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  • Writer's pictureJackson Harmeyer

3. St. James Episcopal to host Ars Lyrica Houston

Menus Plaisirs
Menus Plaisirs is Friday, September 20

Here’s a concert I’ve really been looking forward to. This Friday, September 20, St. James Episcopal Church will host Ars Lyrica Houston for a program entitled Menus Plaisirs. This will be a concert of French music from the court of the “Sun King”—King Louis XIV who ruled France for over 72 years from 1643 until 1715. Therefore, we should expect to hear music from France’s two great composers of the middle Baroque: Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) and Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687). While Charpentier is remembered for his excellent sacred music in the grand style that predominated in France at that time, Lully brought Italian opera to France and then redesigned it to suit his French audience; in his later years, Lully turned to sacred music as if to give Charpentier some competition.

Menus Plaisirs will emphasize vocal music and features baritone John Buffett and tenors Aaron Sheehan and Eduardo Tercero. Ars Lyrica Houston is led by artistic director Matthew Dirst who traveled to Alexandria last fall to perform the soloist role in Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto alongside the Rapides Symphony Orchestra as part of last season’s St. James Episcopal Church Concert Series. That concert was excellent and I expect this one to be just as impressive.

Lully's Alceste at Versailles
A performance of Lully’s opera Alceste on July 4, 1674, held at the Marble Courtyard at Versailles

Menus Plaisirs will be held Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM at St. James Episcopal Church which is located where Bolton Avenue meets Murray. Admission is free and open to the public.

And, mark your calendars—on October 3, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana will host the resident artists of the Shreveport Opera for an excellent concert of opera arias and Broadway show tunes called Some Enchanted Evening. More info coming soon!

JSH 13.09.16

About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College—Louisiana’s designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University. There, he studied music history, completing an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” Now living in Alexandria, he is one of the founding members of TicketCentral and will also be writing this season’s program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.

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