SSL Certificate

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

This Semester: Musicians in Ordinary Present “Sweet Swan of Avon”



To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare

This season  we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare in a special series of concerts. Each program will have readings from the plays and poems of he who Ben Jonson praised as the Swan of Avon with ayres, motets and madrigals ‘apt for voices or viols’, consort music played by our violin band led by Christopher Verrette, and lute solos.

8PM, Feb. 13th 2016 at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave.

Running the gamut from the naughty to the tragic, the young women in the plays are never far from a lute. (Ophelia carries one; Katharina breaks one over her tutor’s head.) Love, loss and often justifiable haughtiness of the older women (in the great ladies and in the lute songs praising Elizabeth) are all considered by the playwright and in the poems set by Dowland, John Danyel, Robert Jones and others. With dance music by Holborne, Johnson et al.

8PM, Mar. 19th 2016 at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave.

‘More needs she the divine than the physician,’ says the doctor brought in to minister to Lady Macbeth. There was little difference for the Jacobeans between the care of the soul and the care of the sick in mind. With Shakespeare’s insights as a guide we present anthems, motets with strings by Gibbons and others and ‘divine and moral songs’ by Campion and Dowland.

8PM, Apr. 23rd 2016 at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave.

As the culmination of our commemoration, on the anniversary itself we present the thoughts of the fate-crossed Pericles, the comedic Jaques and of course, Hamlet, paired with Dowland’s ayres and his great pavans from Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares for five-part strings and lute. Prof. Seth Lerer reading.

Comments are closed.