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Artist Reviews

"Dominique McCormick, whose superlative vocals complemented a wonderful expressiveness and impeccable comic timing. McCormick’s interpretation revealed natural acting talent, and it was thrilling to watch her command the stage."
-Houstonia Magazine

[Cecilia Duarte]"honeyed mezzo and feisty charm" -Houston Press


Scherzi musicali

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Zilkha Hall / Hobby Center For The Performing Arts

Need a novel gift for your Valentine? Ars Lyrica offers an out-of-the-box treat: Claudio Monteverdi’s spirited Scherzi musicali (“musical jokes”). These game-changing publications from 1607 and 1632 gave life to one of the most famous debates in music history: Monteverdi’s experimental style of vocal writing favored the words, whose careful expression justified the occasional compositional impropriety. Love in all its delicious colors is on the menu, as served up by soprano Dominique McCormick, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte and baritone Brian Shircliffe.


dominique mccormick , soprano

dominique mccormick, soprano

Cecilia duarte , mezzo-soprano

Cecilia duarte, mezzo-soprano

brian shircliffe,  baritone

brian shircliffe, baritone



Dominique McCormick is a lyric soprano from New York known for her “superlative vocals complimented with wonderful expressiveness and impeccable comic timing” (Houstonia). She received her undergraduate and masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music. She continued her education and professional experience in France performing oratorio and operatic works with, l’Orchestre Nationale des Pays de la Loire, Théâtre d’Asnières, Théâtre du Tambour-Royal and upon her return to the United States, singing with Opera America, Ars Lyrica and Opera in the Heights in Houston. She is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation on the vocal works of Marital Caillebotte. She is also proud to be the Co-Founder/owner and Artistic Director of Century Fine Arts, a music and fine arts school in Sugar Land, TX.

Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano, has been greatly recognized for creating the role of Renata in the Mariachi Opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, and has toured with it at Houston Grand Opera, Châtelet Theatre in Paris, France; Chicago Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, The Fort Worth Opera, and New York City Opera. Cecilia has created other roles, such as Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt (HGO and the Wallis Annenberg Center in L.A.); Gracie in A Way Home (HGO and Opera Southwest); Harriet/First Responder in After the Storm (HGO); Alicia in Some Light Emerges (HGO); and Alma in the new opera web series Star Cross’d, with Houston Grand Opera. Operatic roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Loma Williams in Cold Sassy Tree, Isabella in Rapaccini’s Daughter, Sarelda in The Inspector, Tituba in The Crucible, among others. Cecilia is a featured artist in the newest CD of songs by Daniel Catán, Encantamiento.

Lyric baritone Brian Shircliffe is excited to be performing with Ars Lyrica again. The San Antonio native has sung with Dayton Opera, Lake George Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera Vista, and has performed with numerous opera companies including: Houston Grand Opera, most recently seen in the world’s first Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. Brian holds a Master’s of Music from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, and teaches voice at San Jacinto College in Houston where he currently resides.. Following his performance as Dancaïro in Carmen, with Houston’s Opera in the Heights, the Houston Chronicle said: “The best individual singing of the evening came from Brian Shircliffe as Dancairo, one of Carmen’s fellow smugglers... He had a sure vocal presence, a natural, unblemished sound and an easy delivery...”