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  • The-Forgotten-Scarlatti-Associated-Schools-Project-Sees-80-Local-School-Children-Learn-To-Sing-In-Latin

The Forgotten Scarlatti: Associated schools' project sees 80 local school children learn to sing in Latin

posted 19 Jan 2024
The Forgotten Scarlatti: Associated schools' project sees 80 local school children learn to sing in Latin

Two spectacular choral discoveries by a forgotten Baroque composer Francesco Scarlatti, which were hidden for centuries, are to be performed at Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil, on Thursday 8 February.

Leading choir and period instrument ensemble, Armonico Consort will sing the composer’s Dixit Dominus and Messa a 16 in brand new editions created by Dr Geoffrey Webber from manuscript originals discovered in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.  They will also perform Vivaldi’s Gloria, probably one of the best-known choral works of all time. 

Earlier in the day, around 80 local primary school children will get the chance to discover some of this incredibly complex music and learn to sing it – in Latin.  Armonico’s artistic director, Christopher Monks, will lead a concert workshop where the massed children’s choirs will sing Scarlatti and Vivaldi alongside Armonico Consort’s professional singers and musicians, playing on instruments of the Baroque period.    

Children from All Saints CE, Preston CE and Kingfisher Primary will all be involved, as will the Octagon Junior Choir.  It’s all thanks to a long-standing partnership between the music charity Armonico Consort, its education programme AC Academy, and Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil.  The partnership has created the brand new Octagon Junior Choir, and there are plans to make the choir and venue a centre of singing excellence, training choir leaders, and sharing best practice and resources.

Members of the public and parents can book tickets to see the children perform online at the Westlands Entertainment Venue website, with tickets free to attend. The schools performance takes place between 2-3pm.

Christopher Monks says, “We have done this project in other parts of the UK with almost 200 young people and I am absolutely staggered how excited they are to be singing these incredible tunes and recreating historical art using instruments from the 18th Century!”

Sicilian born Francesco Scarlatti (1666-c1741) was part of a famous musical dynasty but was entirely overshadowed by his more famous brother Alessandro and nephew Domenico, and died in obscurity in Dublin. 

Armonico Consort has become the leading authority on the works of Francesco Scarlatti.  Its release of the first professional recording of the Dixit Dominus and Messe a 16 in April 2023 met with widespread critical acclaim both in the UK and internationally "Spectacular… the greatest classical music find of the century” (Le figaro). Its next project is to give the first performance in modern times of the composer’s only oratorio, Daniele – the biblical story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den.

Armonico Consort perform Francesco Scarlatti and Vivaldi’s Gloria at Westlands Entertainment Venue on Thursday 8 February. Details from www.westlandsyeovil.co.uk


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