Passamezzo was founded in 2001, initially to explore the Jacobean Masque. The ensemble specialise in English Elizabethan and Jacobean repertoire, the masque remaining an important part of their programming, and concerts have a distinct theatrical air created by costume, readings and presentation. They delight in all aspects of musical life, from the intimacy of the lute song, to the brash raucousness of the broadside ballad, from the sacred part song, to the profane insanity of bedlamite mad songs. The programmes are carefully researched with music frequently taken from manuscript sources, unearthing pieces that have lain hidden for centuries. It is this range of material and overall spectacle, combined with the informative and accessible manner of their presentation, that makes Passamezzo such an engaging group.
Our Mayflower programme aims to recreate the world of the sailors and passengers. The main focus is on the psalms, lutesongs and ballads, most of which have not been transcribed before, taken from music books owned by William Brewster, one of the passengers on the Mayflower. We also hope to include music for mariners and merchants; and songs and dances describing tobacco, and other wonders of the new world.
Eleanor Cramer (Soprano, Bass Viol)
Alison Kinder (Viols, Recorders)
Robin Jeffrey (Lute, Cittern)
Tamsin Lewis (Violin, Viols, Alto)
Lynda Sayce (Lute)
Richard De Winter (Actor, Baritone)