• Blurring the boundaries of what a concert is, The Telling brings you intimate “concert-theatre” pieces. More than a concert, we transport you back in time through song, music, poetry and story-telling.

    Clare Norburn, soprano
    Patience Tomlinson, actress
    Emily Askew, medieval fiddle, bagpipes, recorders
    Layil Barr, recorders, viol
    Joy Smith, harps, dulcimer, percussion

Unsung Heroine the video: and in Brighton

Unsung Heroine is our show about the remarkable and passionate imagined history of an all-but-forgotten 12th century woman troubadour (singer-songwriter).

You can now see Unsung Heroine live in Brighton this month and also watch the video to get a sneak preview: http://www.youtube.com/thetellingmusic

The performance takes place at 7.30pm on 15th May: Brighton Early Music @ the Fringe series in the Brighton Festival Fringe
For tickets, visit: www.bremf.org.uk

Beautiful Jenni Murray, Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4

Unsung Heroine is a new performance piece which explores the imagined history of the redoubtable 12th century woman troubadour Beatriz de Dia. “Women composers are in the minority even today” explains writer Clare Norburn. “So imagine how extraordinary Beatriz and her fellow trobairitz (a group of 16+ women who performed and created songs and poems in the 12th century) were. Beatriz and her contemporaries were effectively singe-songwriters. All this in an age when women were largely subject to the power of their husbands and had hardly any direct control over even the smallest aspects of their lives!”

You can experience Unsung Heroine as part of Brighton Early Music’s series on 5 concerts in the Brighton Festival Fringe. The performance takes place on Sunday, 15th May at 7.30pm in one of Brighton & Hove’s most beautiful and relatively little known buildings: St Andrew’s Church on Waterloo Street, Hove. The performance stars medieval ensemble The Telling who will perform the plaintive love songs of the troubadours and trouveres of France along with foot-stomping medieval dances. It also features actress Patience Tomlinson, a regular voice on BBC Radio 4, as Beatriz in a new imaginary tale by Clare Norburn. Extracts from the show were performed on Woman’s Hour last autumn where the show was described as “beautiful” by presenter Jenni Murray.

“And so I wait for Raimbaut through the years, as I waited that long night until the dawn rose. The song, A chantar, summons me time and time again……Every time I hear it, I re-live that long night and dawn. I re-experience betrayal and I wait. I always and forever wait……”
Unsung Heroine, Clare Norburn, August 2010

“Unsung Heroine is described as an imagined history because we know so little about her life,” explains the playwright and singer Clare Norburn. Clare is also singer with The Telling, as well as being Brighton Early Music Festival’s Co-Artistic Director. “The tale takes the small snippets we guess about Beatriz’s life and combines them with ideas in the extremely passionate poetry she wrote and also with key themes and ideas which occur throughout the repertoire of troubadour poetry. It’s also a ghost story in part. In the play, Beatriz is a ghostly presence watching us in 2011: she is trapped, forced forever to attend performances of her music and to relive the story of her passionate affair with troubadour Raimbaut d’Aurenga and his betrayal. The piece has its lighter moments too though – there are lots of foot-stomping dances and romantic encounters too.”

Is it a play? Is it a concert? No, it’s an imagined history with music

Blurring the boundaries of what a concert is, Unsung Heroine aims to be a different kind of performance piece: not quite just a play nor just a concert. “It exists somewhere between the two,” explains Clare Norburn. “The piece aims to transports you back in time through song, music, poetry and story-telling. We aim to help you experience the heady romantic world of the troubadours in 12th century Provence. And musically, if you love classical or folk music, then you will love the music.”

Unsung Heroine takes place on Sunday, 15th May at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo Street, Hove. The performance is part of Brighton Early Music @ the Brighton Festival Fringe series (9th – 22nd May2011) Tickets: £12 (£10 concs) from www.bremf.org.uk (no fee), Dome Box Office: 01273 709709 and Fringe Box Office: 01273 917272 and on the door

The Video is at http://www.youtube.com/thetellingmusic

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Get in the Christmas mood this Friday

The Telling’s next concert is our A Medieval Christmas programme on Friday, 3rd December in North London, near Archway tube (northern line). Details are below. The same programme on 11th December in Lewes has already sold out so this is the only opportunity to hear this programme this Christmas! We look forward to seeing you there!

A Medieval Christmas
Get ready for Christmas with this intimate candlelit programme. Music and narrative interweave to conjure up the spirit of Christmas past.

The music includes a selection of festive dances and beautiful medieval carols, several of which are still sung today.

“a serenely satisfying evening” The Argus
“beautiful!” Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

7.30 pm Friday, 3rd December 2010
Charity Concert in aid of St Andrew’s Cold Weather Night Shelter
St Andrew’s Church, Whitehall Park, London, N19 3TN
Tickets: £12 / £20 for a couple / £10 concessions – includes mulled wine
To reserve tickets call 020 7281 6864
5 minutes from Archway tube (on the Northern line)

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On Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour & at BREMF 2010

It was a big day for us today as all the members of The Telling turned up bright and early at Broadcasting House for our sound check for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Jenni Murray interviewed Clare about our new Unsung Heroine programme which is based on the “imagined history” of Beatriz de Dia. Clare has written the script and we performed (very short!) extracts from both the script and the music – including Beatriz’s surviving song, A Chantar.

We’ve had amazing feedback since we went on air. So if you missed it, here is the link to the Listen Again page:
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vhfg2 Layil and Emily play a short introduction to the entire programme and then we’re on properly from about 30 minutes in.

You can catch the full Unsung Heroine performance at the Brigthon Early Music Festival on Saturday, 6th November at 8pm at St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo Street, Hove. Visit www.bremf.org.uk to buy tickets.

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New Programme

Here at The Telling, following on from our first Medieval Christmas project in December 2009, we’ve been planning our new programme, Unsung Heroine which will be tried out in London on 26th September and premiered at the Brighton Early Music Festival on 6th November.

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