MUSIC FROM ITALIAN RENAISSANCE CONVENTS
With Laurie Stras and Deborah Roberts
Sat July 9th – Sun July 17th 2016
Fee: £350, (£175 for students of voice)
Includes music by Cipriano de Rore, Giovanni Matteo Asola and a mysterious anonymous composer of mesmerising brilliance who was probably Leonora D’Este, the nun daughter of Lucrezia Borgia.
Combining singing wonderful music, improving vocal technique, relaxation, breathing and strengthening through optional daily yoga and learning about the history of singing nuns in Italy, this is a course that offers keen and curious singers a unique opportunity to explore and grow.
The wealth of music that would have been performed in renaissance Italian convents is only recently coming to light. Although music by nuns started to appear in print at the start of the 17 th century, little was known about the repertoire of polyphonic music that would have been sung regularly by nuns throughout the 16 th century, and even much further back in time.
Research undertaken by Laurie Stras (professor of music at Southampton University) has revealed not only a startling amount of poyphonic music clearly destined for convent use, but also one particular collection of very unusual, sonorous and mesmerising pieces in 5 voices that were very likely the work of Lucrezia Borgia’s daughter, Suor Leonora D’Este. Both Laurie and Deborah are now involved in a fascinating project bringing this music to light with their professional ensemble Musica Secreta, and amateur choir Celestial Sirens.
This course offers a week of total immersion in the etherial sound world that Suora Leonora would have known, and a chance to find out more about the fascinating history of this repertoire. Share in the research process and be among the first people in modern times to have experienced singing it.
Other music will include gregorian chant, equal voice motets by Cipriano de Rore and Josquin des prez, and a Compline setting by Giovanni Matteo Asola.
Yoga sessions will take place every morning before breakfast (for a small extra charge paid directly to the teacher) and set you up perfectly for a full morning of singing. A daily 3-hour period of free time provides the chance for walking in the glorious mountain scenery, exploring the fascinating medieval town, meditation, reading, private practice or just relaxing. Following the late afternoon session we tend to open the prosecco at 7pm… but that’s also an option!