Ars Lyrica Houston presents Sweet Philomela Friday, September 22 at 7:30 pm, in Zilkha Hall – Hobby Center For The Performing Arts.
Opening night of our 2017/18 season of Artful Women features exotic musical works inspired by Philomela, mythical princess of Athens, whose transformation into a nightingale has fascinated poets and musicians for centuries.
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki returns to the Zilkha Hall stage for evocative arias from Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato and Johann Adolph Hasse’s lyric cantata L’Armonica, while Dennis James makes his Ars Lyrica debut on the glass harmonica, an instrument whose ethereal sounds fascinated both Hasse and Mozart.
The ensemble of strings and winds soars as well, with one of C. P. E. Bach’s vibrant symphonies for twelve obbligato instruments.
Featured Guests & Soloists:
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Dennis James, glass harmonica
Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin
About the 2017/18 Artful Women season:
Today’s musical world is increasingly diverse in virtually all spheres, from classical to pop. That artistic diversity encourages audiences and practitioners to reconsider ingrained habits and tastes; the art becomes newly relevant. Great Composers may still dominate the musical landscape, but lesser-known figures have made significant inroads into the repertory.
We’ve also benefitted greatly from increased scholarly and popular enthusiasm for the musical customs and practices of past eras: “period-instrument performance” began in academia but is now a global phenomenon—one that we’re delighted to share with you.
Ars Lyrica Houston has always embraced this inquisitive attitude, in programming that offers a broad mix of dramatic and chamber music from the “Golden Age” of the 17th and 18th centuries, when all music aspired toward the lyric ideal.
That trajectory continues during 2017/18 with Artful Women, a season of six subscription programs that explore women’s role as muse, heroine, composer, performer, and patron. Individual programs spotlight female musical pioneers, their particular modes of musical expression and patronage, and the enduring power of female icons from mythology and history.
From the Directors