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Evergreen Ensemble - The Emigrant Highlander's Wife
Evergreen Ensemble perform 'The Emigrant Highlander's Wife' from their 2019 album 'Curious Caledonians' at Elizabeth Bay House, Sydney. Released through ABC Classics, the album explores the sounds of Scottish music from the early days of the Australian colony performed on period instruments. Guest musicians on the album include two members of the Glasgow-based ensemble, Concerto Caledonia (David McGuinness, keyboards, and Aaron McGregor, violin) and Neal Peres da Costa (keyboards) and Daniel Yeadon (cello) from the University of Sydney. www.evergreen-ensemble.com/albums The Emigrant Highlander’s Wife Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano, Shane Lestideau & Aaron McGregor, violins, Ben Dollman, viola, Daniel Yeadon, cello, David McGuinness, 19th–century square piano & arrangement Unlike the other repertoire recorded on this album this piece did not come to the project from an Australian library or museum, but was brought directly from Scotland by members of Concerto Caledonia after having been discovered by Jeanice Brooks of the University of Southampton. The lyrics were taken from a letter written by John Marriott (1780-1825) while he stayed at Dalkeith Palace, Scotland in 1807 and it describes the emotional journey of Scottish Highlanders leaving their homes for foreign shores; O turn thee, Donald, turn & view The valley we are leaving… Marriott set his words to Since First I Saw Your Face from Thomas Ford’s Musick of Sundrie kindes (1607) which appeared in many 19th-century collections of ‘ancient music’. The melody fits the words well, being mournful and reserved in character yet quietly defiant in its final cadence.
Queen of France's Lamentation
Evergreen Ensemble rehearsing 'Queen of France's Lamentation' from their 2019 album 'Curious Caledonians' at the Eugene Goosens Hall, Sydney. Released through ABC Classics, the album explores the sounds of Scottish music from the early days of the Australian colony performed on period instruments. Guest musicians on the album include two members of the Glasgow-based ensemble, Concerto Caledonia (David McGuinness, keyboards, and Aaron McGregor, violin) and Neal Peres da Costa (keyboards) and Daniel Yeadon (cello) from the University of Sydney. www.evergreen-ensemble.com/albums Queen of France's Lamentation Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano, Ben Dollman, viola, Daniel Yeadon, cello, David McGuinness, harpsichord.
¡ VENGA ! | Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano
A celebration of Spanish Baroque music and dance inspired by my childhood as a flamenco dancer and the simultaneous discovery of vibrant, vocal-dance music from the Iberian Peninsula during my time in New York. This project explores reconstructions of eighteenth-century Spanish music-theatre through performance. Grants and awards allocated thus far have assisted with initial research, sets and costuming, and consultations with international experts and sources all over the world, previously unknown in Australia. Special thanks must go to B'Nai B'rith, Victoria and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. We have performed ten Australian premieres in the past eighteen months. ENSEMBLE Violin I, Shane Lestideau Violin II, Ben Dollman Viola, Anna Webb Cello, Rosanne Hunt Double Bass, Miranda Hill Theorbo+Guitar, Nick Pollock Theorbo+Guitar, Rose Hodgson David MacFarlane, Harpsichord LIGHTING+SOUND Stage Managers, Paul Doyle and Jennifer Knight Sound, David Collins VENUE Melba Hall, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music DESIGN Sets+Props+Costumes, Allegra Giagu With special thanks to Debbie Jenkins
PINCHGUT OPERA | Anacréon, Rameau | Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano
Pinchgut Opera was set up by accident. One day in early 2000, Alison Johnston, Anna Cerneaz, Erin Helyard, Anna McDonald and Liz and Ken Nielsen were talking, over coffee, about music. This was not unusual. We often did that. Someone wondered if there was a different way of doing opera. A way of putting the music first and having the other elements -- sets, costumes, production -- support the music but not get in its way. By the second cup of coffee we had agreed to set up an opera company. City Recital Hall Angel Place had recently opened and we thought it would be perfect -- a fairly small space, where the audience would feel close to the musicians, and with a lovely acoustic for