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Ars Lyrica Celebrates

20 Years of Magic

with Stunning Magic Opera

Grammy-nominated Baroque music organization Ars Lyrica Houston’s momentous 20th anniversary season will culminate with a new opera production on May 24 and 25, 2024: Amadigi di Gaula. This magic opera by great Baroque composer G.F. Handel perfectly closes out a spectacular 2023/24 season celebrating “20 Years of Magic.”

This will be Ars Lyrica Houston’s fourth fully staged opera production, directed by Tara Faircloth and conducted by Artistic Director, Matthew Dirst. Previous opera productions by Ars Lyrica have been remarkably well received: from inaugural opera in 2018, Handel’s Agrippina, acclaimed as “utterly magnificent . . . wildly successful” (Houston Press), to the most recent production in 2022, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, raved to be a “captivating triumph” (Arts and Culture Texas).

For Amadigi di Gaula on May 24 and 25, 2024, Ars Lyrica welcomes four rising stars of the operatic firmament, all perfectly suited to the beautiful and virtuosic score by Handel. The title role of Amadigi will be sung by countertenor Randall Scotting, described to have “an exceptionally powerful countertenor voice” (TheatreReview) of “virtuosic perfection” (Opera Plus).

Amadigi’s love interest, Oriana, will be performed by soprano Nola Richardson, who returns to the Zilkha Hall stage after delighting Ars Lyrica’s audiences at the season opener in the fall. Richardson has been praised as being “especially impressive” (The New York Times) and described as singing “with elegant phrasing, radiant tone, and splendid ease in coloratura” (Early Music America).

Another familiar face will return for the role of Dardano: countertenor Nicholas Garza, who performed in Dido and Aeneas as the “flamboyant Sorceress,” with a “rich and powerful” voice and “stage presence that commands attention… simply fun to watch” (ACTX). Finally, soprano Raven McMillon will complete the brilliant cast of four stars, performing the role of Melissa. An HGO studio alumna, McMillon’s voice has been described as “bright, crisp, silvery” (Parterre Box) and “fun, voluptuous” (Air Mail).

Following the May, 25, 2024 Saturday night performance of Amadigi di Gaula, Ars Lyrica will host a 20th Anniversary Post-Opera Soirée. Guests are invited to gather with artists, directors, and fellow patrons at Diana American Grill for a jubilant end to the evening with delicious food and drink. Proceeds from the soirée will support Ars Lyrica Opera Circle, helping ensure a future for world-class Baroque opera in Houston!

Ars Lyrica Houston has become a leader in the performance of early music and now offers a Baroque opera every other season. Opera Circle sponsors play a vital role in providing a three-year commitment towards Ars Lyrica Houston’s biennial productions of Baroque opera. Opera Circle sponsorships offer a range of benefits, including behind-the-scenes access to artists, recognition, special invitations to exclusive events, and more. If you have any interest in joining Ars Lyrica Houston Opera Circle, please visit or contact Ars Lyrica Executive Director, Kinga Ferguson at or (713) 622-7443.

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