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Maria's Magical Music Adventure

Reaches Tens of Thousands of Young Houstonians

By: Lauren Ross


Maria’s Magical Music Adventure at The Hobby Center

Taking Houston by storm is Maria’s Magical Music Adventure, a musical children’s play co-produced by Ars Lyrica Houston and Express Children’s Theatre. With over 30 free presentations at Houston public schools and local community venues in 2023-24, this heartwarming and hilarious tale has brought music, humor, and adventure to nearly ten thousand elementary school students. 

Maria’s Magical Music Adventure is adapted from an Ars Lyrica Houston children’s book of the same title, authored by Emma Kent Wine and underwritten by Connie Kwan-Wong and CKW LUXE Magazine. The play follows the journey of a young Latina girl named Maria as she and her hip-hop loving brother, Carlos, embark on a time-traveling trip back to 17th-century Italy, with the help of magical violinist, Allegra. Maria meets composer Antonio Vivaldi, who is currently in the process of composing his musical masterpiece, The Four Seasons. Aided by Vivaldi and Allegra’s magical string quartet, Maria and Carlos learn about the power of music and the importance of finding one’s voice. 

A talented cast of multi-talented actors and musicians bring this story to life with a fusion of hilarious storytelling and live classical music, creating an entertaining, inspiring, and joyous experience for children and adults alike. The play is directed by Tim Fried-Fiori, and written by Tim Fried-Fiori and Emma Kent Wine. 

Six, sold-out performances as the inaugural show of the ExxonMobil Discovery Series Performance at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, reaching nearly three thousand HISD 5th graders in September, 2023

Two performances in June and October, 2023 at Miller Outdoor Theater, as part of their mission to provide free and inclusive performances to local Houstonians

A performance at community music festival, Heights Kids’ Day of Music, generously underwritten by Connie Kwan-Wong and CKW Luxe Magazine

A uniquely staged performance at the iconic Rothko Chapel as part of the Menil Collection’s Neighborhood Community Day in April, 2024

Many young Houstonians speak Spanish as their first language and have limited access to music education at their schools. By having a bilingual cast who act in English and Spanish, live string quartet performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and interactive audience participation, the play introduces kids to fundamental classical music concepts and encourages them to find their own creative voices in an engaging and memorable way. 

This is learning that sticks—weeks after seeing the performance, students can still sing the final song of the play, “I am brave, I will do great things today . . . ” One of our cast members has even been stopped on the streets of Houston with a, “Hey, you’re Vivaldi!”

With this multitude of free public performances of  Maria’s Magical Music Adventure to diverse student groups throughout the city, Ars Lyrica is proud to continue to spread the joys of classical music and the importance of believing in yourself to young Houstonians. 

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