Commences 7.30pm (St. Georges Church, Hartlepool)
"A Yuletide Tale"
A seasonal tale told by The Musicke Companye:
witty stories of Court affairs,exquisite poetry and
prose combined with ravishingly lovely music and
imagery. Choreographed,the age-old story of
Christmas is interwoven with contemporary accounts
of feasting, frosts and sumptuous balls in a beguiling
evening of drama and revelry. Enchanting music by
Monteverdi, Grandi, Scarlatti, Purcell and Mozart
alongside traditional carols.
The 4 performers are Philippa Hyde (soprano), Paul Esswood (counter-tenor), Jennifer Janse (baroque cello) and Helen Rogers (harpsichord and chamber organ).
Described by Musical Opinion as "one of the most gifted and more musically intelligent of all the early music ensembles currently before the public", The Musicke Companye specialises in the rich and varied repertoir of 17th and 18th century Europe and has performed extensively throughout Europe with concerts, live radio and TV broadcasts to great critical acclaim.
The musicians are regular guest artists in the 'Master Series' at London's Wigmore Hall. The Musicke Companye has released a number of CDs.
Philippa Hyde has worked as a soloist for many leading early music ensembles and orchestras, including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment, Canzona and The Parley of Instruments. Recordings include the role of Semira in Arne's Artaxerxes for Hyperion. Philippa is Professor of Period Performance at the Royal Northen College of Music.
Paul Esswood, the first counter-tenor ever to sing at La Scala, Milan, has made over 200 recordings, including the famous complete Bach series under Harnoncourt/Leonhardt. His operatic appearances have included world premieres by Penderecki and Glass as well as the Monteverdi cycle in Zurich produced by Ponnelle.
Jennifer Janse, described by Yehudi Menuhin as "among this country's most outstanding musicians", is equally at home on both 'period' and 'modern' cello. She has given more than 100 solo recitals in the UK, solo performances in many European countries and orchestral concerts with, among others, The King's Consort and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Helen Rogers is in much demand both as a solo harpsichordist and continuo player. She is frequently a soloist at London's Purcell Room (South Bank Centre) and other major venues, performing Bach's harpsichord concerti and Brandenburg concerti. In 2000, Helen was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
"One of the most gifted and more musically intelligent of all the early music groups currently before the public" - Musical Opinion.
"the members of The Musicke Companye have conquered the hearts of the St. Mark's Festival audience, giving a concert that will surely remain one of the Festival's highlights" -
Jutarnji List, Zagreb.
"Paul Esswood is surely the counter-tenor all Handelians have been searching for" The Listener.
"The continuo playing is a delight - a wiry bass line from the cello of Jennifer Janse and stylish realisations from Helen Rogers who also dashes off a fluent account of 'The Harmonious Blacksmith" Early Music News.
"the harpsichordist Helen Rogers and cellist Jennifer Janse were at one with the singers" -
Hallands Nyheter, Sweden.
"Jennifer Janse plunged herself passionately into the waves of Vivaldi's A minor sonata and J.S. Bach's G major Suite with the remarkable continuo support of Helen Rogers" Jutarnji List, Zagreb.
"I thought Philippa Hyde's singing outstanding - gorgeous tone, superb clarity and a lovely freshness of sound" East Anglian Daily Times.
"Not only did she (Philippa Hyde) have a beguiling stage presence and pure vocal tone, but she was able to impart passion into the music." Early Music Review.
"Paul Esswood sang with stylish conviction throughout and excelled with nicely judged ornamentation in his arias" The Guardian.
"Esswood sings the love poems set to music by Dowland and Purcell with such sensitivity, and with such vocal beauty and flexibility, that hearing this record becomes an exciting pleasure" Alte Musik Aktuell, Germany.
"The resonant clarity of his genuine alto and musicianship were to be cheered" San Francisco Chronicle.