Australia’s premier vocal ensemble The Song Company presents True-Love-Story, a French romance from a time of storm and stress . The true story of Guillaume de Machaut & Péronnelle d’armentières is set against the backdrop of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and charts the passionate affair between the 14th century’s most celebrated poet and composer, Guillaume de Machaut, and his super-fan, a beautiful noblewoman called Péronnelle d’Armentières. Their poetry, their letters, and Machaut’s extraordinary music combine to produce a unique semi-staged multi-sensory experience.
Journey with The Song Company to the coronation city of Rheims in the early 1360s, where, between entertaining the heir to the throne, Machaut begins a serious correspondence with this new and ardent young admirer. His relationship with Péronnelle is meticulously documented in what he called Le Livre du Voir Dit – “The book of the true story”. From his melancholy state of mind in the opening ballade Ploures dames, in which he requests “ladies to weep for your servant” and wear black, to the extraordinary Lay of Good Hope and the unforgettable tune of Puis qu’en oubli, Machaut charts the highs and lows of true love with profound honesty and humanity.
Although Péronnelle is flattered by the songs that Machaut sends to her in return, he is petrified about actually meeting her, thinking that he would be a big disappointment off the written page. He even considers using a stand-in lover in the manner of Cyrano de Bergerac, but at last they do meet, and Machaut is so overcome by her beauty and her tenderness that this most accomplished of wordsmiths can hardly string two words together.
Drawn from over 9000 lines of poetry, letters, love-poems, songs, and pictures that they sent to each other, this True-Love-Story is the ultimate 14th-century multimedia presentation.
The performers: Roberta Diamond – Péronnelle d’Armentières/ Chloe Lankshear – The Messenger/ Philippa Dracakis – Guillemette/ Carmel de Jager – Lady Hope/ Owen Elsley – Sir Desire/ Mark Donnelly – The King Who Never Lies/ Andrew O’Connor – Morpheus/ Antony Pitts – Guillaume de Machaut
Leonie Cambage – Associate Director
Antony Pitts – Artistic Director