Papagena have asked composer John Duggan to write us a setting of the relatively unknown text Stabat Mater Speciosa. A corresponding text to the well-known, much-loved Stabat Mater Dolorosa, which describes and empathises with Mary’s feelings as she stands at the foot of the cross, the Stabat Mater Speciosa expresses her hopes and fears as she stands by the manger after the birth of her child. It is a profound and deeply moving text that deserves to be set and shared with audiences.
Who are Papagena?
We are a classically trained female vocal consort, whose five singers have all worked with the UK’s leading ensembles including: Chamber Choir Ireland,The Gabrieli Consort and Tenebrae. Our programmes weave together classical music, medieval chant, folk and contemporary ballads and new commissions from around the world.
Our latest album The Darkest Midnight reached No 6 in the classical charts over Christmas 2018 and became an Amazon number 1 download. We have performed throughout the UK, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (In Tune) and BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s Hour), and are currently Making Music selected artists for 2020. As the pre-eminent professional female voice consort in the UK we are developing a wide following with audiences and promoters alike; later this year we will be making our Three Choirs Festival debut at Gloucester.
Why are we asking for your help?
One of our key objectives is to commission new music written specifically for our all-female group. Thus far our commissions (which include pieces by Errollyn Wallen and Jim Clements) have been entirely self-funded. However, this new, ambitious project means we could do with some extra help.
How will the money be spent?
The money will be used to fund the composer’s time and expertise in writing this substantial work. If we are lucky enough to raise more than our target sum, this will be used to fund our next commission.
John Duggan was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and went on to study music at Keble College, Oxford. Between 2012–2015 John was the Creative Arts Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and he is currently composer-in-residence at Leeds Cathedral. John's music has been performed and broadcast all over the globe and he is increasingly in demand as a composer who writes music that is sensitive to the text, and is exciting and rewarding for singers and audiences alike. He has written for a number of choirs incuding Commotio, Westminster Cathedral Choir and the Hildegard Choir. We were really taken with his piece “O Viridissima Virga Ave”and have included it in our 2019 Summer tour “Nuns and Roses”. Here’s a link to us performing this piece: https://youtu.be/CiU0058x5xY
How can you help?
We would be HUGELY grateful for any donations towards our costs, so please help us by making a pledge and sharing our page with anyone who might be interested. We have put together some enticing and exclusive rewards to thank you for your support.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration. We simply couldn't do this without you.
Lizzie, Suzzie, Abbi, Sarah and Suzie