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Music from the 1589 Florentine Intermedi  
Bookings are now closed on line . if you wish to discuss attending, email

Saturday June 20th – Sunday 28th, 2015

Bus will be arranged to pick participants up from NIce airport around 5pm Sat June 20th, for transfer to Triora, and return bus will leave Triora early morning Sunday June 28th for Nice airport Details to be confirmed.

One of the most outstanding dramatic works from the late renaissance, and a clear forerunner of opera

Intermedi were semi dramatic musical interludes to plays performed for the nobility of Florence. The extraordinary Intermedi of 1589 formed part of the wedding festivities of the Grand Duke Ferdinando of Tuscany to Christine of Lorraine, and remains one of the greatest spectacles of the Renaissance to survive with so much detail about the original performance.

YouTube videos of the Intermedi-- in 8 clips, not matching up to the 6 intermedi.Intermedi 2 is missing



Or open the above in a new window

YouTube video of the Intermedi performed in Brighton Early Music Festival 2012;

The original scoring was meticulously noted, but without access to a myriad of rare instruments it is not possible to reproduce this, nor is it really necessary. What is clear is a division of late renaissance instruments into the first ever ‘orchestra’ in which the various families of instruments are clearly divided. Following the best renaissance tradition – that of making the best use of what you have available – we will try to accommodate as many instruments as possible, but will need to keep a reasonable balance within sections.

We will work on a selection of scenes, all based around mythical stories, and build towards a performance at the end of the week.

If there is demand we will also organise a masterclass during the week. This would be for solo singers and instrumentalists.

Instruments Bowed Strings: violin and viol familes , including continuo bass.

Plucked strings: lutes of various sizes, harps, guitars, psaltery

Soft wind:
2 or 3 recorders (treble and descant), dulcians

: sackbuts and cornetts

We can also take one keyboard player who will work with Claire on early continuo style
  The band will be coached by 2 tutors.

Claire Williams will work with the ‘continuo’ team (lutes, guitars, harps, keyboards etc – in fact any plucked instrument that plays chords!) For those with no prior experience in playing from a bass line this is a great opportunity to learn how to select the correct chords and spread them in interesting ways. More experienced players will be guided in developing stylish improvisation on those chords.

Oliver Webber
will work with the melody line instruments – both strings and wind – and there will be plenty of opportunities for players of more than one instrument to enjoy a bit of variety.

All players will also have the opportunity to sing when their instrument is not required.

There are opportunities for solo, consort and choir singers, and this can be rotated according to requirements.
There are some virtuosic solo songs as well as one per part accompanied madrigals.
Even the choruses are often scored for many voice parts so that there will be plenty of interesting and challenging singing!
If you wish to be considered for a solo part and are not known to us, please would you contact us directly.

Deborah Roberts will tutor the singers and direct the course

Children We hope to be able to include a number of children (including locals) in some informal dances (no experience needed) so do consider making this a family musical holiday!
Accommodation We will help to arrange accommodation for participants in a range of B&B’s, house/apartment self- catering rentals and in a nearby hotel if necessary. Shared budget rooms can also be arranged. There will be some rooms available in Casa Convento on a first come first served basis.