Ars Lyrica Houston offers world-class performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. Since their founding in 1998, the ensemble features rotating vocalists and performances of exceptional and little known baroque and chamber works.
We’ve continued our efforts to expand Ars Lyrica Houston’s audience and build engagement with their exceptional programming and world class performances. Their 2016-2017 season entitled Fables & Follies, told legendary stories of myth, absurdity, tragedy, and triumph through music.
Scope of work
- Marketing Collateral
- Publication Design
Myths and fables exist in an interesting interstitial space between truth and lie, triumph and disaster.
In their whimsy, we can gain distance from the deadly and revel in the joyous. Similarly, baroque music is both historical in creation and context, but ever modern in its structure and mathematics.
We sought to create an identity for the Fables & Follies concert series that captured the contradictions that makes storytelling and baroque music great, and forever relevant. We took inspiration from favorite collage artists such as Hans Christian Andersen—and more contemporaneously, Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame—to build illustrations from historical etchings that cloaked the sometimes sinister in the silly. Concert descriptions are below (via Ars Lyrica Houston).
Les Plaisirs de Versailles by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Ars Lyrica’s 2016/17 season opens with a trip to Versailles, where French kings and their courtiers cultivated pleasures of all kinds, including musical follies. Charpentier’s witty chamber opera pairs nicely with motets, drinking songs, and chamber works by François Couperin & Jean-Philippe Rameau, for a sumptuous and quintessentially French musical feast. Unusually for its era, Les Plaisirs de Versailles is a comedy—and an ode to both wine and chocolate!
Interest in the uncanny brought about all manner of oddities during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, from wax museums to gothic fiction. 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 Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven make powerful impressions, indeed.
Fast passagework? High notes? No problem for the greatest virtuosos of the early 18th century, whose talents inspired some of the most spectacular music of the late Baroque. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, one of the great showpieces of the soprano and trumpet repertoire, headlines this program, which also includes showstoppers by Vivaldi and Scarlatti.
A festive all-Bach program rings in the New Year with cantatas J. S. Bach wrote specifically for this holiday plus other celebratory works. This special evening at the Hobby Center begins with dinner at 7:30 pm at Artista Restaurant and continues at 9:00 pm in Zilkha Hall with Bachanalia. Ars Lyrica’s annual gala and silent auction follows; it’s a holiday tradition for our Houston patrons!
Don Quixote’s Excellent Adventures
One of history’s greatest literary figures, Don Quixote 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.
Handel’s final masterpiece sets an Old Testament tale about a warrior’s foolish promise to God and its terrible consequences. The austere subject matter (from the Book of Judges) becomes pure gold in Handel’s hands; his oratorio is full of beautiful melodies, searing choruses, even a surprise ending. These performances feature a stellar cast of soloists and the award-winning Moores School Concert Chorale from the University of Houston.
In successive seasons (links below) we continue this evolution forward to great result. Ars Lyrica Houston has seen success in both diversifying the demographics of its audience as well as increasing attendance. Underpinned by our efforts, the 2018 Gala not only surpassed the organization’s fundraising goals but turned out to be the most successful event in the organization’s history.