Musical Flavors of Argentina, Germany, Italy, England and more abound in Mercury’s 2017-18 Season

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Musical Flavors of
Argentina, Germany, Italy, England and more
abound in Mercury’s 2017-18 Season

Houston, TX Mercury Artistic Director Antoine Plante and Executive Director Brian Ritter announce the orchestra’s seventeenth season today. Beginning August 31, 2017, and featuring a vibrant mix of composers from various countries and a diverse range of works, the 2017-18 season offers something for music lovers of all ages. Piazzolla’s mesmerizing Libertango, a multi-media infused Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, traditional English Carols, Corelli’s joyful Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 4, Bach’s beloved St. Matthew Passion, and an original staged performance focusing on the life and works of Clara Wieck Schumann are just a few of the incredible works that will be performed.
Houston’s premiere period instrument ensemble continues to perform in top venues around the city. Through its flagship seven concert Downtown Series at The Wortham Center, free community concert at  Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL) concert series, and the multi-venue Neighborhood Series at the Museum of Fine Arts, MATCH, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, and Dosey Doe in The Woodlands, Mercury continues to be accessible to its ever-growing audience.
Artists appearing with Mercury this season include violist James Dunham; sopranos Dominique Labelle, Hannah Lu, Lauren Snouffer and Mary Wilson; mezzo-sopranos Meg Bragle and Cecilia Duarte; countertenor Daniel Taylor; tenors Derek Chester, Nicholas Phan, and Eduardo Tercero; basses Mark Diamond, Michael Kessler, and Michael Sumuel; directors Tara Faircloth, Carole Nelson, and Betsy Cook Weber; the Houston Boy Choir; Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Ensemble; Luna Tango; and Tango Boreal. Mercury’s concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey also appears as soloist.

The ensemble also continues its collaboration with the world-renowned Juilliard School, introducing Houston to the next generation of great period performance musicians through its Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship. Joining Mercury this season will be cellist Keiran Campbell,and violinist Augusta McKay Lodge.

Season tickets go on sale August 14 at http://tickets.mercuryhouston.org/
The 2017-18 Season
SEASON KICK-OFF
BACH & PIAZZOLLA
Thursday, August 31, 2017
8:00 PM, UHCL
2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston
Saturday, September 2, 2017  8:00 PM, Miller Outdoor Theatre – Free Community Concert
(Sponsored in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Outdoor Theatre Advisory Board)
6000 Hermann Park Drive in Hermann Park, Houston
J.S. BACH Selections from Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue) BWV 1080
PIAZZOLLA:
Libertango; Organito; La Muerte del Ángel; Milonga del Ángel;
Double Concerto for bandoneon, guitar and string orchestra, “Hommage à Liège”;
Milonga; Tango; Escualo
DENIS PLANTE:
Tango Romance, Cuidad

Luna Tango, Tango Boreal, special guests
Antoine Plante, conductor
Mercury says goodbye to summer and welcomes the coming 2017-18 season with two concerts. Revel in the experience of Bach’s gripping and romantic Die Kunst der Fuge; exciting, soulful, and passionate music from the master of Tango followed by two compelling works from renowned contemporary Canadian composer Denis Plante.
DOWNTOWN SERIES
One of five

performing arts complexes in a seventeen-block area, the Cullen Theater, located in the two-block Gus S. Wortham Theater Center, has been home to Mercury’s Downtown Series since 2006.

501 Texas Avenue, Houston
BRAHMS & MENDELSSOHN 
Saturday, October 7, 2017,  8:00 PM, Wortham Center
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 5, “Reformation”
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
One great evening, two amazing works -Mendelssohn’s tempestuous and triumphant Symphony No. 5 and Brahms’ cheerful Second Symphony.
HAYDN & MOZART
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
HAYDN Symphony No. 22, “The Philosopher”
HAYDN Symphony No. 49, “The Passion”
MOZART Sinfonia concertante, K. 364
Jonathan Godfrey, violin
James Dunham,

viola
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
Haydn’s best-known symphony, No. 22 and his dark-hued No. 49, share the stage with Mozart’s only complete surviving work in the sinfonia concertante genre.
 
