The 16th century origin of platform shoes?
Falconry, love, myth, war and an obsession with wrinkles?
Brilliant, gorgeous women fencing atop perilously high platform shoes while wielding their cello bows like deadly weapons?
To premiere Fall 2013:
Fa La La- the Bastardy of Shakespeare’s Madrigals presents the re-interpreted songs of Renaissance composer /historical non-entity Thomas Weelkes.
Who was Thomas Weelkes? He was a young man uniquely unqualified to have composed the emotive, masterful, and ingenious songs that are credited to him. Aside from 61 brilliant songs published in his name (supposedly written when he was only 21), and creating a musical form still lasting today, Thomas Weelkes left behind little more than legal documentation of his belligerent drunkenness and habitual blasphemy.
Musician/artist Melora Creager is creating a narrative concert (instrumental/song/spoken word) wherein alternative cello/vocal ensemble Rasputina reimagines Weelkes' works, 1597-1601.
Representing Ladies of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth I, the players act as intuitive history guides; telling the story of their own lives, and divulging connections between Weelkes, Shakespeare & Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. Lyrical clues to the Shakespeare authorship mystery abound in Weelkes' intricate word-paintings.
This music (much of it unheard for over 400 years) is transportive and sublime, foreign, yet familiar.Rasputina refashions it through rearrangement, live looping, the addition of percussion and use of natural (non-operatic) voice.
As Lady Gossamer Snakenborg, Creager shares her arch humor in the between-song tellings of : grotesque Elizabethan factoids, the 16th Century origin of platform shoes, and the sad-but-true story of lead-based make-up.
In Fa la la, the Bastardy of Shakespeare's Madrigals, Rasputina challenges close-held concepts like classical/popular, man/woman and true/false.
The Maids of Honor were Queen Elizabeth's servants, but of noble birth.
They were expected to hang out, be amusing, play cards, dance, sing, sew,
and perform various services, like pass messages, and cut the Queen's meat.
These Ladies would get caught up in the intrigues of the court.
I think it was an awful lot of hanging about, and DeVere was right there with them.
Lady Gossamer Snakenborg (MELORA C)
Title: 7th Mistress of the Leash
Crest: Winged Harpy
Motto: Flying, I despise reptiles
Volando, reptilia sperno
Mistress Brigit Manners (JULIA K)
Title: Sheriffess of the Concert-Halls
Crest: Serpent, Winged and Rising
Motto: Suffer bravely/ Endure fort
Mistress Penelope Deveraux (LAUREN M)
Title: Necessary Woman of the Back-Stairs
Crest: The Heart, Winged , but Broken
Motto: I love fervently/ Ardenter Amo
Lady Anne Anger (ZANETA S.)
Title: Mistress Harbinger of the Cuffs
Crest: Poison Apple, Winged
Motto: Danger is sweet/ Dulce periculum
Visconte Allesandro deMedici (DANIEL D)
Title: Joint Master of the Private-Music Boys
Crest: Skull in Flames, Winged
Motto: I escaped from the f ire/ Del fuego lo avolo