Philomel presents music from the early baroque alongside newly written and commissioned works. We prioritise works by female composers.
In their first two years, Philomel commissioned 8 new works, each for between three and six sopranos:
The ‘In Short’ project will present short songs (each under 2 minutes), some written or arranged for Philomel, others which are world premieres. This list is a work in progress; some have been recorded by us in preparation for the live concert.
By Sheena Phillips:
If you have any soprano repertoire you think might be suitable for Philomel – either for the In Short project or beyond – please get in touch. Please note we do not sing mixed female choir rep: we are an ensemble of sopranos.
Accompanied by theorbo and harpsichord, the late Renaissance/early baroque repertoire includes virtuosic songs originally written for the Concerto delle Donne, a trio of professional sopranos in the Court of Ferrara. So successful was the trio that to have a similar group became a status symbol among the courts of North Italy - and the gorgeous, emotional repertoire that composers clamoured to write for them helped to forge not only a new style of dramatic music that influenced the new genre of opera, but also gave women musicians the high status that they had not had before. Though the primary composers for the original group were men - Luzzaschi and Mazzocchi - there were also women who wrote for (and performed in) the genre, primarily Barbara Strozzi and, later, Francesca Caccini.
Examples of this repertoire in our current programming:
Other historical repertoire:
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