CORELLI’S CHRISTMAS CONCERTO             
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
MOZART Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165
MOZART Laudamus te from Great Mass, K. 427
MOZARTAgnus Dei from Coronation Mass, K. 317
BACH Aria from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
CORELLI Christmas Concerto, Op. 6, No. 8
HAYDN Christmas Symphony
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
Celebrate the season of Christmas as only Mercury can!
LOVING CLARA SCHUMANN
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
CLARA SCHUMANN:
Er ist gekommen; Warum willst du and’re fragen; Ich stand in dunklen Traumen;
Oh weh des Scheidens; Liebst du um Schönheit;
Sie liebten sich beide
ROBERT SCHUMANN:
Er der Herrlichste; Ich kann’s nicht fassen; Du Ring an meinem Finger;
Nun hast Du mir den ersten Schmerz getan; Seit ich ihn gesehen; Anfangs wollt’ ich fast verzagen;
Morgens steh’ ich auf und frage; Meine Rose; Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden
BRAHMS Wir wandelten
Soloists TBA
Tara Faircloth, director
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
Be sure to get your tickets for this scintillating staged performance around the life and works of Clara Wieck Schumann and her relationships with Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.
HANDEL & PERGOLESI
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
PERGOLESI Stabat Mater
HANDEL Opera arias and duets, Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 5
Dominique Labelle, soprano
Daniel Taylor, countertenor
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
Lose yourself in an incandescent journey through a beloved selection of operatic flavored emotional works by two Baroque masters, culminating with one of the most popular of all settings of the Stabat Mater. Joining Mercury are two internationally renowned interpreters of Baroque music, Canadians soprano Dominique Labelle and countertenor Daniel Taylor.
BACH’S ST. MATTHEW PASSION
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
J.S. BACH St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Nicholas Phan, tenor – Evangelist
Mary Wilson, soprano
Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano
Derek Chester, tenor
Michael Sumuel, bass
Houston Boy Choir
Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Ensemble
Betsy Cook Weber, director
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
One of the greatest pieces of inspirational sacred music ever written. Joining Mercury in the performance of Bach’s magnificent work are celebrated Houston-based director Betsy Cook Weber, five acclaimed singers, and members of the Houston Symphony Chorus.
VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 8:00 PM, Wortham Center
VIVALDI The Four Seasons
PURCELL Suite from The Fairy Queen
Denis Plante and Antoine Plante, creators
Antoine Plante, conductor
Pre-Concert Lecture 7:15 PM Location TBA
Director and creator of two Mercury audience favorites, Bach and Piazzolla (2016) and The Crimson Prince (2015), Denis Plante returns with a new concert. Mercury presents an exciting, multi-media concert featuring two incredible works by Vivaldi and Purcell. Come be transported to a whimsical world of fairies and magic!

NEIGHBORHOOD SERIES
Mercury’s Neighbor Series features short, affordable concerts performed in intimate atmospheres at four unique venues across Houston:

Mercury’s music sets the mood for contemplating the lush paintings of the Baroque gallery in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) Beck Building, home to Mercury since 2006.Located in one of Houston’s largest arts and culture hubs, the Historic District between Midtown, Rice University and the Med Center;

MATCH, the newest venue in Mercury’s Neighborhood lineup, located in the thriving hotbed of culture, creativity and foodie favorites that is known as Midtown;

.
MDPC, a multi-sensory experience of sight and sound set in a simply gorgeous location in the west side of Houston. The stunning stained glass of the chapel at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church is a vibrant backdrop, adding to the concert experience;

Dosey Doe in The Woodlands. Music lovers get the complete Texas treatment at Dosey Doe’s Big Barn location – a 165-year-old tobacco barn approximately thirty miles north of Downtown Houston. The space features incredible acoustics and delicious southern-style meals.

 
BACH & MENDELSSOHN
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 2:30 PM
MATCH, Midtown Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 8:00 PM

MENDELSSOHN

Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
BACH Toccata and Fugue in D minor for Solo Violin, BWV 565
BACH Passacaglia in C minor for String, BWV 582
Enjoy an uplifting evening with Mendelssohn’s youthful Octet, and two works by one of the most important composers of all time.
AN ENGLISH BAROQUE CHRISTMAS
MATCH, Midtown Thursday, November 30, 2017, 8:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, December 2, 2017, 2:30 PM
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, December 2, 2017, 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, December 3, 2017, 7:00 PM

TAVERNER Motets

TALLIS Motets
PURCELL Songs, Hymns, Fantasias and Sonatas
DOWLAND Songs
TRADITIONAL English Carols
Hannah Lu, soprano
Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano
Eduardo Tercero, tenor
To Be Announced, bass
Antoine Plante, conductor
Join in the spirit of the season with Mercury’s An English Baroque Christmas.
 
