Utopia Early Music continues its 2016-2017 season with Secret Music: Discovering the Baroque Virtuosa. Our program celebrates women composers and performers of Baroque Italy, including works by Barbara Strozzi, Bianca Maria Meda, Isabella Leonarda, and Antonio Vivaldi. Performances will take place Saturday, February 25, at 8:00 PM and Sunday, February 26, at 5:00 PM at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark (Episcopal) 231 E 100 S, Salt Lake City. Admission is pay as able (suggested $15 general/$12 seniors/$10 students). This concert is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Salt Lake City Arts Council. Something revolutionary happened in seventeenth-century Ferrara, Italy. The ladies in waiting of Duchess Margherita Gonzaga, selected for musical talent rather than high birth, sang with electrifying virtuosity. Soon this “secret music” gained fame as the Singing Ladies of Ferrara broke barriers of what it meant to be a female performer. Utopia Early Music performs music for the Singing Ladies by Luzzasco Luzzaschi alongside works by women such as Francesca Caccini, Barbara Strozzi, Bianca Maria Meda, Isabella Leonarda, and Chiara Maria Cozzolani, as well as an early sonata of Antonio Vivaldi, written when he was director of music for the girls of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. For this concert, Utopia co-founders Emily Nelson (soprano) and Christopher LeCluyse (tenor) will be joined by local favorites Melissa Heath (soprano), Utah Opera resident artist Markel Reed (baritone), Hasse Borup and Leslie Henrie (violins), Loren Carle (harpsichord), and Eleanor Christman-Cox (Baroque cello). Visiting artists David Walker (theorbo) from Kentucky and Gretchen Windt (mezzo-soprano) from Alabama join the ensemble. Now in its eighth season and going strong, Utopia Early Music breathes life into the Salt Lake City music scene with its historically informed performances of medieval, renaissance, and baroque music. Reviews of past concerts have praised the group for “wonderful performances that captured the character and spirit of this music.” Ed Reichel of Reichel Recommends comments, “Utopia has found a way to make early music fun.”

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