Houston's premier early music ensemble, Ars Lyrica Houston, plans a New Year's Eve performance that will include an American premiere of J. A. Hasse' early masterpiece Marc Antonio e Cleopatra. Composed in Naples in 1725 on the famous tale of Antony and Cleopatra, the piece showcases two brilliant young singers: mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and soprano Ava Pine. Ars Lyrica Artistic Director Matthew Dirst will be leading the ensemble from his customary seat at the harpsichord, and is delighted to welcome back to the Zilkha Hall stage two such wonderful singers for this festive program.
A winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has been described by Opera News as "a rising star" with a "sumptuous voice. Ms. Barton is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and debuts this season with the Metropolitan Opera as Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. For more information on Jamie Barton, please visit her website www.jamiebartonmezzo.com.
Soprano Ava Pine, who is praised by audiences and critics alike for her "sheer vocal beauty, ease and eloquence" and "rewarding musicianship," excels in music ranging from Baroque to Contemporary. She draws from a rich well of experience in both classical music and the theatrical stage, which she uses to maximum effect to communicate with her audiences, whether singing opera, oratorio, or giving a recital. More information on Ava can be found on her website www.avapine.com.
The concert will be followed by a New Year's Eve Gala and Silent Auction with special appearance by Ars Lyrica's artists, champagne, delectable hors d'oeuvres and donated prizes, that will take place at the Founder's Club in the Hobby Center. Guests will have the chance to bid on items such as Continental airline tickets, private house concerts, and a catered dinner for twelve.