Spring Returns: Two Tall Tales Saturday, April 27, 8PM & Sunday, April 28, 3PM Bachgrounder lecture 35 minutes before each performance Circa 1600 · Barefoot Consort of Viols Guest instrumentalists: Shira Kammen, Kevin Cooper Illustrations by Julia Loopstra Directed by Robert Worth and Amanda McFadden Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center
In this rollicking show, we present two very different dramas, set to very different music. Our opening halffeatures the ‘Festino nella sera del Giovedì grasso avanti cena’ (‘A little party on the evening of Fat Thursday before supper’), by the Bolognese composer Adriano Banchieri (1568–1634). The piece features a rich cast of characters performing a variety of songs ranging from the absurd to the sublime. After intermission, we’ll take on ‘The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore’, by Gian Carlo Menotti (1911–2007). Subtitled ‘The Three Sundays of a Poet’, the piece is a parable of the phases of an artist’s life and of the difficulties in being truly heard. Original artwork by Julia Loopstra will complement the music.
Susan and Neil Silverman Photography
Circa 1600 is a chamber choir, focused upon the nexus between the Renaissance and the Baroque. The group’s primary repertoire is drawn from the 16th and 17th centuries, with occasional forays backward to the 15th century and forward up to and including the music of JS Bach. Guiding lights include Josquin Desprez, Claudio Monteverdi, and Heinrich Schütz.
Multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia and Japan, and on the Colorado, Rogue, Green, Grande Ronde, East Carson and Klamath Rivers. Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several groups: a medieval ensemble, Fortune’s Wheel: a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; an English Country Dance band, Roguery,the early music ensembles Cançoniér and In Bocca al Lupo, as well as frequent collaborations with performers such as storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, medieval music experts Margriet Tindemans and Anne Azema, and in many theatrical and dance productions. She has worked with students in many different settings, among them teaching summer music workshops in the woods, coaching students of early music at Yale University, Case Western, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and working at specialized seminars at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. She has played on several television and movie soundtracks, including ‘O’, a modern high school-setting of Othello and ‘’The Nativity Story’, and has accompanied many diverse artists in recording projects, among them singers Azam Ali and Joanna Newsom. Some of her original music can be heard in an independent film about fans of the work of JRR Tolkien. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. She has recently taken courses in Taiko drumming and voiceover acting.
Kevin Cooper is a classical and baroque guitarist from central California with an affinity for the extremes of modern and early music. He performs regularly as a soloist and with Agave Baroque and Ensemble Mirable. He also appears with Les Suprises Baroque, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, Accademia d’Amore Baroque Opera Workshop, Long Beach Camerata Singers, and the Corona del Mar Baroque Festival Chamber Orchestra. Kevin’s publications range from guitar quartet arrangements of Carlo Farina’s Cappricio Stravagante to a collection of folk and children’s songs entitledSnakes, Snails, and C Major Scales. His recordings include projects with Agave Baroque and Ensemble Mirable as well as Night of Four Moons a CD of modern music for voice and guitar with mezzo-soprano Catherine Cooper on the Doberman-Yppan label. In 2006, he was honored as the Outstanding Doctoral Graduate in music from the University of Southern California, where he studied with William Kanengiser and James Tyler. Currently he leads the guitar program at Fresno City College.