Texas Early Music Project’s opening concert of the 2014-2015 season will be a unique and extraordinary event: the performance of La Pellegrina: Music for a Medici Wedding. Created by some of the greatest composers of the Italian Renaissance for the spectacular wedding celebration of Ferdinando de Medici to Christine de Lorraine in 1589 Florence, La Pellegrina consists of six musical intermedi or acts for vocal soloists, small ensembles, full chorus, and a full orchestra of Renaissance period instruments.
Not only will this be the Texas premier of the entire work but our research shows that this will be the first U.S. performance of the complete work since at least the early 1980s, and our September performance will generate the first American CD recording of La Pellegrina. This will be a unique opportunity and experience not just for TEMP and all the artists involved, but also for classical music fans and history buffs both within and outside the Austin community. This will be of interest to students of all ages, from those in middle school and high school to those who are lifelong devotees of education, the fine arts, and cutting edge experiences.
We have gathered a stellar ensemble of over fifty voices and early music instrumentalists from across the country and there will be a full orchestra of period instruments, including viols, cornetto, sackbuts, harps, and lutes, authentically recreating the sounds of the Italian Renaissance. We have commissioned a poetic narrative written and performed by Lawrence Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of American Literature at Wellesley College, revealing the mythology behind the six stories. Sara Hessel Schneider, producer of KMFA’s Ancient Voices, will provide the pre-concert lecture for both performances.
TEMP soloist Jenifer Thyssen (soprano) opens the concert with one of the most simultaneously haunting and acrobatic arias imaginable, and TEMP regular Meredith Ruduski (soprano) and guest soloist Ryland Angel (tenor, New York) both have show-stopping arias in the 5th intermedio. TEMP newcomer Ariadne Lih (soprano, Canada) joins Meredith Ruduski and mezzo-soprano Erin Calata (Seattle) as the Three Graces in the charming and invigorating finale. All the soloists are also among the 26 voices that comprise the ‘core’ chorus. The 21-piece, period-instrument orchestra includes special guests Stephen Escher (cornetto, California), Mary Springfels (viola da gamba, Santa Fe), Phillip Rukavina (lutes, Minnesota), Tom Zajac (recorder & percussion, Boston), and more. TEMP regulars in the orchestra include harpists Therese Honey (Houston) and Elaine Barber, organ/continuo master Keith Womer, lutenist Scott Horton, sackbut (Renaissance trombone) players Nathaniel Brickens, Blair Castle, and Steven Hendrickson, viol players Jane Leggiero, John Walters, and Stephanie Raby, violinist Bruce Colson, and more.
Experience the beauty, brilliance, innovation, and passion of some of the best composers from Italy in the late Renaissance joined with the expertise, talents, and joy of TEMP and its guests in this momentous and celebratory concert, presented by KMFA Classical 89.5.