Soprano Josie Ryan and her ensemble The Emeralds who together make up Josie and The Emeralds present Let Me Dwell- Music For Sanctuary Seekers a fund-raising concert for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and the Jesuit Refugee Service. The concert features music by Tomkins, Byrd, Ferrabosco, Dowland, Pandolfo and contemporary composer Brooke Green. Net profits from ticket sales will be given to these two organisations.
The music selected for this programme was written by composers facing war, repression, religious intolerance and oppression – the circumstances which still today force people to seek safety and refuge in far away places.
The programme begins with John Jenkins’ Siege of Newark, commemorating the town of Newark which was besieged three times during the English Civil War. In 1649, Thomas Tomkins composed A Sad Paven for these distracted times lamenting the execution of Charles I and the horrors of the Civil War.
William Byrd’s Why do I use my paper, ink and pen? is an epitaph for Edmund Campion, martyred in 1581 for being a dangerously outspoken critic of Elizabeth I’s hardline stance towards politically overt Catholics.
The ensemble also performs John Dowland’s Semper dolens, semper Dowland and In darkness Let me Dwell, both reflections on the torment that Dowland experience in converting to Catholicism under Elizabeth’s rule.
Orlando Gibbons’ What is our life? is set to a philosophical text by the notorious Sir Walter Raleigh, twice sent to the Tower of London and eventually executed by James I to appease the Spanish.
The forebears of the important viol consort composer Thomas Lupo, ostensibly Venetian were almost certainly Sephardic Jews fleeing from The Spanish Inquisition.
Our programme also includes more recent works: Albanese – the lament of a refugee mother by Andrea Pandolfo and two songs by Brooke Green based on the searing poetry of Dorothy Porter: The Flashing Mountain and Spears.
Guest Artists: Joelle Morton, Elizabeth Rumsey, viols
Josie and the Emeralds: Josie Ryan, soprano/Brooke Green, director/Fiona Ziegler, Catherine Upex, Laura Moore, viols
Tickets $25-$40 with net profit to Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Jesuit Refugee Service