SPLENDORS OF ITALIAN BAROQUE
MATCH, Midtown, Thursday, April 12, 2018, 8:00 PM
MDPC, Memorial Drive, Saturday, April 14, 2018, 2:30 PM
MFAH, Museum District Saturday, April 14, 2018, 7:00 PM
Dosey Doe, The Woodlands, Sunday, April 15, 2018, 7:00 PM  
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Violins and Cello, Op. 3, No. 11, RV 565
Locatelli: Concerto Grosso, “The Tears of Ariadne”
Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 4
Vivaldi: Concerto for Cello, RV 407
SAMMARTINI: Concerto Grosso, Op.11, No. 5
Antoine Plante, conductor
Vivaldi, Locatelli, Corelli, Sammartini! – Need we say more?
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON CLEAR LAKE (UHCL)
The University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater is the premier performing arts center and concert venue for the greater Clear Lake area. The August 31st concert is also part of the UHCL series.
2700 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston

BRAHMS’ SECOND SYMPHONY
Friday, October 6, 2017, 8:00 PM, UHCL
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 5, “Reformation”
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2
Antoine Plante, conductor
One great evening, two amazing works -Mendelssohn’s tempestuous and triumphant Symphony No. 5 and Brahms’ cheerful Second Symphony.
 
SPLENDORS OF ITALIAN BAROQUE
Friday, April 13, 2018, 8:00 PM, UHCL
VIVALDI Concerto for Two Violins and Cello, Op. 3, No. 11, RV 565
LOCATELLI Concerto Grosso, “The Tears of Ariadne”
CORELLI Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 4
VIVALDI Concerto for Cello, RV 407
SAMMARTINI: Concerto Grosso, Op.11, No. 5
Antoine Plante, conductor
Vivaldi, Locatelli, Corelli, Sammartini! Need we say more?

VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS
Sunday, May 13, 2018, 2:00 PM, UHCL
VIVALDI The Four Seasons
PURCELL Suite from The Fairy Queen
Denis Plante and Antoine Plante, creators
Antoine Plante, conductor

Mercury presents an exciting, multi-media concert featuring two incredible works by Vivaldi and Purcell. Come be transported to a whimsical world of fairies and magic!

 

ABOUT MERCURY
Innovation, accessibility and dynamism are just three of the distinguishing characteristics of Mercury, the critically acclaimed Houston-based period instrument ensemble that continues to redefine the orchestra experience. Now in its 17th season, Mercury celebrates the power of music – from the Baroque period and more – serving the Houston community and beyond through teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Antoine Plante and three friends in 2000 with the goal to enrich and entertain Houston audiences with an exciting repertoire of Baroque music performed on period instruments, the ensemble gradually expanded its vision to offer fresh, original performances of a broader repertoire and integrated multi-media, unique dance, costume and narrative elements into its programs. In 2013, the ensemble re-branded itself.
In addition to performances in multiple venues throughout the Houston area, including its flagship series at Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, Mercury continues to invest in the community. It offers free community performances annually, including the community concert at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, and the public concerts in the Crain Garden at Houston Methodist Hospital. Recognized for its award-winning education outreach programs comprising classroom music education and performances in Houston area schools, Mercury also presents master classes for school orchestras. Active in the recording scene, to date, Mercury has released eight albums on its own label, featuring works by Corelli, Mozart, Schubert, Rameau, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and Handel.
Mercury continues its new collaboration with The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program for the second year. The Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship initiative encourages the development of talented young instrumentalists and fosters a strong relationship between two major players in America’s period instrument performance scene, as well as introducing Houston audiences to the next generation of great period performance musicians.
Mercury gratefully acknowledges the following organizations and corporations for their ongoing support: the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment Inc., Texas Commission on the Arts, the Wyatt Foundation, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fung Chao Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional information on Mercury, its events and concerts, directions to the venues, and to learn more about its recordings, please www.mercuryhouston.org

 

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