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Friday Workshop: Musicians in Ordinary

February 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


In his short career Sir Philip Sidney exemplified the markers of Elizabethan courtiership: fighter of the Spanish, poet, lover and objector to foreign queenly marriage matches.

Among the sonnets of his sonnet cycle Astrophel and Stella are strophic lyrics labelled ‘songs’ which are found in songbooks of the period. A number of the lyrics in his Certaine Sonets have rubrics like ‘To the tune of Basciami vita mia or ‘To the French tune’. Sidney’s lyrics then, were expected to be sung and his versification was sometimes tailored to fit the rhythms of pre-existing tunes. This Friday workshop will begin with a short talk about these songs, and the intertwining and ‘marketing’ of Philip’s life, works and legend with those of important personages in his life: his sister Mary, his editor and the dedicatee of The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia; his brother Robert; his friend Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex; and Essex’s sister, Penelope, the Lady Rich. Following the talk, the audience will experience Sidney’s works through song, performed by The Musicians in Ordinary (Hallie Fishel, soprano and John Edwards, lute), as well as readings from Astrophel and Stella and Arcadia in original pronunciation by Professor David Klausner, and lute music dedicated to the various ’stars’ of Sidney ’s lifeComposers include John Dowland, Guillaume Tessier and Anthony Holborne.

The Musicians In Ordinary
Named after the singers and lutenists who performed in the most intimate quarters of the Stuart monarchs’ palace, The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices dedicate themselves to the performance of early solo song and vocal chamber music. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards have been described as ‘winning performers of winning music.’ A fixture on the Toronto early music scene for over 10 years, in 2012 MIO became Ensemble in Residence at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. They have concertized across North America and lecture regularly at universities and museums. Institutions where MIO have performed range from the scholarly to those for a more general public and include the Shakespeare Society of America, the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Association of America, Grinnell College, the Universities of Alberta, Toronto and at California at San Diego, the Kingston Opera Guild, Syracuse, Trent and York Universities and the Bata Shoe Museum. They have been Ensemble in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.




February 16, 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Victoria University Common Room (Rear Entrance Burwash Hall)
89 Charles Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S1K7 Canada
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