Sestina presents an all-male vocal ensemble for this exciting programme of Renaissance music, featuring the music of lesser known composers Gombert and Vinders alongside more established masters of the period.
The programme explores music from England and the low countries that reflects on the frailty of life, encompassing a wide range of musical styles and sonorities. At the centre of the programme is John Seppard’s masterpiece Media Vita: epic in scale and proportion, it is a musical meditation on the fleeting nature of life.
Sestina is a dynamic young vocal ensemble specialising in early music, and made up of singers who have been hand-picked at the beginning of their professional careers. Founded in Belfast in 2011 by countertenor Mark Chambers, who remains the group’s musical directer, Sestina has quickly built a reputation for excellence and authenticity in performance as well as a fresh and innovative approach to the programming of early music.
To date, the ensemble has performed all the major stage works of Henry Purcell The Fairy Queen, King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas), and has collaborated with some of the finest specialist early music practitioners in the world: His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Monteverdi String Band (in their 2015 production of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, the Dutch violinist Johannes Leertouwer and, most recently, the Irish Baroque Orchestra for a production of Handel’s Theodora (April 2018).
In December 2016, Sestina collaborated with Hillsborough Castle for the first time in A Georgian Family Christmas, providing informed period music for an immersive event taking place within the Castle, a project which culminated in the ensemble’s first ‘Come and Sing’ Messiah, now an annual fixture in its concert season. Sestina is grateful to its principal sponsor, Exitex Ltd., the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts and Business Northern Ireland for their continued support.
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