Le Voci delle Grazie was founded in 2015 as a way for Laura Lopes and Bethany Shepherd to recreate the lost art of musica secreta, a performance practice of intense musical expression in the courts of Italy. For almost fifty years in the latter part of the 16th Century, the Court of Ferrara was frequented by some of Europe’s finest composers, most of whom dedicated compositions to Europe’s first professional female vocal chamber ensemble: Il Concerto delle Dame.
The women of Il Concerto were virtuosic singers and accompanied themselves with harp, lute and viola da gamba. The rich cultural heritage of Il Concerto continued to influence music and all forms of art throughout Italy. In the 1630s the Baroni family comprising Adriana Basile (Monteverdi’s favourite singer) and her two daughters Leonora and Caterina performed in Rome in an almost identical formation. Celebrated composers of the time wrote a number of pieces for the Baroni trio, as had been done in Ferrara forty years earlier.
The court of Ferrara is never far away from the heart of Le Voci delle Grazie‘s sound. With the female voices of Il Concerto and its original instrumentation of harp, lute and viola da gamba combined with harpsichord, Le Voci performs female virtuosic music written throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
Le Voci delle Grazie has performed across Europe as part of the Utrecht Early Music Fringe Festival (Netherlands), MAfestival Fringe (Belgium), Grandezze e Meraviglie Festival Modena (Italy), and Vivat Curlandia Festival (Latvia).
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