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Musica Secreta

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Musica Secreta 2019

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BRIGHTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012
BRIGHTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012 Secret Carnivals – Musica Secreta St Michael and All Angels Church, 10 November 2012 BREMF, Brighton picture by robert piwko / www.robertpiwko.com www.facebook.com/RobertPiwkoPhotography

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Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter

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Laurie Stras

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Laurie Stras

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Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts

Biographies

You can copy/download biographies of the group and the directors here.

Musica Secreta
For over thirty years, Musica Secreta has been at the forefront of the discovery and interpretation of music for and by early modern women. They bring together internationally-acclaimed musicians and ground-breaking research to perform this fascinating and continually emerging repertoire.

Their programmes illustrate the many faces of women musicians in the 16th and 17th centuries: courtiers, courtesans, actresses and cloistered nuns. There is always an element of story-telling, theatre, and surprise, in their performances, for the women who first made this music had lives as compelling as the music itself.

Over the years Musica Secreta has performed in some intriguing venues throughout Europe from former monastic churches to a tent at the Latitude festival clad in habits and wellies – as part of a tour of the UK and Ireland with a music drama based on the best-selling novel, Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant. They have also recorded a wide range of music from renaissance polyphony to early baroque music by women composers including Barbara Strozzi and the nuns Lucrezia Vizzana and Margarita Cozzolani. Their 2017 recording, Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter, won the 2016 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, and was described in the Gramophone as

“unrelentingly beautiful and fully captivating throughout”

 

Their 2019 recording, From Darkness Into Light: The Complete Lamentations of Jeremiah for Good Friday by Antoine Brumel was shortlisted for Gramophone‘s Early Music Award.
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Laurie Stras

Laurie Stras joined Deborah Roberts as co-director of Musica Secreta in 2000.

With a background in performance, including a spell as a musical director and keyboard player with the Royal National Theatre, she is now a leading authority on Renaissance female musicians. She attended the Royal College of Music, where she studied harpsichord, piano, and singing, and earned her PhD from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London.

Laurie’s teaching and scholarship have been recognised by awards from the Higher Education Funding Council of England, the American Musicological Society, the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, and the ASCAP Deems Taylor committee. Her book, Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, published by Cambridge University Press, was awarded the 2019 Otto Kinkeldey Prize from the American Musicological Society.

Laurie is Professor Emerita of Music at the University of Southampton, and Research Professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield.

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Deborah Roberts

Deborah Roberts was born in Europe and graduated from Nottingham University with an MA in editing and interpreting renaissance and baroque music. She has remained fascinated by the discovery of new repertoire and performance styles ever since. As a former long-term member of The Tallis Scholars, Deborah performed with them in over 1,200 concerts in many weird and wonderful places around the world and in countless recordings of rare and beautiful renaissance music. She also sang with many other early music ensembles as a soloist and consort singer.

She took up choral direction nearly 20 years ago, and enjoys running courses in sacred polyphony and early opera, including workshops with Laurie on early convent music.

In 2002 she co-founded Brighton Early Music Festival (www.bremf.org.uk) and remains its Artistic Director, devising the annual festival and working with young artists through its BREMF Live! scheme.

When she can she escapes to Italy (her other home) and very much hopes this can continue.

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