Now in its 26th year, the early music festival Banchetto Musicale is again greeting September with a rich menu of new ideas, extraordinary programs of music and dance, top performers and stagings. Starting on September 6th, the festival will honour one of the greatest English poets and playwrights, William Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his passing.
Five concerts will present music that is associated with the poet’s name, his artistic legacy, and creative contexts. The Banchetto musicale ensemble will open the festival with an amusing and flirtatious drama, enriched by dances from Shakespeare’s time. The international ensemble Morgaine and actress Eglė Mikulionytė will create a perfect blend of musical and poetic meditation upon Shakespeare’s sonnets. The Belgian ensemble Sospiri ardenti will present their musical program based on two of Shakespeare’s most popular theater plays The Tempest and The Twelfth Night. The Brevis Choir and the Contrasto armonico ensemble, under the direction of Marco Vitale, will be exploring the musical milieu of three of England’s female monarchs. The Romeo & Julia Choir from Sweden will ingeniously combine music and acting in their performance of the musical drama Macbeth, inspired by Shakespeare’s play.
Two other significant anniversaries will also be marked during this year’s festival. On the 400th birth anniversary of German composer Johann Jacob Froberger, harpsichordist Alina Rotaru will take us to a journey through his world. Spanish ensemble La Ritirata will present a program recalling the immortal Spanish hero – Don Quixote, on the 400th commemoration of the death of Miguel de Cervantes.
The Lithuanian early music heritage will be represented by Brevis Choir and Consort with a program about the sisters Elizabeth and Catherine Habsburg, both of whom happend to be wives of Sigismund II Augustus. Their biographies established links between Austria, Poland and Lithuania, and will come to life in the music of these countries’ representative composers.
Unique Mediaeval musician Vivabiancaluna Biffi will perform emotionally powerful songs by 13th-century Spanish minstrel Martín Codax. The Graindelavoix ensemble from Belgium will present the Office of Elizabeth of Hungary, a liturgical veneration from the city of Cambrai.
The concerts will take place from September 6th to September 24th, 2016 and will be hosted by the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Franciscan Monastery Church in Vilnius.