This beloved annual tradition features seasonal music from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales arranged for broken consort; folk tunes of the British Isles; a small Chanukah celebration; plus a surprise or two! Jollity guaranteed, audience participation likely, dancing quite possible, and a festive holiday reception sure to follow.
This magical retelling of the Nativity story combines beautiful music and a moving story for the holiday season. Folger Consort, the award-winning early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, performs festive medieval English tunes against the backdrop of this engaging mystery play. Set in the English countryside, The Second Shepherds’ Play beautifully weaves together the stories of the shepherds, a sheep thief and his cunning wife, and the miracle in a humble manger in Bethlehem.
A British-American ensemble formed in Oxford (UK), roots revival band Floyds Row explores early, folk, and classical idioms on an array of modern and period instruments. Fusing a variety of styles, Floyds Row repertoire includes both original material and pieces pulled from the early British folk tradition and English Renaissance.
The Boston Cecilia is a choral society in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1876, the ensemble has enjoyed historic relationships with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and famous conductors and composers, such as Arthur Fiedler, Igor Stravinsky, and Antonín Dvořák. Today, the ensemble is noted for its historical-style performances, and specializes in the oratorios of George Frederic Handel, as well as premieres by prominent Boston composers.
Enjoy an evening of works including Sulpicia’s Songs, a song cycle based on lyrics by a female poet from Rome’s classical age, and Krash's contemporary arrangement of Martin Codax’s Cantigas d’Amigo, thought to be the oldest surviving song cycle.
Renowned actor Derek Jacobi stars with actor/director Richard Clifford and the acclaimed early musicians of Washington DC’s Folger Consort in the world premiere performances of MEASURE + DIDO, celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s legacy. Presented by NapaShakes and Folger Shakespeare Library, this extraordinary production combines dramatic readings of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure with excerpts from Henry Purcell’s chamber opera Dido and Aeneas to create a perfect depiction of the ecstasy and excesses of love. With a cast of 27, don’t miss the first performances of this historic pairing of two monumental works, starring one of the world’s most respected and beloved actors, before it moves to the Eisenhower Theater at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center in October.
The mission of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, one of the nation's premier professional vocal ensembles, is to excite, engage and inspire diverse audiences with the beauty and power of great choral music.
Henry Purcell and William Shakespeare are a natural combination — if Shakespeare is the greatest English poet and playwright, Purcell has a plausible claim of being the greatest English composer. Shakespeare, of course, never heard Purcell’s 1692 The Fairy Queen, music for the Restoration version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it has proved to be enormously appealing to audiences ever since its rediscovery in 1901. The songs, choruses, and instrumental music of this monumental piece are performed along with other memorable settings of Shakespeare by Purcell.
The Spire Chamber Ensemble and Baroque Orchestra continue a Kansas City tradition with its annual performance of Handel’s epic masterpiece in the glorious acoustics of Helzberg Hall. Our rendition will reflect the scope and character of Handel’s own performances through the use of period instruments including Baroque strings, oboes, bassoon, and natural trumpets. Messiah has always been a popular part of the holiday season.
Philadelphia’s premiere early music ensembles come together to recreate a joyous Advent Vespers as it would have been celebrated in Dresden in 1619, with music by Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, and Samuel Scheidt.
15th Century music from France, Burgundy and England, presented as a tribute to Tom Zajac.
Handel's Messiah has become a holiday tradition - the dramatic musical re-telling of the Prophesy and Birth of Christ, with the stirring Hallelujah chorus to top off the celebration. This concert features the Brown Chorus, professional soloists and an orchestra of period instruments under the direction of Fred Jodry.
A program celebrating the works and life of Philadelphia Poet, Edgar Allan Poe, featuring the area premiere of “The Raven” by Nicholas White, scored for a quartet of solo voices, string quartet, and piano. Also featuring solo song settings of Poe’s poetic works and readings from Poe’s prose. With singers Emily Noel, Roger Isaacs, James Reese, Steven Combs, Suzanne DuPlantis with Laura Ward, piano, Nicholas White, conductor.
Presented at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington DC, and the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia, PA
A musical adaptation inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel written and composed by Wendy Kesselman. This twist on the classic tale brings humanity to the story with a re-imagination of the famed villainess, Madame DeFarge. Musical direction by Christopher Berg and performances by Heidi Kettenring, Austin Pendleton, and Lou Liberatore.
Join composer-pianist Jessica Krash, soprano Emily Noël and poet-translator Mary Maxwell for the world premiere of “Sulpicia’s Songs,” a song cycle based on the lyrics of the only female poet from Rome’s classical age whose works have survived into the modern era. Also on the program will be a reading of Maxwell’s translations of the medieval Occitan poet Beatrice of Die; a set of piano works composed and performed by Krash (from her CDs, Obstructed View and What I Wanted to Tell You); as well as Krash’s modern arrangements of the oldest known song cycle (to be sung by Noël), the 13th century Portuguese-Galician Cantigas d’amigo. A discussion with all three participants about the musical and textual challenges involved in bringing ancient and medieval female voices “back to life” will follow the concert.
