a course for choral singers led by Gabriel Díaz, 14 to 19 October 2018

A week of music for experienced choral singers in a church in the historic centre of Seville. We rehearse a programme of Spanish Renaissance music for a public concert. The course is conducted in English. The general aim is to study an important area of choral repertoire in a relaxed and convivial setting.

Francisco Guerrero ~ Missa Surge propera, Ave Virgo Sanctissima
Cristóbal de Morales ~ Parce mihi Domine, Clamabant autem mulier
Alonso Lobo ~ Lamentations

For Seville more than for any other Spanish city, the 16th century really was El Siglo de Oro, as all the trade and plunder of Spanish America flowed up the Guadalquivir to her quaysides and wharves. Her cathedral superseded Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia as the world’s largest; so it remains. Among its maestros de capilla were Pedro de Escobar, Francisco Guerrero and Alonso Lobo; Francisco de la Torre and Francisco de Peñalosa were active in the city; Morales was born and received an outstanding musical education there. Our course will celebrate this remarkable concentration of excellence under the direction of one of the city’s new generation of musical leaders.

Gabriel Díaz writes: ‘I am very pleased to be asked to direct the first Lacock course in my native city of Seville, where I started my musical life in the Coro Barroco de Andalucía. As you know, Seville was one of the main musical centres in Spain in the 16th century, and we were a world power then, in the arts as well as in politics. We will have the fantastic baroque Iglesia of San Pedro de Alcántara for our rehearsals, right in the historic centre, just ten minutes’ walk from the cathedral. I look forward to sharing some of our rich musical heritage – not to mention our notable traditions in food and wine’.

Gabriel Díaz is a counter tenor and conductor. He was born in Seville and studied at Trinity College of Music in London. He performs regularly with many orchestras and ensembles such as La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Choeur de Chambre de Namur, La Grande Chapelle, Los Músicos de su Alteza, Vox Luminis, Les Ambassadeurs and Musica Saeculorum, work that has taken him all over Europe and Latin America. In the world of opera, he has sung the role of Andronico in Handel’s Tamerlano with the French orchestra Les Ambassadeurs, to great public and critical acclaim. He covered the title role in Handel’s Orlando at the Welsh National Opera with Rinaldo Alessandrini and has recently made his debut at the Warsaw Chamber Opera, singing the role of Ircano in Semiramide Riconosciuta by Leonardo Vinci. His musical interests extend beyond early music and he has explored other idioms such as the jazz-flamenco-classical fusion of the show Zambra Barroca with the Looking Back Orchestra and jazz recorder player and improviser Andreas Prittwitz at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. He has also performed in the dance show Until the Lions with one of the most celebrated contemporary dance choreographers, Akram Khan. Future engagements include Galatea in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Andreas Spering in Seville and Medoro in La Lisarda by Giovanni Battista Mariani with Rogerio Gonçalves in the Donaufestwochen in Austria.

The course is designed for the serious amateur musician. You should be a competent sight-reader, have a straight, blending voice with full dynamic range, be used to normal choral discipline and be able to respond quickly to direction – the aim being to combine professional pace of work with amateur enthusiasm. Participants are of all ages and nationalities and come alone, with a friend or partner, or in a group. Gabriel Díaz is experienced at working with amateur musicians and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal.

The course will be held in the church of San Pedro de Alcántara. It is in the historic centre of Seville in Calle Cervantes, about 900m north of the cathedral. Autumn is a good time to visit the city, preferable to summer (too hot), winter (too cold) and spring (too busy).

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