Italian ensemble coming to the Sid

The Sid Williams Theatre Society will present a performance by Cappella Artemisia on Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The Sid Williams Theatre Society will present a performance by Cappella Artemisia on Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

This 10-member ensemble, from Bologna, Italy, consists of six vocalists, two cornetti (early wind instrument) and continuo (harpsichord and gamba) performing works from the 16th and 17th centuries.

For the most ardent early music admirer, experiencing the incredible sound of the 10-member ensemble Cappella Artemisia live may be a no-brainer. But for those unsure what to expect from a performance of this style, Times-Colonist contributor Kevin Bazzana encourages you to check it out.

In an Oct. 25 article, he wrote, “Among the best concerts I heard last season was the one that sounded the dustiest and most esoteric on paper … the music, beautifully performed, proved to be unexpectedly rich and moving, and was all the more pleasurable for being unfamiliar.”

Bazzana continued, “However obscure, this music, far from being dry, turns out to be gorgeous, judging from Cappella Artemisia’s recording of works by Cozzolani — one of seven CDs it has released, all devoted to this highly specialized repertoire.”

The musicians of Cappella Artemisia are all established performers in the field of early music and actively collaborate with other ensembles. They present an intriguing program of recently unearthed vocal and instrumental music of the 16th and 17th centuries, much of it written behind convent walls where both composition and performance were officially forbidden.

Convent life represented virtually the only honourable choice for women outside of marriage, and many young Italian girls inhabited the monasteries. Music was practised there every day for it literally represented their voice in the outside world, and its excellent quality drew hoards of listeners from throughout Europe.

“It was an early example of the women’s movement, expressed through the power of music,” said Candace Smith, Cappella Artemisia founder-director.

“And of course, it also reveals these extraordinarily beautiful works, often written in secret, and in many cases now being heard for the first time since they were first created.”

Smith joins the ensemble on their Western Canada tour as a featured guest, along with her husband and world-celebrated cornetto virtuoso Bruce Dickey.

Smith (originally from California but living in Europe since 1975) is a mezzo-soprano and has been involved for many years with historical music written by women, in addition to her interests in contemporary music, musical theatre, and cabaret. Dickey is a founding member of Concerto Palatino and well-known throughout the world of early music for his pioneering work on the instrument.

Founded in Bologna, Italy, in 1991, this is “early music” with a difference. They present a feast of glorious and rarely heard music. With an informative and illuminating commentary, they also open a social and historical window onto the women’s movement of an earlier era.

Since its inception the ensemble has received critical and popular praise, both for the rarity and originality of its repertoire, and for the high quality of its performances.

Cappella Artemisia has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Festival of Flanders, The Holland Festival of Early Music, Il Festival Monteverdiano di Cremona, the Osterfestival in Innsbruck, the WDR Festival der Alten Musik in Herne, the Tage Alter Musik in Regensburg, and I Concerti al Quirinale (Rome). They have been broadcast by national radio networks in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.

Now for the first time, they undertake a major Canadian tour.

Cappella Artemisia takes its name from the painter, Artemisia Gentileschi, a striking female figure in the 17th-century Italian art world whose accomplishments — like the convent inspired music that paralleled her life — are only now beginning to be recognized.

Don’t miss Cappella Artemisia on stage at the Sid Williams Theatre on Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Courtenay. Tickets can be purchased at the Sid ticket centre, by phone 250-338-2430 or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.

— Sid Williams Theatre

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Starthcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Most Read