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
program showcases settings of
Italian poetry that explore the act of communicating through speech or
song. To bring these texts to life, composers Luzzasco
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.
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.