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Cor Unum Ensemble and Sub Rosa Ensemble Present: Sub Rosa
Trinity College Chapel
Toronto, ON
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Cor Unum Ensemble and Sub Rosa Ensemble Present: Sub Rosa
This concert is the first collaboration between CUE and Sub Rosa Ensemble. By combining womens voices from Sub Rosa with strings, continuo, and mens voices from Cor Unum, well explore 16th- and 17th-century repertoire written for and by nuns - often the most highly trained and renowned musicians in their city, and yet never spoken about in music history classes. Convent polyphony was common, but controversial on account of its sensuality, and only a few nuns dared to publish music for instruments. Nevertheless these women often used their popularity, and the secrecy of the screens behind which they performed, to break the rules - sometimes even singing with men. We are delighted to share this unusual and beguiling repertoire which treads the uneasy boundary between sacred and secular beauty.  

Sub Rosa Ensemble is dedicated to the long-neglected repertoire composed by women of the 16th and 17th centuries, especially the surviving work of cloistered nuns. These nuns used singing and composition to communicate their identity and their devotion beyond the convent walls, developing their social and financial independence. The power of their music caused them to become both controversial and alluring to the outside world - in fact it was illegal in many Italian cities. We explore the challenges of equal-voice polyphony and aim to shed light on the important (though often invisible) role played by women in music history. Our name is tied to the traditional reference to secret meetings as 'under the rose,' not unlike the secluded music of these women whose lives remain largely inaccessible to scholarship.

Cor Unum Ensemble is one of Torontos newest early music ensembles, comprised of emerging professionals interested in vocal and instrumental collaboration within the early music repertoire.

Founded in 2016 by Joel Allison and Artistic Director Ruth Denton, CUE performed its debut concert to a full house at Trinity College Chapel and went on to perform J.S. Bachs St. John Passion with guest artistic director Adrian Butterfield. Their second season included a choose-your-own-adventure style experience called The Choice, and a presentation of Giovanni B. Pergolesis Stabat Mater.

Cor Unum strives to create performance opportunities for young artists passionate about early music, and foster their growth as individual artists. Their process is intentionally collaborative, valuing the collective experience their artists possess and learning from one another as they prepare their programs. The dedication, scholarship, and spirited energy of CUEs collaboration is a mere reflection of the mentorship and encouragement of the rich historical performance community in Toronto.


Trinity College Chapel (View)
6 Hoskin Ave
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7


Arts > Performance
Music > All Ages
Music > Choral
Music > Classical

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Cor Unum Ensemble
On BPT Since: Sep 28, 2017
Cor Unum Ensemble

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