Usually, when we perform music from another time period, we have to close our eyes and imagine what the people playing it in the past would have looked like. But for our first concert of the season this year, entitled Kemp’s Jig, we are thrilled that you won’t have to use your imagination, because we’re actually going to be wearing period costumes to get into the fun!

Kemp’s Jig will include a collection of comedic musical skits that were popular on the Elizabethan stage. To look the part, we asked costume designer Meriem Bahri, who is known for her costumes for the Haymarket Opera Company and the Boston Early Music Festival, to help us out.

In Elizabethan times, touring comedians wouldn’t have completely new costumes for each role. Instead, they’d carry a stock of clothes and props, which they’d use to interpret the traditional characters of the Elizabethan theater. The comedians would dress for their characters using various costume pieces and props collected through the years, and the items would serve several purposes and would be worn by various actors as they played different roles.

In that spirit, some costumes for the jigs we’re performing are newly created especially for this show, while others are rented or loaned. We used some that were originally built for Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Royal Opera House of London. The oldest piece (the servant’s dress) is probably the one made in Rome by Tirelli Costumi, for a 1975 production of Othello!

For the new costumes, we used a color palette or rust, blue, grey, beige and brown to coordinate with our borrowed pieces, and engravings and paintings of theatrical entertainments from the Elizabethan era inspired the designs.

We hope you’ll join us Oct. 21-23 to partake in the fun!

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POSTPONED: April Fundraiser

Dear Valued Patrons,
We regret to share that due to concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone our April 19th fundraising event, Ecco la Primavera. We expect to reschedule this event for a weekend between July and September – stay posted! Please know this decision does not reduce the Newberry Consort’s need for your support. Indeed, now more than ever, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us not only minimize the losses from this postponement but also contribute to our future events.

If you currently hold a ticket for this event, refunds are available upon request. Otherwise, the cost of your ticket will be applied to the rescheduled event. If you are a current ticket-holder for this event, Consort General Manager Hannah De Priest will be in touch with you directly very soon.
You can always donate to the Newberry Consort online  or via check. Our mailing address is The Newberry Consort, P.O. Box 60212, Chicago, IL, 60660-0212. Please reach out to manager@newberryconsort.org if you have any questions or leave a message at 773-669-7335 and one of our staff will be in touch with you.
We appreciate your understanding and very much look forward to welcoming you to Newberry Consort concerts in the future. Till then, wishing you all good health and safety in these uncertain times.