Marvelous Dust

A musical vanitas, this program explores 17th-century perspectives on the concept of nothingness, a popular subject in early modern Europe. Music written by female composers forges a particularly interesting relationship to the trope of nothingness, as physical beauty has traditionally been the standard by which female worth is judged in the Western world. This program explores the transient nature of this marker of worth from female perspectives, presenting little-known music by female composers such as Strozzi, Leonarda and Cozzolani.

La Voce Meravigliosa

This program showcases settings of Italian poetry that explore the act of communicating through speech or song.  To bring these texts to life, composers Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Claudio Monteverdi and Barbara Strozzi employ highly complex, virtuosic musical writing that stretches the human voice to its limits.  Music is interspersed with readings of ancient myths in which the human voice plays a pivotal role, including the stories of Apollo, Orpheus, Echo and Odysseus.  

Snow White

Charites collaborates with Company XIV, a Baroque inspired dance/theater company, for Snow White, part of the dazzling and dangerous Apple Trilogy. Charites sings Brooke Bryant's original compositions, providing the "mellifluous and penetrating three-part harmony of the Queen's magic mirror, a fantastic choice for a fantastical object." (New Theater Corps). Based on the Brothers Grimm's classic tale, this humorous and dark production appeals to children and adults alike. Show Business Weekly calls Charites "a captivating triad ... which fits in perfectly with the movement and highlights the dance," performing works by Handel and Bellini, as well as Yiddish folk music and original compositions.

The Lais of Machaut

The most celebrated composer of the 14th-century, Guillaume de Machaut was also a poet who sought to foster a close alliance between text and music in his works. Machaut’s lais - narrative poems on chivalric themes sung throughout - exemplify this relationship, using ars nova techniques to elevate the genre to new levels of sophistication. Charites performs these rarely-heard works, evoking an elegant chivalric tradition.

Et in Arcadia Ego

Escape the harried life of the 21st-century by stepping into the mythical world of Arcadia. This program combines pastoral music and poetry from the 16th- and 17th-centuries to evoke the world of graceful nymphs and amorous shepherds. Charites performs music by Youll, Morley, Blow, Purcell, Luzzaschi and Caccini, inviting the audience to participate in humorous excerpts from John Weldon's Judgment of Paris.

Le Cirque Féerique (Fairy Circus)

Company XIV invites us back for another exciting collaboration. The "harmonious soprano and contralto voices of an exquisite guest opera trio, Charites," (Back Stage) help to narrate this collection of fairy tales, told through creator Austin McCormick's magical mix of opera, dance, theater and opulent design. The ladies of Charites are perched above the action, like three exquisite birds, accompanying the tales with endless musical variety: our unique rendition of Lady Gaga's "Monster" rocks during Little Red Riding Hood’s encounter with the Big Bad Wolf; the famous "Habanera" from Bizet’s Carmen underscores Ferdinand the Bull's adventures; Madonna's "Like a Prayer" enhances Cinderella's story. This program - a baroque circus confection - delights and amazes audiences of all ages.