|Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols modeled after the service first performed at King’s College Cambridge (England) in 1918 and performed every year there and throughout the world, ever since. SFRV also honors a more recent tradition begun by King’s College in 1982, which is the commissioning of a new work to be debuted as part of the service. This year’s SFRV commission is:
Angela Kraft Cross: Slumber Song
Also featured are carols and motets by: G.P. da Palestrina, Thomas Ravenscroft, and Raffaella Aleotti.
San Francisco Renaissance Voices & San Francisco Renaissance Dancers
“… a standout within the crowded field of Bay Area early music ensembles” – (San Francisco Classical Voice)
San Francisco Renaissance Voices debuted in October 2004 with a “standing room only” performance of Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum à 6 and quickly became a favorite of Early Music audiences in the Bay Area. Recognized for our imaginative programming, we are a professional mixed-voice ensemble dedicated to performing and exploring the a cappella choral music of the Renaissance, particularly lesser-known and rarely-performed works.
During our ten-year existence, the group has been featured by the national magazine Early Music America, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, USA Today and San Francisco Classical Voice, among others. Most recently we were hailed by the San Francisco Examiner who said of our 2013 production of the Medieval Play of Daniel, “… one could not have asked for a more entertaining spectacle, a tour de force …”. A true favorite of Bay Area audiences San Francisco Renaissance Voices was selected as “Best Classical Music” by SFWeekly’s 2010 “Best of San Francisco” edition.
Our Opera Early & Ancient series has garnered special attention including our “Technicolor” East Indian-infused production of Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum (“Hildegard’s little- performed musical mantra rang out anew” – Los Angeles Times) and the west coast premiere of William Boyce’s Solomon (“The performance was often exciting and even eye-opening a performance other groups struggle to achieve on record” – San Francisco Classical Voice).
San Francisco Renaissance Dancers, our resident dance troupe, began in 2012 by sponsoring a day-long Baroque Dance Workshop led by the internationally-renowned dancer, teacher, and dance scholar Philippa Waite of Consort de Danse Baroque (UK). The troupe provides dance for our more theatrical performances and our operas, as well as performing a dedicated dance program once a season. Under the leadership of Jennifer Meller the group continues to gain stature in the Bay Area’s dance community. They are frequently featured as guest artists with other Early Music groups, most recently in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Marin Baroque and as part of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s annual family concerts.
Currently Artists-in-Residence at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church (San Francisco), individually the singers of San Francisco Renaissance Voices have also performed with American Bach Soloists, California Bach Society, Carmel Bach Festival, Chanticleer, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Berkeley/West Edge, West Bay, and San Francisco Operas.