SEPTEMBER 9: The Power of a Woman’s Voice
Tina Packer with the Calliope Renaissance Band
September 9 at 4:30 pm at the New Marlborough Meeting House
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“Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak;
And speak I will”
The Taming of the Shrew — William Shakespeare
The Power of a Woman’s Voice titles a program of readings and music with Tina Packer, doyenne of the Shakespearean world, and the venerable Calliope Renaissance Band. This spirited event will include English women’s voices from 16th and 17th century literature and complimentary music with which they would have been familiar, such as John Taverner, John Dowland, Thomas Morley and the ubiquitous Anonymous.
Tina Packer, actor and playwright, is the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. She
has directed most of Shakespeare’s plays, and acted in seven of them.
In 2009 Tina gave up the artistic directorship of Shakespeare & Company to concentrate on Women of Will, a play which she wrote and performed on a three-year world tour and off-Broadway. The book version of Women of Will was published in 2015. This season Tina is directing Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox.
Calliope toured North America for over twenty-five years, frequently introducing to audiences for the first time the music and instruments of the 13th through the 17th centuries. The ensemble performed in many of the nation’s most prestigious concert halls.
The group made five recordings and numerous soundtracks for TV and radio. As winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition in 1976, Calliope was able to commission two new works for mixed renaissance instruments. With the commission of Peter Schickele’s Bestiary in 1984, the group was influential in creating a new niche for early musicians, that of playing new music on old instruments as well as some crossover into folk and popular music. Although Calliope stopped touring in 2000, the group has continued to perform concerts and educational concerts in the Northeast.
Calliope members are Allan Dean, Professor of Trumpet at the Yale University School of Music, where he also coaches brass chamber music and directs the Yale Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble. In addition to Calliope, he performs with Summit Brass, the St. Louis Brass Quintet, and the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble.
Lucy Bardo is a long-time member of Calliope, the New York Consort of Viols and the Berkshire Bach Society. She has performed with many other organizations over the years, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Virtuosi and Musica Viva. She has appeared as viola da gamba soloist for the Bach Passions with many choral organizations including the Washington D.C. Choral Arts Society and the Berkshire Choral Festival. Her recording credits include Nonesuch, Vanguard, Telarc, Musical Heritage, Columbia, Summit, Equilibrium and Lyrachord.
Ben Harms performs medieval and renaissance music with Calliope as well as with the Boston Camerata, Waverly Consort, and other ensembles. He has played timpani with numerous period instrument orchestras, including the Boston Early Music Festival, New York Collegium, Rebel, and Amor Artis. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1968, playing not only percussion but also recorder. As a viola da gambist he performs in the annual presentation of the Brandenburg Concertos by the Berkshire Bach Society. Other performing credits include the Steve Reich Ensemble, Queens Symphony, Columbia Festival Orchestra and New York’s Muisca Viva.Steven Lundahl specializes in recorders and early brass including sackbuts and Medieval slide trumpet. He has performed throughout North and South America, Europe and Hong Kong with such groups as Calliope, the Boston Camerata, Boston Baroque, Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Project Ars Nova, Waverly Consort and more. He has participated on over 25 recordings on such labels as Telarc, Warner Classics, Angel/EMI, Harmonia Mundi (France and Germany), Erato (France), New Albion Records and others.
Some of the instruments played by CALLIOPE will look and sound familiar to modern concert-goers. Others will not. Among the more unusual ones are the J-shaped krummhorn and the double-reed shawm, a forerunner of the modern oboe. The unique cornetto is fingered like a woodwind but is blown like a trumpet. Renaissance string instruments are represented by the six-stringed viola da gamba family and the vielle, which evolved into the modern violin. The hand drum and tambourine, while looking familiar, are played with an intricate technique involving use of the fingers and other parts of the hand, while the pipe-and-tabor combination features a type of recorder with only three holes played by a player simultaneously hitting a tabor, or drum.
A reception follows in the Meeting House gallery.