As one of the nation’s premiere professional ensembles comprising 24 singers from across the country, critics have lauded the Santa Fe Desert Chorale as a first-class performer of excellence in choral music. Currently under the baton of music director Joshua Habermann, the Chorale has assembled in New Mexico for more than 33 years to perform repertoire spanning seven centuries, from Medieval polyphony to contemporary and avant garde works.
The Chorale presents both summer and winter festivals of concerts, performing both challenging and entertaining literature from around the world. The Chorale is a mainstay of Santa Fe’s vast visual and performing arts scene, adding yet another rich cultural layer to the colors of the northern New Mexico arts landscape
Mass in B Minor, J. S. Bach
Bach’s monumental Mass in B Minor represents an exploration of musical and spiritual possibilities that he worked on throughout his life. The B Minor Mass transcends boundaries of faith and remains one of the world’s great artistic achievements.
Dixit Dominus, G. F. Handel
Gloria, A. Vivaldi
We begin our journey with a work Handel composed during his sojourn among the never ending chimes of Roman campanili, then on to the Venetian canals, where Vivaldi wrote in the shadow of the towering San Marco belfry. Our finale is a sublime example of tintinnabuli, Arvo Pärt's compositional technique in which he transforms the conventions of chant into a contemporary idiom that is nothing short of revolutionary.
The hushed, candlelit beauty of the Dumbarton sanctuary is the perfect setting to discover the other-worldly beauty of the Tiffany Consort. This eight-voice ensemble sings sacred works of J.S. Bach, Palestrina, Allegri, Tallis and the world premiere of a new work by Nicholas White – composer of the wildly well-received, Poe-inspired The Raven, commissioned for Dumbarton’s 35th anniversary.
The Merchant of Venice: Music and Poetry of Shakespeare's Play
Whether or not Shakespeare ever visited Venice, it is certainly true that musicians moved back and forth very freely from Italy to London. Chief among these were the extraordinary wind players of the Bassano Family. Their remarkable music is heard here, with ayres by John Dowland and string music and songs by Salamone Rossi and Claudio Monteverdi. Accompanying the music, Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford join the Consort on stage with passages from Shakespeare's great play. With violins, viol, lute, theorbo, and London's Gabrieli Consort.
The Merchant of Venice: Music and Poetry of Shakespeare's Play
Whether or not Shakespeare ever visited Venice, it is certainly true that musicians moved back and forth very freely from Italy to London. Chief among these were the extraordinary wind players of the Bassano Family. Their remarkable music is heard here, with ayres by John Dowland and string music and songs by Salamone Rossi and Claudio Monteverdi. Accompanying the music, Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford join the Consort on stage with passages from Shakespeare's great play. With violins, viol, lute, theorbo, and Piffaro: The Renaissance Band.
"The Witches of Mr. Henry Purcell," a double bill of Purcell's Dido & Aeneas and a premiere of his virtually unknown Saul and the Witch of Endor. The powerful stories from the Bible and Classical mythology in Purcell's Witches deal with fear, power, explained and unexplained, evil and love - not to be missed! Free Admission.
A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500
In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.
Performing Restoration Shakespeare
In most studies of Restoration Shakespeare, the overwhelming concentration on textual adaptation loses sight of the reality that it was multimedia theatre, featuring music, dance, and scenery. This workshop will redress the imbalance by asking some new questions: How can direct engagement with theatrical performance enrich an understanding of Restoration Shakespeare? How can theatre practice articulate meaningful research questions? Participants will tackle these questions through an innovative workshop that integrates hands-on practical work in the Folger Theatre—with actors, musicians, and singers—with scholarly readings and discussion. To focus this activity, participants and professionals will stage and analyze selected scenes from William Davenant’s operatic version of Macbeth (ca. 1663/4, with additional revivals in 1673, ca. 1695, and 1702) and Charles Gildon’s adaptation of Measure for Measure (1700).
Ihr Tore zu Zion, J. S. Bach
The Noontime Cantata Concert Series is a popular series of fifty-minute concerts presented on the first Tuesday of the month (October-December and March -May) in downtown Washington, DC. In an introductory talk, J. Reilly Lewis shares his enthusiasm and love for the music before presenting an organ work and one of Bach's cantatas performed by both chorus and period instrument orchestra.
Mass in B Minor, J.S. Bach
Sinfonia opens our 20th season with J.S. Bach’s monumental mass which many consider to be among the greatest works in all music history. Written late in Bach’s life during his time in Leipzig, the Mass in B Minor represents a compendium of musical riches. Compiled both from past compositions and new movements, the work showcases an array of techniques Bach perfected throughout his lifetime. Join Sinfonia and an all-star cast of soloists for what will be a thrilling evening of some of the greatest music ever composed!
This performance, taking place at Norfolk's historic Christ & St. Luke's and starting @ 7:30 PM, features the famous "Stabat Mater" by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, with soloists Elizabeth Hogue, soprano and Robynne Redmon, alto. Among the work's numerous admirers was none other than J.S. Bach who paid a tribute to this composition by creating his own arrangement of it using the words of Psalm 51. Emily Noel, soprano and Chris Dudley, countertenor -- both presently with the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. -- will be the soloists in Bach's Psalm 51.