voice. Antony Walker, the already very well-known conductor, came on board, so we reckoned we had all of the artistic and business skills needed to produce and sell an opera. We had no strategic plan, just a rough budget for the first production. No government grants, just confidence that we would find enough people who wanted to help us. It was not intended that we would concentrate on Baroque opera. We wanted to give audiences the chance to hear Australia's young singers and musicians, many of whom live overseas but are happy to return here to perform. We started with Handel's Semele in 2002 -- because we had some musicians who were very experienced in playing on period instruments in Baroque style. That was followed by Purcell's The Fairy Queen (2003), Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (2004), Rameau's Dardanus (2005), Mozart's Idomeneo (2006), Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans (2007), Charpentier's David et Jonathas (2008), Cavalli's L'Ormindo (2009), Haydn's L'anima del filosofo (2010) and Vivaldi's Griselda (2011). All our productions have been broadcast by ABC Classic FM and all but one recorded for CD -- originally by ABC Classics but recently by our own label Pinchgut LIVE. More operas were composed before 1750 than after. Except perhaps for a few from Handel, very few are performed these days. We think there is a huge treasure trove of marvellous works that Australian audiences have not seen. Cavalli, Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Rameau and Charpentier are almost unheard of, as opera composers, in this country. Other companies do the more familiar operas excellently; we want to help audiences discover something new. Perhaps in the future we will take the Pinchgut approach to works from the 20th or 21st century. Our aims have not changed much since the beginning. We've been joined along the way by Andrew Johnston, John Pitman and Genevieve Lang. We know that artistically we are working in a very fertile area and achieving very worthwhile things. We continue to be extremely grateful to our audience who buy tickets, to all those who very generously donate both time and money, and to our sponsors who have helped us out enormously. If you believe in what we are doing and are able to help, please get in touch. We call our supporters 'Heroes of Pinchgut' because without them we could not have got this far. http://www.pinchgutopera.com.au/rameau/
KADDISH, Maurice Ravel | Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano
JOSEPH MAURICE RAVEL (1875–1937) "Kaddisch" from Deux Mélodies Hébraïques (1914) --trans. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Kazen, edited and re-worked in Ravel’s score by Allegra Giagu. PERFORMERS: Allegra Giagu, mezzo-soprano Shane Lestideau, violin David Barnard, piano Ravel’s Kaddisch makes an interpretation based on the original text of the Mourners Kaddish (in Sephard-Aramaic), with melodic colours of Sephard intonation. With this in mind, Shane Lestideau and I have respectfully constructed an interpretation, based on Ravel’s score, suggesting a more flexible phrasing and improvisation between the voice and ‘wailing’ violin, to accentuate the outpouring of grief. Ravel’s text is adjusted to reflect the true words of the Kaddisch in this performance, and in the text below. In Ravel's setting, he omits the words attributed to death. Perhaps he does this to lift us out of mourning; to honour the one who has died with a transcendent offering of the soul. Kaddisch (qaddīš): yit-ga-dal v’yit-ka-dash sh’may ra-ba b’al-ma dee v’ra chir-oo-tayh v’yam-leech mal-choo-tayh b’cha-yay-chon oo-v’yo-may-chon oo-v’cha-yay d’chal bayt yis-ra-ayl ba-a-ga-la oo-viz-man ka-reev v’im-roo a-mayn. yit-ba-raych v’yish-ta-bach v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-ro-mam v’yit-na-say v’yit-ha-dar v’yit-a-leh v’yit-ha-lal sh’may d’kood-sha b’reech hoo l’ay-la min kal bir-cha-ta v’shee-ra-ta toosh-b’cha-ta v’ne-che-ma-ta da-a-mee-ran b’al-ma v’im-roo a-mayn. Holy Prayer: His great name should be magnified and sanctified In the world that He created according to His will And may He establish His Kingdom May it happen in your lifetime And in your days And in the lifetime of all the House of Israel Speedily and very soon And say Amen. Blessed and lauded and beautified and exalted and raised up and glorified and elevated and praised the name of the Holy One, blessed be He Higher than any blessing and song praise and consolation that we could say in the world, And say Amen.