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By Kimberly Chuck 

Darrin Davis & Mario Gudmundsson (Gala Chairs)

Darrin Davis & Mario Gudmundsson (Gala Chairs)

Emily Schreiber, Emily Hilber, Sarah Brisco and Amir Bair

Mona Lisa Faz and Cuauhtemoc Temo Figueroa

Jaime Cuellar and Nini Marchese

Ryland Angel, Sixto Wagan and Matthew Dirst

Sixto Wagan

Stephanie Von Stein, Victoria Von Stein, and W.J. Von Stein

Vivek Subbiah and Ishwaria Subbiah

Amber Elliot, Katie Tipper-McWhorter, Simon Tipper-McWhorter, and Lindsey Norlander

Aimee Muniz and Sara Hajjar

 Photo Credit: Aimee & Cesar Muñiz Photography and Pin Lim Photography

On Saturday, December 31, 2016, Ars Lyrica held its 2016 New Year’s Eve: Bachanalia, which consisted of dinner, concert, and gala, at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The event celebrated the end of 2016, while ringing in the New Year in style. Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson were the charismatic gala chairs for this lovely occasion. 


The much-anticipated evening began with an elegant seated dinner in The Grand Lobby of Sarofim Hall catered by Artista Restaurant. First on the menu was a starter of corn poblano soup paired with an organic greens salad. It was followed by a main course duo of beef tenderloin with chimichurri sauce and pan-roasted chicken with rosemary cremini mushroom sauce, which was served with mascarpone purée and grilled asparagus. A delicate dessert trio of yogurt panna cotta with berry compote and almond sabayon, delirio de chocolate with raspberry coulis, and alfajores of dulce de leche sweetly completed the delightful meal. Artista’s signature cocktail, sponsored by Rémy Cointreau, and Champagne were also served, much to the delight of everyone in attendance.


Dinner was followed by the Bachanalia concert in Zilkha Hall featuring favorite works by Johann Sebastian Bach, including his Concerto for Oboe d’amour, alongside celebratory cantatas the brilliant composer wrote specifically for New Year's Eve. Guests were honored with the remarkable opportunity to experience each passion-filled note as the enchanting pieces of music were performed live—a true gift with which to end 2016. 


After the concert, guests returned to The Grand Lobby of Sarofim Hall to take part in the gala and silent auction. The festive atmosphere was highlighted by jubilant music, dancing, and exciting live dance performances. Everyone rang in the New Year at the stroke of midnight to the strains of Auld Lang Syne.


Many generous organizations donated items to the silent auction. Among them were Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Ballet, Neiman Marcus, and Disneyland Resort.


All proceeds from the evening will benefit Ars Lyrica ensuring the organization continues to delight national and local audiences with its superlative performances of Baroque music for years to come. “Helping raise funds and awareness of an organization such as Ars Lyrica is of great importance to us. Music is vitally important in connecting a community, and there is no other music that brings a community together more elegantly than Baroque music,” says Darrin Davis. “Celebrating that community with performances on period instruments, and celebrating the composers and arrangers as the music was written, helps connect us to the past,” adds Mario Gudmundsson.”


Guests: Ars Lyrica Artistic Director, Matthew Dirst; Robin Angly and Miles Smith; Brendan Godfrey; Betsy and Ed Schreiber; Connie Kwan-Wong; Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl; Stephanie Von Stein and Birgitt Van Wijk; gala chairs, Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson; Drs. Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah; Dr. Andrew Davis; Jeremy Garcia and Brian McCulloch; Beth and John Harper; Emily Schreiber; Liam and Meredith Bonner; and Ann Ayre. 


About Ars Lyrica


Founded in 1998 by harpsichordist and conductor Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston presents a diverse array of music from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. Its local subscription series, according to the Houston Chronicle, “sets the agenda” for early music in Houston. The company also appears regularly at major festivals and conferences. Ars Lyrica’s distinctive programming favors Baroque dramatic and chamber works, and its pioneering efforts have won international acclaim. The ensemble’s world première recording of Johann Adolf Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, hailed by “Early Music America” as “a thrilling performance that glows in its quieter moments and sparkles with vitality,” was nominated for a Grammy Award® for Best Opera 2011.

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