a course for choral singers led by Eamonn Dougan
15 to 20 May 2022 (postponed from May 2020)

The Ambleside Music Week is an international gathering of amateur choral singers in the small town that lies at the centre of the English Lake District. We will rehearse and perform a programme of Renaissance music with a leading specialist conductor. The general aim is to explore an important area of repertoire and create an intense musical experience in a relaxed and convivial setting.

Juan Esquivel

The week will focus on the works of one composer, Juan Esquivel de Barahona. He was born in Ciudad Rodrigo around 1563 and was a pupil of Juan Navarro, though his principal influences were the great Spanish masters Morales and Guerrero. He became maestro de capilla successively at Ciudad Rodrigo, Oviedo and Calahorra before returning to Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral until his death sometime during the third decade of the seventeenth century. Though one of the most prolific and also one of the finest Spanish composers of his time, his music was largely forgotten until the editions of Mapa Mundi were published in the last few decades.

Sancta Maria a 8 ~ Salve Regina a 5 ~ Magnificat a 6
In paradisum a 6 ~ Duo seraphim a 6
Missa Ut re ma fa sol la a 8

Eamonn Dougan writes: I recently recorded a disc of works by Juan Esquivel and was struck by the quality of the pieces by a composer Id never performed before. It is no exaggeration to say that his motets stand comparison with those of Victoria. Esquivel skilfully combines established techniques such as cantus firmus and imitation with the newer devices characteristic of the generation of Alonso Lobo: arresting harmonic effects coloured by the use of accidentals, climaxes in a high register for particularly poignant texts, dramatic pauses and contrasts of texture. His works were used extensively in Spain, Portugal and Mexico throughout the seventeenth century. Time to share them with a wider audience today!

Eamonn Dougan has been a regular Lacock director for the past ten years. He is himself a singer and his courses always contain a substantial element of vocal technique. He is Associate Conductor of The Sixteen and founding Director of Britten Sinfonia Voices. Eamonn is an engaging communicator with a particular passion for the Sixteenth and Twentieth Century repertoire, Bach, the French and Polish Baroque. Recent engagements have seen Eamonn conduct Cos fan tutte at the Ryedale Festival, Faur Requiem with the newly formed Chiltern Arts Festival Chorus, and Mozart La finta giardiniera with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble. Eamonn has a highly successful five-disc Polish Baroque series with The Sixteen. The first disc, music by Bartlomiej Pekiel, was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award (Richly dramatic The Observer). The fifth disc, music by Marcin Mielczewski, was released to widespread critical acclaim in September 2017. Since 2008 Eamonn has been a Visiting Professor to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he teaches ensemble singing and directs the Guildhall Consort.

Further details of the timetable, travel, accommodation, fees and enrolment.