Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s biblical cantatas are extraordinary historical jewels. Written by a woman, about women, for women, they tell bold, unflinching tales about love, marriage, tragedy and adultery, each one a tiny opera in all but name. These breathtaking miniatures — in new English translations by Toria Banks — have never before been staged in the UK and will receive their Scottish premieres (more than 300 years after they were composed) in three atmospheric, fully accessible settings. Produced in partnership with HERA and Mahogany Opera, Out of Her Mouth champions the ability of women to tell their own stories and narrate their own experiences — and invites you to listen.
Virgin, Queen, Star of the Sea: Mary has had many names over the centuries. This Marian-inspired programme weaves together music that explores her shifting status as both mother of God and a young woman, through settings of texts both familiar and new. Under the direction of Nicholas Mulroy, our a cappella consort traces her influence across the centuries, from Kerry Andrew’s hypnotic contemporary miniature, Apples, Plums, Cherries, through the ecstatic richness of Bruckner’s mediation on Mary’s majesty, right back to the jubilant polyphony of Palestrina’s mass, which takes the glory of Mary’s ascension as its central theme.
Bach’s setting of the Passion story — an astonishing tale of persecution, betrayal and forgiveness — is a work of staggering musical virtuosity and accomplishment. This is music that pushes and pulls us, that draws us inexorably inwards and Awhich remains overwhelmingly moving, year after year. But it is just as much a story about love. About how each of us, spiritual or otherwise, can find solace and community through love and redemption, and take courage from the knowledge that hope still lives on in the darkest of places.
Soprano Nardus Williams and guest director Benjamin Bayl join us for a fiery, all-Handel programme, delving into the extraordinary music he composed while in Rome. This is where Handel mastered his mature Italian style, its richness and theatricality a defiant reaction to a papal ban on opera that in turn saw his cantatas and oratorios become glorious, virtuosic showcases.
Dunedin Consort is joined by guest director and harpsichordist Peter Whelan for this sparkling trilogy of early Haydn symphonies. Composed in his early days at the Court of Eszterháza, together they trace a journey from early morning sunrise, through the bright splendour of midday to a fun-filled, celebratory evening.
And at the centre, our very own Jonathan Manson performs C.P.E. Bach’s sunny cello concerto in A major. These orchestral gems demand virtuosic playing from every member of the ensemble — the perfect showcase for Dunedin Consort’s fearless instrumentalists.
‘Almost every city in the UK has its annual Christmas Messiah, but there can’t be any as stylish or as polished as this one’, wrote BachTrack. And who can argue with that? Our annual performances of Handel’s masterpiece are a seasonal staple, the music still as fresh and uplifting now as it ever was. Join us and our stellar cast of soloists in performances across Scotland this Christmas, and start off the festive season as you mean to go on.
Fun for all the family is guaranteed in Dunedin Consort’s interactive, 45-minute Children’s Messiah — specially crafted with little ears in mind! Guided by Mr Handel himself, they’ll be whizzing through some of his greatest hits, with plenty of fun and games along the way. Suitable for all ages.
With BSL interpretation.
Expect fireworks as the massed forces of the RSNO and Dunedin Consort meet on stage for the first time. In this concert the two orchestras perform side-by-side under the direction of Elim Chan in Jorg Widmann’s extraordinary clarinet concerto, Echo-Fragmente — with Widmann himself as the soloist. While the RSNO close the concert with Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5, it is Haydn’s Symphony No. 39 that kicks off this fiery programme, performed undirected by Dunedin Consort’s world-class instrumentalists.
The “Great Mass” in C Minor may be Mozart’s most daring masterpiece. Scored for a huge double chorus and large orchestra, it was left tantalisingly incomplete at his death, and is performed here with Dunedin’s characteristic historical insight in a new completion by Clemens Kemme.
Soloists Lucy Crowe and Anna Dennis (soprano), Benjamin Hulett (tenor) and Robert Davies (bass) join Dunedin Consort’s exceptional orchestra and chorus for what promises to be a monumental occasion.
Hot on the heels of its five-star performances of Dido’s Ghost at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Dunedin Consort returns with an intimate programme of music for tenor and chamber ensemble, featuring Nicholas Mulroy. This expressive and introspective programme explores music by Schütz, Monteverdi, Buxtehude and Francesca Caccini, and concludes with Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi’s remarkable miniature cantata, Lagrime mie.