Muse on Artful Women with Ars Lyrica’s Italian Sirens concert at Hobby Center

Cecilia Duarte | Photo: Pim Lin

Immerse yourself in Ars Lyrica’s performance, Italian Sirens, in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center on Sunday, November 12, 2017.

Just before the holidays kick into full swing, Ars Lyrica Houston presents the second entry in its season-long Artful Women series.

Italian Sirens embodies the season’s motif with a trio of exceptional Houston singers in the company of a colorful continuo band of violins, cello, Baroque harp, theorbo, and harpsichord.

Featuring Houston vocalists Sydney Anderson, Cecilia Duarte, and Alexandra Smither, the musical tricolore is devoted to the unique voices that emerged around the 1600s.

That virtuosic talent was realized in the work of three remarkable early 17th-century composers: Isabella Leonarda, Francesca Caccini, and Barbara Strozzi.

Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica, Matthew Dirst expressed Claudio Monteverdi’s sentimentto when he described the song-filled program, “Prima le parole e secunda la musica; first the words then the music.”

Click here to purchase tickets to Italian Sirens online or click here for more information on how to receive a free ticket with the purchase of a four-concert season ticket package.

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Photo courtesy of Ars Lyrica

About the Soloists

  • Sydney Anderson | Soprano – An accomplished concert soloist, Ms. Anderson has been featured with such ensembles as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Society Houston. Recent soloist credits include Mozart’s Requiem, Christopher Theofanidis’s The Here and Now, and Handel’s Esther. In 2016, Ms. Anderson celebrated her main stage debut with Houston Grand Opera as Arminy in Carousel and participated in the company’s Operato Go! program as the Princess in The Princess and the Pea.
  • Cecilia Duarte | Mezzo-Soprano – Duarte appeared with Ars Lyrica Houston last season in G.F. Handel’s oratorio Jeptha. She created the role of Renata in the first opera with mariachi music Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Houston Grand Opera, touring with it to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, and then in later performances at Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera (revival), San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera. Future performances include Smeraldina in Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges with Moores Opera Center, and An English Baroque Christmas with Mercury, and Renatain in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, with the New York City Opera.
  • Alexandra Smither | Soprano – Canadian-British soprano Alexandra Smither is quickly making a name for herself in the world of old and new classical music. A recent graduate of the prestigious Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, 2017 brings performances at Carnegie Hall, the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Tanglewood Festival. She is a member of the Houston-based contemporary music ensemble Loop38 and was the co-founder of the new music ensemble Hear & Now at Rice University.

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 was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera in 2011.

Ars Lyrica continues to honor local female philanthropists, spotlighting Joan Weltzein, Ed. D. whose dedication to Ars Lyrica and the arts has been a tremendous impact and inspiration.

Ars Lyrica presents Italian Sirens at the Hobby Center

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