Secret Byrd: The Gesualdo Six and Fretwork
Thursday 29 June
Performances at 6pm and 9pm
There is a pre/post performance discussion “Vibrancy of monastic life and sacred polyphony” at 7.30pm – this free talk is a tie-in event, bookable with Secret Byrd tickets, subject to availability.
Weavers of rich and plangent aural tapestries, The Gesualdo Six meld style and substance with beguiling sure-footedness. BBC Music Magazine
If they haven’t already filmed this, they should for when the initial tour is over. In the meantime, do try to see it live. The Guardian
Visceral… Faultless… Chillingly authentic
Witness this extraordinary theatrical concert, which celebrates the 400-year legacy of William Byrd, one of England’s finest composers. Award-winning British vocal ensemble Gesualdo Six collaborate with Fretwork for the first time in an immersive performance created and directed by Bill Barclay and produced by Concert Theatre Works. Soup and bread are passed to foster a sense of ritual and inclusivity. Audiences rove freely among the costumed artists feeling the original hand-made part-books, all illuminated by candlelight. A concert experience like never before.
Secret Byrd has been co-commissioned by St Martin in the Fields, London, and Washington National Cathedral, DC, with generous support from Continuo Foundation.
In between the performances there shall be an informal discussion on the vibrancy of monastic life in late medieval England, and the changes in the sacred soundscape in the Tudor Court; together with medievalist Dr Elizabeth Gemmill and musico-historian and Oxford Festival of the Arts director, Dr Michelle Castelletti.