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Trials and Triumphs of Oriana

As the name of the group suggests, Penelope and Angela are fascinated by Elizabeth the First and her reign, and so they have been working on a programme on this theme. The programme centres around Thomas Morley's well loved madrigal collection of 1601, "The Triumphs of Oriana" which pour praises upon her, and which are packed with idealist, blissful and pastoral images, proclaiming her the virgin queen of 'Arcadia', and all ending with the same refrain 'Long live Fair Oriana' - the origin of the ensemble name. The programme features these triumphs to represent the glorious public face of the Queen, but pitches these against the stark contrast of her private persona, her 'trials', which are represented by lute songs and more internalised, emotional music. It explores the battle between the public and private faces of the Queen, as she dealt with a life so full of danger. It can be adapted in length and in forces, designed to work with either viol/recorder consort, lute, or (ideally) a combination of all these. We are working with lutenist Sam Brown and look forward to collaborating with some larger instruments too soon! Watch this space!

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