Secret concerto of the Ladies of Ferrara
At the court of the Duke of Ferrara, before a very small and select audience, three young ladies would perform some of the most impressive music of the late Renaissance.
Those “secret concerts” were soon renowned all over Europe. Ambassadors to the court spoke of them in their dispatches, privileged guests expressed their wonderment in diary entries and letters, poets voiced their praise, spies sent to Ferrara by jealous princes provided detailed reports…
Celebrated and described by their contemporaries as “angels of paradise”, “divine creatures”, “exceptional virtuosos”, those three young ladies achieved pre-eminence in a world largely dominated by men.
Our programme will include highly ornamented madrigals by the director of those concerts, Luzzascho Luzzaschi, as well as some very rare pieces composed in 1581 by Lodovico Agostini: his musical enigmas, or Enigmi musicale, in which two of the young ladies would sing their parts, while the third one, also present on stage, was required first of all to solve a very challenging musical puzzle, in the form of a poem, before she could sing her part.
The three Ladies of Ferrara were very young, so for this programme we have called upon three talented young singers, who will bring brio and grace to a repertoire unmatched in its aristocratic refinement.
Gabrielle Varbetian, Soprano
Sarah Charles, Soprano
Camille Fritsch, Mezzo-soprano
Bor Zulian, Archlute
Sébastien Wonner, Harpsichord
Nolwenn Le Gwern, Lira da gamba
Denis Raisin Dadre, Recorder and direction