Early Music Festival program, offered in collaboration with Bach Society Houston, pairs two concise music dramas from opposite ends of the 18th century: Handel’s Esther (1718) and Samuel Felsted’s Jonah (1775). With gorgeous arias and stirring choruses in abundance, the former celebrates an Old Testament heroine’s victory over the forces of evil while the latter is the first American oratorio.
New Year's in Berlin
To ring in the new year, Ars Lyrica recreates a salon chez Sara Itzig Levy in Berlin, whose home was a meeting place for literary and musical giants, including Bach’s eldest sons and the young Felix Mendelssohn, Levy’s grandnephew. This program features a C. P. E. Bach double concerto for fortepiano and harpsichord, a work closely connected with our legendary hostess: at its 1788 première, Mme. Levy herself played one of the solo parts! The evening also includes an elegant pre-concert dinner and post-concert gala.
The decades around 1600 saw a remarkable flowering of female musical talent, virtuoso singers especially. Italian Sirens is devoted to these unique voices, as realized in the work of three remarkable early 17th-century composers: Isabella Leonarda, Francesca Caccini, and Barbara Strozzi.
Featuring exotic musical works inspired by Philomela, mythical princess of Athens including arias from Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato and Johann Adolph Hasse’s lyric cantata L’Armonica, with glass harmonica. The ensemble of strings and winds soars as well, with one of C. P. E. Bach’s vibrant symphonies for twelve obbligato instruments.
Don Quixote's Excellent Adventures One of history’s greatest literary figures, Don Quixote has inspired many musical works over the years, from Renaissance songs to a Broadway musical. Ars Lyrica’s 2016/17 season finale features core string players and singers in a pan-European survey of Baroque music devoted to this Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha.
In chamber works from this era, musical depictions of the supernatural took on a life of their own outside the opera house. Shorn of traditional theatrical trappings, the purely aural spectres of J. C. F. Bach and Beethoven make powerful impressions, indeed. Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, Pygmalion, Jean-Marie LeClair, Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 7/1, Ludwig van, Beethoven, "Ghost" Trio in D Major, Op. 70/1, Ludwig van Beethoven, An die ferne geliebte
Les Plaisirs de Versailles
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s witty chamber opera Les Plaisirs de Versailles—an ode to both wine and chocolate—plus chamber works by François Couperin and Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.
Handel’s final masterpiece, on a searing Old Testament tale about a foolish promise and its consequences—featuring a stellar cast of soloists and the award-winning Moores School of Music Concert Choral from the University of Houston.
Bachanalia: Cantatas for the New Year
A festive program rings in the New Year with cantatas J. S. Bach wrote specifically for this holiday plus other celebratory works.
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.”
Featuring mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos and violinist Adam LaMotte in Vivaldi’s Autumn from The Four Seasons.
HOMAGE TO THE SUN KING
This program features Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s sparkling chamber opera Les arts florissants plus royal motets and chamber works by Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau.
FIRE AND ICE
New Year’s Eve 2015 brings a star-studded evening with music that is by turns hot and cold. Vivaldi’s Winter sets the stage for Handel’s Apollo e Dafne, which tells the story of too-ardent love and a unique transformation.
ALL IN A GARDEN GREEN
Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons plus spirited songs of the season from various cultures. PART OF THE 2016 HOUSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Orpheus Chamber Singers return to collaborate on Handel’s Messiah with conductor John Butt, 2014 Gramophone Award Winner, and stellar soloists.
Featuring Vivaldi’s Summer, Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto In D Minor, W. A. Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, with countertenor John Holiday, baroque oboe and recorder player Kathryn Montoya, and harpsichordist Matthew Dirst.
French and Italian Baroque chamber works animate this program, featuring French-Italian Soprano Céline Ricci and viola da gambist Mary Springfels in G. F. Handel’s evocative Tra le fiamme.
Bach & Sons: At the Café
This program includes a rarely performed ode by Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach, his younger brother Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach’s cantata Die Amerikanerin, plus patriarch Johann Sebastian Bach’s beloved “Coffee Cantata” in a new staging by Lynda McKnight.
On New Year’s Eve, Ars Lyrica offers a festive evening of celebration and beautiful music featuring soprano Melissa Givens and mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte.
A swoon advisory is thus in effect for this performance featuring duets from Claudio Monteverdi and cantatas by Vivaldi and Scarlatti.
Bach & Sons: At Court
Ars Lyrica’s season-long tribute to the Bach family continues with an evening of concertos by Johann Sebastian, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christian Bach.
Our 2014/15 season finale provides abundant vocal and instrumental fireworks, with Alexander’s Feast—Or, The Power of Music by G.F. Handel, produced in collaboration with the Bach Society Houston.
Rarely heard works including Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Magnificat a 3 and Petite Pastorale plus pieces by Lully, C. P. E. Bach, and Handel. With Aaron Sheehan, John Buffett, and Eduardo Tercero.
