Seminar: Mark Chambers ''The Singer as Celebutante'

Mark Chambers
Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - 16:00
Bewerunge Room, Logic House

The use of vocal ornamentation is a recognised part of modern Historically Informed performance practice, but how did this convention develop? 
Chambers takes us on a chronological journey, beginning with the musical traditions of early monastic communities and extending to the grand stages of Handel's London and beyond. Drawing from contemporary resources and treatises, he  traces the development of vocal style and the guides written to ensure the elusive "graceful singing" as mentioned in Giulio Caccini's seminal work, "Le Nuove Musiche." 
Through an audio and Powerpoint presentation we will follow the growth of singers as celebrities from the famed castrati of the Sistine Chapel, to the FerrareseConcerto delle Donne up to the operatic prima donna/primo uomo of the Baroque era. 
Throughout the lecture, Chambers will reference the invaluable insights provided by contemporary treatises on ornamentation, authored by luminaries such as Della Casa, Bovicelli, Rognoni, Bassano and Caccini. 
Following the lecture, attendees will have access to shared resources, and opportunities for discussion will be warmly accommodated. Join us for this enlightening journey into the world of vocal performance, where history, artistry, and celebrity converge. 

Mark Chambers- Counter Tenor  

Since leaving the Royal Northern College of Music in 1992 Mark has performed all over the world with many leading groups and conductors. Solo work has included Bach St Matthew Passion and Massin B Minor with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 and the New Venetian Coronation (performances and recording for Deutsche Gramophon) with Paul McCreesh and a recording with Nederlandse Bachvereniging of Beloved and Beautiful conducted by Jos van Veldhoven. Operatic work has included many roles in Handel operas; Xerxes(Arsamenes) , Agrippina (Narciso) , Amadigi (Dardano), Tamerlano (Andronico), Il Pastor fido (Silvio)and Monteverdi Orfeo (Speranza)in a Jonathan Miller production. He sang the soprano role of Pilpatoe in Carl Heinrich Graun’s Montezuma for Musikfestspiele Potsdam in the Schlosstheater in Sanssouci Palace. Mark has also worked at the Royal Opera House as understudy for the role of Snake Priestess in Harrison Birtwistle’s world premiere The Minotaur and as understudy of Fate in Judith Weir’s Miss Fortune. Mark works regularly with many of the world’s leading choirs and ensembles including Tenebrae, Gallicantus, The Monteverdi Choir, The Gabrieli Consort, Alamire and Gramophone award winning Binchois Consort. He is a full time member of Chamber Choir Ireland. Mark has made many recordings, including a solo recital of songs by Edmund Rubbra and R. Vaughan Williams with David Mason (piano), a series of discs with The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble with music from Italy ( Accendo ) Germany ( A Hanseatic Festival ) and England ( Flower of Cities All ). Mark took part in the live recording of J.S. Bach St Matthew Passion with Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore from Symphony Hall, Birmingham. In the commercial world Mark has created the Voice of the Ood for the Dr Who series for BBC television with music by Murray Gold and has been featured as a soloist in the electro acoustic score for Genus; a commission by Paris Opera Ballet by Joby Talbot (also soon to be featured in a film about the project). Other film work includes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Elizabeth The Golden Age . Recent work includes Purcell Hail bright Cecilia with the Academy of Ancient Music, Handel Messiah at the Wigmore Hall with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, The Venetian Coronation at the Aldeburgh Festival with The Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and the 10th year of performances of the St Matthew Passion with Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht directed by Johannes Leertouwer in various venues in Holland. Future engagements include a performance of Byrd and de Monte at the Trigonale Festival in Austria with Gallicantus, Handel Messiah in Madrid, and performances of Morales Mille Regretz Mass with the Gabrieli Consort in Torealla and Utrecht Mark currently lives in Rosslare Harbour, Wexford and combines his singing career with a post as part time lecturer in Voice at the University of Birmingham and as musical director of the young ensemble Sestina Music.