Just before the second lockdown, Philomel was delighted to be able to perform in front of a sold-out, socially distanced audience in Richmond. Felicity, Suzy and Janet, accompanied by Toby Carr on theorbo, performed a meditative mix of contemporary and baroque songs for a masked but very appreciative audience. Excerpts of the beautiful poem cycle ‘Birdcries of Saint Cecilia’ by Euan Tait – written for Janet two years ago – were read between groups of songs.
|O Lilie Faire||Sheena Phillips|
|Break of Day||Emily Doolittle|
|Stay o sweet||Emily Doolittle|
|Moon Sister||Paul Ayres|
|Take, o take||Paul Ayres|
|Secret wishes||Tansy Davies|
|Che si puo fare||Barbara Strozzi|
|Folle cor||Domenico Mazzocchi|
|Zefiro Torna||Claudio Monteverdi|
|Il mio martir||Claudio Monteverdi|
Philomel is a stunning vocal ensemble performing music from 400 years ago alongside new commissions.
Comprising six sopranos, Philomel gives performances of great beauty and expressiveness, in atmospheric venues that thrill audiences across London.
Philomel champions female composers through the centuries, bringing to light lesser-known composers of the late Renaissance and promoting contemporary women composers, performing virtuosic, powerful repertoire with and without accompaniment.
'I was transported for the whole evening...'
'What a magical opening...'
'...we so enjoyed the evening - the meal and the area as well as the stunning soprano performances. ...What a talented group Philomel is and how well Janet leads them in performing slightly esoteric works that undoubtedly should be performed more frequently.'
Ian Morris, chair of the Bromsgrove International young musician competition
'Thank you so much for the unforgettable privilege of allowing my words to be a part of a truly outstanding concert - a team of great singers, beautiful music (and what a joy for me to have the poem set by Dominic, what a build up of emotional and musical power in the superb performances, and in music new to me - and what a revelation in Barbara Strozzi's great voice, and your powerful composition has inspired new poems), and a unique venue - the great space and the thunder of the trains creating a unique combination of intimacy yet the great life of a great city around us. A feeling of great happiness and great excitement on a great occasion. Thank you so, so much.'
Euan Tait, librettist
'It really was a magical evening, from the first note (and tweet) of the Hildegaard von Bingen to the final call of the nightingale. My friends in the audience really enjoyed it. Many were spell-bound.'
Dominic McGonical, composer
'It was SUCH a wonderful concert. What a brilliant idea to commission those works for those forces in that space! I found the contemporary pieces in particular worked fantastically although everything sounded wonderful.'
Lucy Green, audience member
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