Celebrating Venice and its carnival tradition with exotic music from the City of Masks. With Melissa Givens and Blair Doerge, Sean Wang, Colin St Martin, and Richard Savino.
La Sposa dei Cantici
The modern world première of a 1703 oratorio by Alessandro Scarlatti featuring Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay and three of the world’s leading countertenors: John Holiday, Jay Carter, and Ryland Angel.
The Texas première of Handel's oratorio. With Meg Bragle, Cecilia Duarte, Abigail Levis, Zachary Averyt, Brian Shircliffe, Timothy Jones, and the University of Houston Moores School of Music Concert Chorale.
A Baroque Wedding Feast
Springtime Baroque favorites. Featuring soprano Meghan Lindsay.
It Takes Two
Bach’s 4th “Brandenburg” Concerto, Haydn’s Concerto in F Major for violin and harpsichord, and other works for two or more soloists. With Marc Destrubé, Paul Leenhouts, Kathryn Montoya, and Matthew Dirst.
Bach’s Magnificat plus ceremonial works by Gabrieli and Handel. In collaboration with the Orpheus Chamber Singers.
A Vienneses New Year
Festive music by the legendary composers of the Viennese royal court: Mozart, Gluck, Schmeltzer, Fux, and Strauss. With Lauren Snouffer and John Holiday.
Acis and Galatea
Handel’s pastoral masterpiece directed by Tara Faircloth. With Blair Doerge, Ryland Angel, Derek Chester, Michael Kelly, and Timothy Jones.
Musical settings of texts from the Song of Solomon by Monteverdi, Buxtehude, and Part I of Handel’s oratorio Solomon. With Melissa Givens, Ellie Jarrett Shattles, and Tony Boutté.
A journey from worldly torment to heavenly ecstasy with music of Scarlatti, Couperin, Rameau, and Handel
J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 5 with prize-winning soloists, and music of Frederick the Great’s personal composer, J.G. Janitsch
Bach and Time
A seasonal all-Bach program on the subject of time in its multiple dimensions
A telling of the Resurrection story by G.F. Handel, with vocal fireworks, beautiful melodies, and a stellar cast
Heaven and Hell
In collaboration with the New York Baroque Dance Company, some of Monteverdi’s most imaginative scores are brought to Houston in a staged program
A Domenico Scarlatti intermezzo and string concerti arranged from his keyboard sonatas
On the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s grandest sacred work, in collaboration with the Orpheus Chamber Singers
Handel'sApollo e Dafne plus instrumental works by Bach and Telemann
St John Passion
Bach’s sacred drama, with the Moores School Concert Chorale
Music for the castrati from Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti
A Musical Offering
Works by Bach and Telemann evoking far-flung locales
Hail! Bright Cecilia
Purcell’s ode to the patron saint of music, in collaboration with the Houston Chamber Choir
A Neapolitan New Year
The American première of J. A. Hasse’s serenata Marc Antonio e Cleopatra
Springtime in Paris
French Baroque chamber works for voices and instruments
Les Plaisirs de Versailles
Chamber opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier at Rienzi
Handel’s Clori, Tirsi e Fileno
Cantatas and operatic scenes by Clérambault, Handel, Hasse, and Gluck
CPE Bach, Cello Concerto No. 2 and “Der Frühling” Chamber works of J-Ph. Rameau
J. S. Bach wedding cantatas, oboe concerto
Women on the Verge
Music for three sopranos by Rossi, Carissimi, and Haydn
Il Trionfo del Tempo
G. F. Handel
G. F. Handel. In collaboration with Moores School of Music Concert Chorale
A Musical Pleasure Garden
Songs and sonatas of Handel, Arne, Shield, and their contemporaries. Outdoor performance at Bayou Bend
Baroque mad scenes by Purcell, Handel, and Clerambault
Instrumental music by the Bach family
Love and War
Madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi
Handel’ Gloria and Bach’ Ich habe genug
A Marian Feast
Religious music by A. Scarlatti
When in Rome
Carissimi, Mazzocchi, and Gallerano
Handel and Bach
Scarlatti, Handel, and Vivaldi
Music for the Concerte delle donne
Biber, Bach, and Bubbly
Brandenburg V, Orchestral Suite II, “Non sa che sia dolore”
G. F. Handel
French Baroque portraits
G. F. Handel
Suonare e cantare
Music of the Scarlattis
Clori, Tirsi e Fileno
G. F. Handel
La descente d’Orphée aux enfers
M. A. Charpentier
J. S. Bach
..Mozart @ 250
Sonatas and Trios
Monteverdi and his contemporaries
The Art of Buxtehude
Vocal and instrumental chamber music
M. A. Charpentier
Piano Trios and Songs
La Concettione della Beata Vergine
St John Passion
J. S. Bach
Hagar and Ishmael
Il primo omicidio
Vespers of 1610