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Elizabeth Kenny

Conducting Acis and Galatea

Lucy Grant (year 2) tells us about the her experience as Musical Director of the university's Chamber Opera Society production last weekend: Acis and Galatea is an opera composed by Handel, based upon a text by the author John Gay. The opera was first performed in 1718 as a single act piece; however, Handel later devised a two-act opera, first performed in 1739, and it was this version we performed. Continue reading →

Kenny plays Oliver

Great video from the inaugural concert of Playlist, the city of Southampton's newest concert series.  Head of Early Music Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo) plays Ben Oliver's 'Extending from the inside', which she premiered at the Cymnock Trust promenade concert in 2014. Continue reading →

Cantores Carols

Just in time for the holidays:  The University of Southampton Choral Scholars - Cantores Michaelis - have just released their first commercial recording. Christmas Carols 1500-2000 is issued by the Herald label and is now on sale in record shops, at Turner Sims Concert Hall on campus, and through Amazon, and will shortly be available on iTunes. The carols are an eclectic mix. Continue reading →

One week, two operas

Dr Francesco Izzo (Senior Lecturer in Music) talks about recent opera productions: I go to the opera frequently, but the past week has been an especially exciting one. On Sunday, 8 February at the Frankfurt Opera, I had the opportunity to attend one of the rare modern performances of Antonio Cesti’s L’Orontea—one of the most successful operas of the mid seventeenth century. Continue reading →

Orpheus in the round

Professor of Music Jeanice Brooks made a field trip to hear one of her favorite operas: Last week I went along with some of my Southampton Music colleagues to see Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo. Composed in 1607, it's the earliest opera that is regularly staged today. It's a piece I completely adore, and though I teach it both in first year music history and in a specialised module on Monteverdi for second and third years, I've had only a few chances to see it in the theatre. Continue reading →

Venus in Galway

Natalie Davies, who finished her BA Honours Music degree last summer, had operatic dreams come true over the summer: In May 2014, I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Erin Headley and Elizabeth Kenny on the lirone and theorbo respectively, whilst singing early music duets in a concert with my duet partner, Leila Zanette, at the University of Southampton. Continue reading →

Extending theorbo players from the inside

Head of Early Music Liz Kenny has been getting out of her comfort zone, playing very new music for a very old instrument:  I use my instrument the theorbo – the largest of the lute family with an extra long neck – for many things: annoying people on crowded tube trains, confusing airlines, accompanying students, demonstrating continuo harmonies, playing with singers and baroque ensembles . . . and so on. Continue reading →

Made in Italy – Italian Madrigals Englished

Bass singer Chris Lusty (year 3) tells us how music for Tudor merchants came back to a real period house - Southampton's Tudor House Museum - during our Made in Italy weekend: On Saturday, the University's choral scholars, Cantores Michaelis, sang a selection of Italian madrigals by Luca Marenzio (1553 -1599) and Giovanni Maria Nanino (1543 -1607) that were translated and arranged into an English style by Albert Chatterley. Continue reading →

Made in Italy – From Rome to Venice

Many performance projects at Southampton are completely student-led, from the initial idea to final realisation. Natalie Davies (year 3) tells us about the final extravaganza of our Italian weekend, featuring rare Roman cantatas matched up with Vivaldi favourites: Having had just over two weeks to rehearse the Vivaldi Gloria with the choir, it was not without trepidation that we came together with the orchestra on Sunday for our last rehearsal before the evening’s concert. Continue reading →

Happy holidays

We're now closed for business until 2 January.  Along with our best wishes of the season, here's a warm account of our final festive event from Phil Draisey (year 3) - with a link to the live streamed video at the bottom.  Happy holidays to all from the staff and students of the Music department! Over to Phil: It’s December the 13th, the last day of term at the University of Southampton. There is a seeping chill in the air and winter rain falls for the first time this month. Continue reading →

I’m dreaming of a French Christmas

In the first of two seasonal posts before we close down for the holidays, Head of Early Music Liz Kenny writes about the work that led to concerts with her early music ensemble, Theatre of the Ayre, in Southampton and London last week: With performance projects, getting the first plank or idea in place is the tricky bit, but once that’s done other ideas suggest themselves and the thing gets rolling. Continue reading →

Lutes and Ukes

Southampton's Head of Early Music Liz Kenny tells us about her summer project: In my daily life I play the lute. I’m interested in how groups of plucked instruments organized themselves to produce music on the stage and in shows and masques in the seventeenth century, and how we might go about it now. Continue reading →