Series Concerts

Shakespeare’s Songbook

William Shakespeare loved music, and used it both in the background, to establish a mood, and up front as an entertaining diversion. He also made frequent reference to popular music in his dialogue to manipulate the emotions of his audience. Come hear the art songs, ballads, and dance tunes that gave the patrons of the Globe Theatre a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. Join Ross W. Duffin, author of Shakespeare’s Songbook, as he discusses Shakespeare at the pre-concert lecture.

Directed by David Douglass, violin and viola de gamba, with Paul O’Dette, lute, cittern, and theorbo; Ellen Hargis, soprano; and William Hite, tenor.

Journey to Bethlehem: 17th-century German Music for Advent and Christmas

The story of Christmas is so familiar that its true meaning is best revealed when it’s set to ravishingly beautiful music. Come hear a program of tunes you very likely know, but in settings you’ve never heard before. We’ll celebrate the story of the birth of Jesus with the glorious colors of historical brass, recorders, reeds, strings, organ, and voices in the lush and resonant acoustics of St. Clement Church and Millar Chapel.

Performers include David Douglass, violin, and William Porter, organ, with the Newberry Consort Singers: Ellen Hargis, soprano; Julia Bentley, alto; Harold Brock, tenor; and Jeffery Strauss, bass. The Whole Noyse will also perform, including Stephen Escher, cornetto and recorder; D. Sanford Stadtfeld, sackbut and recorder; Herbert Myers, dulcian, recorder, and viola; and Richard Van Hessel, sackbut, recorder, and gittern.

Performances will be held at St. Clement Church, 642 West Deming Place, Chicago. This magnificent Romanesque church just off Fullerton Parkway and Halsted Street in Lincoln Park has the perfect ambiance and acoustics for this concert. Ample parking is available.

The Play of Robin and Marion, and Medieval French Songs of Love

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we present a medieval debate on the subject of love. Like the troubadours, trouvères sang the stories of their lives in elegant and touching verse. The centerpiece of this poetic debate is Le Jeu de Robin and Marion by trouvère Adam de la Halle. This first account of the romance of Robin and Marion is semi-staged and set to the improvised accompaniment of lutes, fiddles, flutes, recorders and percussion.

Directed by David Douglass, vielle and rebec, with Mark Rimple, lute; Tom Zajac, flute and percussion; Ellen Hargis, soprano; and Drew Minter, countertenor.

Españoleta! Danzas y Bailes

Body language, like music, can tell a story in the most immediate and visceral way. A thrilling finale to the Newberry Consort Series, this program presents diverse music from seventeenth-century Spain and Latin America. Dancers in full Baroque costume tell their tales of seduction in tarantelas, canarios, folias and more in this unique program full of dazzling rhythms and Latin spice.

Directed by David Douglass, violin, with the Chatham Baroque, whose members include Julie Andrijeski, violin; Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba; Scott Pauley, guitar & theorbo; Danny Mallon, percussion; and Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Thomas Baird, Baroque dancers.

Benefit Concerts

Off the Record: An Afternoon With Ellen Hargis and Paul O’Dette

Ellen Hargis and Paul O’Dette offer an unforgettable afternoon of dazzling music-making and behind-the-scenes tales of their international performing careers, all in an intimate cabaret setting with wine and light refreshments. Ellen and Paul will perform favorite selections from their popular touring programs, and promise to include some of the special encores for which they’ve become famous. Support the Consort and get to know the “Baroque-music diva” (The New Yorker) who is acclaimed a “National musical treasure” (Continuo) and the virtuoso lutenist who has been described as “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument.” (Toronto Globe and Mail).

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