The Life of St Frideswide
The Korrigan Consort kicked off a week of events at Christ Church Cathedral in celebration of a phenomenal figure in Oxford: St Frideswide, the Patron Saint of Oxford. We followed in her footsteps by telling her story through an evening of reflection with medieval and Renaissance polyphony, with particular focus on music from convents in France, Italy and the Low Countries. The concert also featured a new piece setting the legend of St. Frideswide, as well as a reading of Jacqueline Holderness’ new book, The Princess Who Hid in a Tree. In the historical setting of Christ Church Cathedral, right next to the Shrine of St Frideswide, this concert in particular marked the permanent establishment of the Frideswide Voices as the official girls’ choir at Christ Church Cathedral.
A Blue True Dream of Sky
This past June, the Korrigan Consort was invited to mark 40 years of women at University College, Oxford with a concert. We sang music setting works by queer poets from across history, including works that explore universal love, self love, and embracing one’s identity. From Sappho to Stein, this programme included works old and new, including works featuring harp and electronics. We were also honoured to premiere a new piece by Emily Hazrati, setting letters between two 12th-century nuns in love. Other works included songs by Benjamin Britten, Judith Shatin, Jake Landau, Gwyneth Walker, and more. Half of all ticket sales went to support Oxford Friend, Oxford's premiere LGBTQ+ support charity.
Wycombe Arts Festival 2019
Our Welcome Joy, Welcome Sorrow concert was so popular we were asked to do it again! This past June, we brought the programme to St. Botolph's, Bradenham as part of the first annual Wycombe Arts Festival. What a treat!
"Hunger" & Judith Triumphs
This past April, the Korrigan Consort presented a spring double-bill, featuring Joanna Ward's Hunger and Antonio Vivaldi's Judith Triumphs. Two tales, two women, two troubled souls. One, an artist struggling to form her identity as a creative, a woman, and a mother. One, a noblewoman with the weight of a nation on her shoulders, rebelling against the expectation of women to sacrifice. Both struggle under the thumb of patriarchs and patriarchy, with Westories reaching across time. Premiered in ENO's Lilian Baylis House in 2017, with a successful recent performance at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ward's opera brings new light to a classic Kafka story. Set alongside Vivaldi's convent work telling the Biblical story of a warrior queen, this production provided a thought-provoking look at the way Western societies have treated strong women, challenging the positivist narrative of 21st century feminism.
Welcome Joy, Welcome Sorrow
As winter begins to approach its end, and spring begins to reveal its head, the Korrigan Consort presented their concert "Welcome Joy, Welcome Sorrow." Centred around Imogen Holst's setting of John Keats' poem "Song of Opposites," this concert will explore representations of the cyclical nature of life, time, and seasons in music for upper voices. With a programme ranging from both Gustav and Imogen Holst to Grieg, Mendelssohn, and Rimkus, the concert went down a treat with local audiences.
The Korrigan Consort is proud to have presented a musical tour of St. Mary's Church, Adderbury on February 23rd 2019 at 7:30 pm. With a rich history spanning from the 13th century to present-day, St. Mary's has a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures hidden within. It is one of Oxfordshire's largest and most iconic parish churches, and has witnessed countless events, from the "invention" of Morris Dancing to Royalist conspiracies to the flourishing of Quaker clock-making. Its high-Gothic windows and masonry showcase stunning art, and the crown in the church's jewel is its 600-year old chancel, to which this concert is dedicated to celebrating. With the help of the Friends of St. Mary's Adderbury (FOSMA), we compiled an exciting menagerie of music to compliment a tour of the church, featuring speaker/historian Anthony Wagg.
This past December, the Korrigan Consort had an excellent second concert series, this time celebrating the start of Advent. The start of Advent is not only the beginning of Christmastide, but the start of a longer journey from the innocence of infancy to the pain of passiontide. We explored the story of the Magi's journey to Bethlehem by the light of a new star alongside stories of other travellers along paths in the night. "Vidi Jerusalem" featured music old and new by Gustav Holst, Eva Toller, Andris Sējāns, Carol Jones, and a variety of 16th century Italian composers including Monteverdi, Morales, de Castro, and more. The concert also featured a premiere of Sam Buttler's "Grey Pilgrim."
The Korrigan Consort had their debut concert series October 26-29, 2018. The programme was themed on changes in light throughout the day, and how composers have used this phenomenon as inspiration. Works included Hildegard von Bingen’s “O nobilissima viriditas,” Maggie Furtak’s “La Lune,” Judith Bingham’s “Just Before Dawn” and selections from Gustav Holst’s Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, among others. The concert series was a resounding success, with full audiences and excellent reviews from audience members.