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Baroque Music: Intermedii per La Pellegrina (1589)

Bechyně, Czech Republic, Thursday 23 July - Sunday 2 August 2015

Places available for:

  • some more singers in all vocal groups, especially tenors and basses
  • harpsichord/organ
  • theorbo
  • some more baroque strings in all groups
  • one more baroque oboe
  • a baroque bassoon
  • two more experienced baroque dancers
For whom
Week programme and daily schedule
With whom
Register now

Robert Newton: An outstanding opportunity to perform specialized music and achieve excellent results

The programme

The course has two main aspects:

  • a joint programme in which all, singers, instrumentalists and dancers, participate: the Intermedii per La Pellegrina (1589)
  • a programme of small chamber ensembles

Jeroen van Bergeijk: The ideal spending of a holiday : ten days of hard work in a monastery, immersed in music, with a fine group of music lovers

Chamber music

The mornings are devoted to small ensembles. Every morning all singers and instrumentalists work on ensembles pieces in vocal, instrumental and combined vocal-instrumental ensembles. Every participant will join two different preformed ensembles, alternating per day. Half of the time the ensembles receive intensive coaching by the tutors. The ensembles will present themselves in an internal concert.

All formations from quartet upward are possible, with perhaps a few incidental trios. Ensembles will be formed well in advance, so you can prepare your parts at home. The course is open to individual participants as well as existing ensembles. There will be time for occasional combinations and musical get-togethers.

Lea Schuiling: Nice of course, such a work for choir, soloists and orchestra. But what an asset is the chamber music! Singers and instrumentalists, one to a part, with coaching by all teachers ... Something you rarely get the opportunity to! And that the teachers sometimes contradict each other, .. well, .. that gives space.

The Intermedii for La Pellegrina (1589)

Central work of this year will be the Intermedii per La Pellegrina, which will be performed 'semi-staged' in the Vokův sál, the beautiful historic hall of Bechyně castle. Ferdinando I de 'Medici commissioned Girolamo Bargagli to write a comedy to add luster to his marriage to Christina of Lorraine in 1589. They decided to liven up the comedy, which reportedly lasted 6 hours, by framing the five acts of the play with spectacles by way of intermezzi. Thus a series of six Intermedii was created, which were sung, played and danced. The effects of ingenious stage machines and lighting with torches and thousands of candles, such as gods who descended from heaven on a cloud, caves that opened and boats that circulating on the scene, made unprecedented impact in that time. The comedy was little more than a pretext to perform the Intermedii. They made such an impression on contemporaries that they set a trend that led to the birth of opera. The Intermedii per La Pellegrina from 1589 were in fact one of the first operatic productions without which Monteverdi's Orfeo would have been unthinkable.

The movements for larger forces are sung from the score; the singers do not have to memorize them. The smaller solo sections improve in quality and expression when they are sung by heart; in these movements we will pursue that.

It is possible only to take part in the chamber music or only to engage in the Intermedii and to 'have time off' during the remaining time.

The sheet music of commonly available repertoire is usually provided by the participants themselves. More uncommon repertoire and scores of the Intermedii are provided by La Pellegrina, usually in the form of a PDF sent by E-mail, which the participants are supposed to print out themselves and bring to the course.

For whom


There is room for up to experienced 20 singers. To qualify you must meet the following requirements:

rehearsal in the castle hall
rehearsal in the castle hall

Wilma Reezigt: "Whether I didn't get hoarse after singing six hours per day ", no, my voice was just getting more and more sparkling and powerful!


The maximum instrumental group size is 20. For instruments we can place baroque strings (including viola da gamba), recorder, dulcian/curtal, renaissance trombone/sackbut, harpsichord/organ, theorbo, arpa doppia. Requirements for participation:

Trine Dahl-Jensen: On the train home, a lady who had attended one of the concerts recognised the nine of us travelling together and asked us to sign her program. Hurra! A fanclub!


Dancers at work
dancers at work

Renaissance dance is part of the course. Experience in dance (eg ballet), or affinity with renaissance dance are required. There is room for six to twelve dancers, working with specialist Dorothée Wortelboer. Dorothée will create choreographies in period style for the dance sections in the Intermedii. The dancers will work on practicing renaissance style and learning the dances for the Intermedii exclusively.

Week programme and daily schedule

Week programme

  • Thursday 23 July: arrival in Bechyně, course opening with dinner at 18.00 h, first rehearsal in the evening
  • Tuesday 28 July: 'free day'
  • Wednesday evening: participants' chamber music concert
  • Thursday evening: tutors' concert in the refectory
  • Friday evening 31 July: first performance of the Intermedii at the castle
  • Saturday evening 1 August: second performance of the Intermedii at the castle
  • Sunday morning 2 August: departure after breakfast

Annelies Jans: each morning two rehearsals, each afternoon two rehearsals, and what we do on our free evenings? Right, make music as much as possible....!

double reed quartet
double reed quartet

Daily Schedule

Petra Jager: 'Lots of people continue to play until long after dinner. I love to wander through the halls of the monastery in the evenings and hear their music behind all those doors.'

camp fire
after party at the camp fire


Read more about Bechyně, the place where the course will be held:

Roeland Gerritsen: To make music on a high level (with qualified teachers AND students) at a unique location in Europe in a fantastic atmosphere, I can heartily recommend this to anyone

With whom

The tutors of this course are passionate specialists in their fields: Dirkjan Horringa, Enrique Gómez-Cabrero Fernández, Mitchell Sandler, Marco Vitale and Dorothée Wortelboer.

Register now

In order to register, please fill out this form and pay a deposit of EUR EUR 200 (which is of course refundable in case you could not be placed).

Erika Laszlo: I loved the spirit of La Pellegrina 2013!





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