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"Secret Music 1580 ~ Music for the Three Ladies of Ferrara."
St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Davidson, NC
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May 17, 2020 3:00 PM

Admission Level Price Quantity
Student $10.00 ($11.49 w/service fee)
Ages 12-21  
Senior $15.00 ($16.74 w/service fee)
Ages 62+  
General $20.00 ($21.99 w/service fee)
Ages 22-61  
(United States - Change Country)


"Secret Music 1580 ~ Music for the Three Ladies of Ferrara."
"Secret Music 1580 ~ Music for the Three Ladies of Ferrara."
Alchemy Viols and sopranos Margaret Carpenter Haigh, Mary Ruth Lown and Sarah Coffman bring you this exciting program of virtuosic music for 3 sopranos , cello , viol, organ and theorbo

In 1580, while the nobles daughters continued to sing sweetly after nightly dinners, Duke Alfonso of Ferrara did something extraordinary.   Not unlike when today a college sports coach trolls the high schools to find the best new players, Duke Alfonso went outside his own dukedom into the common streets to find the three finest female singers alive.  Back to his court he brought Laura Peverara, Anna Guarini, and Livia dArco.  They were ordinary women, and never would their social standing have allowed them to be seen at court. Yet their talent was so extraordinary, that within a single year they rose to 16th century rockstar status.
Three ladies of Ferrara (as we call them today), known then as Concerto delle donne, performed only in the rooms of Alfonso's wife.    A small audience came every night, but by private invitation only.   So these performances came to be called (by those not yet invited) as "musica secreta," (secret music).   
Perhaps even more engaging than the "singing with timeless ardency" which a Bloomington newspaper reviewer called the performing of our own three ladies, Margaret, Sarah, and MaryRuth, was Margaret's use of baroque gesture.  That is getting to be the hot thing now.   The call is going out for no secular baroque vocal work to be done without it.    These were stylized gestures the singer did with her hands, arms, posture to express the text. It's normal to see it in baroque opera, but research is saying it was done all the time.  It came from the supposed movements of the Three Graces in mythology.   Margaret did her doctoral dissertation on this.  And she incorporates it in these vocal works--synchronized!!   It's like a Renaissance Diana Ross and the Supremes!


St. Alban's Episcopal Church (View)
301 Caldwell Lane
Davidson, NC 28036
United States


Arts > Performance
Music > All Ages
Music > Classical

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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