Ars Lyrica Houston's Artistic Director, Matthew Dirst, created the group's tenth-anniversary season with one goal in mind: to bring seldom-heard Baroque music to Houston fans. ''I love music that's a bit outside the box, stuff that one doesn’t hear every day,'' he tells us. ''These kinds of pieces have been a central part of Ars Lyrica’s mission since the beginning.''
For the season opener, Menu-Plaisirs, Dirst and company made sure that the music, beautiful but not well-known by modern audiences, would be accessible to fans. The group is performing 17th- and 18th-century pieces for a 21st-century audience, which required some tinkering with the usual concert format. ''Anytime you reach this far back, especially to unfamiliar music, one needs to make sure that it's still stageworthy. One way to ensure that the message of the music comes across is to provide surtitles, which we're doing for this program; another is to incorporate a modicum of gesture, which we're also doing.''
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Dirst says that at the suggestion of professor John Powell, Ars Lyrica is hosting a pre-concert talk about the music at 5:15 p.m. in advance of the 6 p.m. curtain for anyone who wants a little more insight into the evening's program. 6 p.m. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit arslyricahouston.org. $35 to $55.
Sun., Sept. 22, 6 p.m., 2013