The Cape Consort returns to the Fugard with Part 4 of its Monteverdi Project.
Following the success of the first three parts of the Cape Consort’s highly popular Monteverdi Project, the Consort returns to the Fugard Studio in October with Part 4 and presents the earliest surviving English opera, John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. Repeat performances take place on three consecutive Sunday evenings, 5, 12 and 19 October at 6pm in the exquisite Sigrid Rausing Studio of the Fugard Theatre. A pre-concert talk will take place before each Sunday performance at 5:15pm.
Venus and Adonis, the only dramatic work by John Blow (1648/9 – 1708), was composed for the court of Charles II around 1683. The part of Venus was sung by Mary (Moll) Davies, the king’s former mistress, while their illegitimate daughter, Lady Mary Tudor, sang the part of Cupid. This work served as the model for Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Venus and Adonis, based on the classical myth, tells the story of Venus’ affair with Adonis, and his death due to a mortal wound inflicted by an enormous boar. In an idealised pastoral setting these vivid characters deal with desire, manipulation, pride and loss.
This performance of Venus and Adonis will include six voices, a 7-piece ensemble of period instruments, a narrator and text projections, and promises to be yet another of the stylish and exciting interpretations for which the Cape Consort has become known.
Do not miss the opportunity to hear this rarely performed gem!
Patrons are invited to meet the musicians on the theatre’s roof-top deck after the show, where drinks will be for sale.
Tickets may be booked through Computicket, 0861 915 8000 or via the Fugard Theatre’s box office on 021 461 4554. Friends of the Fugard receive discounts when booking through the theatre’s box office.
Secure parking is available across the road in the Harrington Square parking lot and the Fugard bar will be open before and after each performance.
The Cape Consort is a Cape Town based ensemble dedicated to stylish and historically informed performances of Early Music. Part of a wider initiative to introduce Historically Informed Performance Practice (HIPP) to South African concert stages, the Consort collaborates with international practitioners and musicologists, and also strives to connect local musicians to the debate and research in the field of HIPP. The ensemble aims to establish a regular presence on the South African concert circuit, exploring and presenting early vocal repertoire (which rarely features in local concerts) in vivid performances of works by composers such as Monteverdi, Strozzi, D'India, Caresana, Biber, Schütz, Buxtehude, Purcell, the Bach family, and many other less familiar names. In line with current trends in early music circles, the Consort translates and re-contextualises ancient musical expressions into vibrant and credibly contemporary articulations.
Conceived as a flexible group, the consort adapts its forces to the requirements of the repertoire. The regular singers are Lente Louw and Antoinette Blyth (sopranos), Nick de Jager, Lance Phillip, and Willem Bester (tenors), and Charles Ainslie (bass-baritone). Erik Dippenaar (harpsichord/organ) and Hans Huyssen (Baroque cello) form the core basso continuo group. Period instruments such as viols, violins, viols, lute, theorbo, and percussion join forces as the repertoire requires.
In 2011, the Cape Consort performed Monteverdi's six-part Vespers in a series of concerts, as well as an all Purcell programme in collaboration with the Cape Town Consort of Viols. Concerts with visiting artists, such as the renowned Dutch Baroque violinist Antoinette Lohmann and the soprano Mandie de Villiers-Schutte were also presented. The Cape Consort has appeared at the Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn, the Odeion Musik Fest in Bloemfontein, GIPCA’s Infecting the City Festival in Cape Town, Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch, the Cape Town Concert Series at the Baxter Theatre and Cultivaria in Paarl. Its performance at the Stellenbosch Woordfees in 2012 was awarded with the Woordtrofee for ‘best classical music production’, a KykNet Fiësta nomination and a return invitation to the Endler concert series in 2013.
In February 2012, the group launched the first part of its Monteverdi Project at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. The gripping renditions of Monteverdi madrigals (supported by synchronised and animated projections of text translations) which ran for a series of sold-out performance and resulted in an invitation to establish a regular presence at the Fugard, is documented on the ensemble's first CD: Claudio Monteverdi Selected Madgrigals (www.mucavi.com/Madrigals.html). The Monteverdi Project is ongoing and 2014 will see Part 4 – John Blow’s Venus and Adonis.
Upcoming appearances include a second collaboration with Camerata Tinta Barocca in a performance of the original Dublin version of Handel’s Messiah (10 December 2014, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church)