Past Events

L’Histoire d’Ys

Saturday, June 5, 2021 | 7:00pm |Online Event
Admission: $12 per family

From Plato’s description of Atlantis to Lerner and Loewe’s portrayal of Brigadoon, the idea of the lost city has captured the human imagination across millennia. One of the most compelling is the story of Ys, a city built in the early middle ages behind sturdy dykes and sea walls on the coast of Brittany. It quickly became a center of sin and debauchery and was eventually, in an act of divine retribution, reclaimed by the sea.. For this production, we use archival recordings from our musical telling of the “Histoire d’Ys,” combined with a newly created narrative and a rich tapestry of images both ancient and modern to bring this medieval legend to life.

L’Histoire d’Ys 2021 Program (Download)
Link to Video Replay (YouTube)

 

 

 

 

Zoom Collegium Spring 2021:
Singing Medieval Song and The Birth of Polyphony
Third Sundays, April 18 and May 16 2:00 pm (Pacific)

The MWC presents Zoom Collegium, a pair of workshops on singing medieval music conducted by our Artistic Director, Eric Mentzel. The repertoire of the second workshop will be related to the one before, but the workshops will be designed so that they can also be taken individually. These offerings will take place on Sunday afternoons, April 18 and May 16. Registration is $20 per class, however, cost should not be a barrier to participation (just let us know you’d like to defer the registration fee with a scholarship on the registration form). You may register for either session; however, attendance at both in sequence is recommended.

Sunday, April 18, 2-3:15 PM: Singing Medieval Song: Performing medieval song is full of challenges for the modern singer. Often lacking the familiar organizing elements of harmony and unambiguous rhythm, how do we imbue such music with life and succeed in engaging the listener? In this workshop, we will look at the roots of medieval song and uncover the hidden logic of its modes and structure.

Link to video replay | Link to slides

Sunday, May 16, 2-3:15: The Birth of Polyphony. The virtuoso polyphonic (multi-part) works of the high middle ages are based on an improvisatory art that anyone can learn in the privacy of their home! The basics of this practice are described by medieval writers and can be deduced from pieces preserved in such manuscripts as the Codex Calixtinus, the Codex Las Huelgas, and sources from Notre Dame and St. Martial. In this workshop, we will use these principles to create our own polyphonic masterpieces.

Link to video replay | Link to materials

 

 

 

Behind the Veil:
Hidden Talents of the Medieval Women’s Choir
Video premiere scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 7:00 pm
Now available on YouTube HERE

Pre-event chat with the performing artists and Artistic Director Eric Mentzel, 6:30 pm

Like many musical organizations, our members have numerous talents and accomplishments that generally remain unknown to our audience at large. They are writers, artists, instrumentalists, singers and scholars, and they enrich our community in any number of ways beyond their appearances with the choir. Since the pandemic keeps us from meeting in person with you, and with each other, we thought this would be a good time to step out from behind the veil, and display some of the secret talents of our members. This exclusive online presentation features excerpts from literary works and performances of music from medieval to McCartney, hosted by Artistic Director Eric Mentzel.

Contributing artists include Mary Lynne Evans, Sophia Smith, Dinnen Cleary, Bill McJohn, Ellen Seibert, Candace Robb, Basha Osinski, Alice K. Boatwright, Wendy Joseph, Erika Chang, Mary Ann Hagan, Marian Seibert, Sally Mitchell, and Michael LaGaly, all supported by videographer Ailisa Newhall, sound engineer Kevin Wyatt-Stone, and produced by the MWC’s Artistic Director, Eric

Behind the Veil Program (Download)
Link to Video Replay (YouTube)

 

Now Make We Mirthë


December 7, 2019 8:00 PM
Saint James Cathedral, Seattle

General admission & discount tickets still available at the door. 

In medieval Europe, the Christmas season was always celebrated in a big way. The harvest was in, and the short, cold days of winter were all the inducement needed to stay close to the fire and busy oneself with feasting, merriment and song. One type of song, the carol, was so frequently written with Christmas gatherings in mind that today we can hardly imagine any other kind. The joy of Christmas imbued church music as well with the same tuneful glow. The Medieval Women’s Choir tours England and the Continent to bring you the most inspiring music of the season.

Erika Chang, Marian Seibert, voice
Shulamit Kleinerman, vielle
Bill McJohn, harp
Peggy Monroe, percussion

A Feast for St. James

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 8:00 PM
Saint James Cathedral, Seattle 

It happens that one of the earliest and largest written sources of polyphonic music—music for multiple voices—is wholly dedicated to the Feast of St. James as it was celebrated at his great pilgrimage shrine, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Codex Calixtinus was an international effort, but it has been housed in Santiago since the 12th century. The choir and soloists are pleased to bring this music from the Saint’s cathedral in Spain to his Cathedral in Seattle. We will be welcoming Marian Seibert, Erika Chang, Linda Strandberg, Lisa Pontén, Emily Ostrom, and Marjorie Bunday with Bill McJohn as performing artists on our program.

 

Travelers’ Frolic!

Saturday, May 4th, 2019, 5:00 PM
Epiphany Parish, Seattle 

Journey with the Medieval Women’s Choir as we recreate a spring evening shared by medieval travelers. Though travel could be costly and difficult, people often regarded the journeys as adventures, hoping to try new foods, meet new people, refresh their lives, much as we regard modern vacations. Your ticket includes a frolic-filled evening of entertainment and food including hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, entertainment, dinner, dessert, and a champagne toast. The singers of the Medieval Women’s Choir will offer their voices during the evening, and you will be invited to make your gift in support of one of the most loved institutions in Seattle’s Early Music community.

Hodie!

Saturday, December 15, 2018, 8:00 PM
Saint James Cathedral, Seattle

“Hodie,” or “Today,” is the word that begins any number of songs and texts for Christmas: Today Christ is born! Today the Savior appeared! It was the cue to unleash the greatest celebration of the year. Join us as we unleash our joy in sharing the music with you!

This concert is supported, in part, by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission.

Courtly Love: A User’s Guide

Saturday, March 16th, 2019,  8:00 PM
Seattle First Baptist Church

Medieval love songs contain elements so universal that they could almost constitute a “how-to” guide for romantic relationships at court. In this concert, we will learn to follow instructions.