Concerto delle Donne--The Consort of Ladies: Revolutionary Italian Vocal Music of the Late Renaissance

Saint James Place
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Event date: 
16 Feb 2019
Start Time: 
6 p.m.
Conductor / Keynote Speaker: 
Christine Gevert

Crescendo presents the third concert of its season celebrating renowned women musicians from different centuries.


For its winter concert, Crescendo presents a solo vocal concert celebrating a unique 16th century ensemble of professional female musicians. Performances will take place at 6pm on February 16 at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, MA and at 4pm on February 17 at Trinity Church in Lakeville, CT.


In 1580, in Ferrara, Italy, the Concerto delle Donne performed formal concerts for members of the inner circle of the Ferrara court as well as important visitors. The singers were renowned for their technical and artistic virtuosity. Most likely the first of their gender as women performing together, they revolutionized the role of women in professional music. The ensemble’s founding has been called the most important event in secular Italian music in the late 16th century. As word spread of their work, other similar groups were founded in the powerful courts of the Medici and Orsini.


Composers of the time wrote music expressly for them. Crescendo’s Artistic Director Christine Gevert describes their music as “wonderful, exquisitely ornamented and melodic - and highly expressive, often of the bittersweet contradictions of love. It is at times also breathtakingly virtuosic.”


Honoring the innovative artistry of the 16th century Concerto delle Donne will be sopranos Catherine Hancock, Rebecca Palmer and Jennifer Tyo. They will perform works by the Ferrara Court composer, Luzzascho Luzzaschi, as well as Italian Baroque arias and duets by Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi and others who followed this tradition in the early 17th century. Accompanying the singers will be Artistic Director Christine Gevert (organ and harpsichord), and Hideki Yamaya (theorbo). Christine Gevert conducts.

Tickets for this concert are $35 general seating, $60 premium and $10 students. Snow dates are Feb. 22 (Great Barrington) and Feb. 24 (Lakeville). For more information and tickets, go to

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