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Our Story

Collaborating with Australia’s best Folk and Early Music performers; we engage in a dialogue of Chamber Music, Song and Dance, celebrating diversity of all kinds

 
 

THE ENSEMBLE

Violins

Shane Lestideau

Ben Dollman

Viola

Anna Webb

Celli

Rosanne Hunt

Lucy Price

Double Bass

Miranda Hill

Plucked Strings

Nicholas Pollock

Rosemary Hodgson

Harpsichord

David MacFarlane

Castanets

Allegra Giagu

What does Art Music have in common with Folk Music? Does the exploration and embodiment of dance alter the playing of dance music in performance? What is our Social Impact, and how do we nurture a sense of emotional depth and community in our audiences? 

These are some of the questions which drive us, and challenge us to go beyond what we believe is possible. Our repertoire tells a story. We are inspired by our ancestry, and by the visionary women who ran successful theatre companies in eighteenth-century Spain. By their example, we feel empowered to lead, melding their dynamic past with our hopes for the future; celebrating diversity of all kinds. Join us as we discover the lost treasures of the Spanish Empire

 

ALLEGRA GIAGU

Artistic Director  //  Mezzo-Soprano, Castanets and Spanish Dance

Born in Australia, Lyric-Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano, Allegra Giagu, made her Sydney Opera House début at eleven years old—engaged by Opera Australia, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She stepped into the spotlight as soloist for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo—Salute to Australia, which led her to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music.

Allegra is known for her contribution to the Oscar Nominated and Ivor Award winning Anna Karenina film soundtrack, and to FOXTEL’s new mini-series Fighting Season. Past engagements include performances on London's West End, the Story of Christmas with Dame Judi Dench for Classic FM and creative associations with Brett Dean, Michael Leunig, Neil Finn, Richard Tognetti and Russell Crowe. Allegra has featured in the New York Times, The Age, Sunday Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, LIMELIGHT, The Stage and others.

 

www.allegragiagu.com
 

 

SHANE LESTIDEAU

Co Artistic Director  //  Baroque Violin, Fiddle and Dance

Shane Lestideau is a musician with a variety of experiences gathered over nearly every continent of the globe. Fortunate enough to have aquired a parallel education in both Classical and Traditional irish and scottish music in Australia, she has gone on to work with baroque ensembles on some of the most prestigious stages in France, fiddled her way around Ireland and Scotland, and performed and recorded with dozens of top

musicians all over Europe.


Shane is researching  Scottish Baroque repertoire and performance techniques and has recorded an album based on Scottish violin music of the 18th Century at the Manoir de Kernault in France. She also directs the Victorian-based Evergreen Ensemble, with recent performances at the Melbourne Recital Centre, The Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival, and a tour of Victoria and NSW with the renowned Canadian musicians Chris Norman and David Greenberg.

www.shanelestideau.com

www.evergreen-ensemble.com

 
 

ARTISTIC ADVISORS

MICHAEL

CHRISTOFORIDIS

MUSICOLOGY

Michael is a Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He completed his PhD on aspects of the creative process in Manuel de Falla’s Neoclassical music. He has been a research associate at the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (Madrid) and at the Archivo Manuel de Falla (Granada), where he was responsible for classifying the composer’s annotations to his library.

 

Michael has published extensively on aspects of 20th-century Hispanic music. His recently published book, Carmen and the Staging of Spain: Recasting Bizet's Opera in the Belle Epoque, examines Bizet's Carmen, Spain and the emergence of popular culture,

 

Prior to the release of this work, Michael also published Manuel de Falla and Visions of Spanish Music. This volume brings together both new chapters and revised versions of previously published work, some of which are made available in English for the first time, Both books have been published by Oxford University Press. 

Michael's other research interests include the music of Igor Stravinsky and Percy Grainger. 

 

Staff: University of Melbourne

ANA

YEPES

BAROQUE DANCE

Born in Spain, Ana Yepes studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Música, Madrid before undertaking musicology with Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire de Fontainebleau, Paris. and then at The Royal Conservatoire, the Hague.

 

Ana gained her qualification as an Early Dance Teacher from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, then at La Sorbonne under Francine Lancelot, Shirley Wynne, Barbara Sparti and Andrea Francalanci. 

 

As a choreographer, Ana participates and contributes to countless operas, dance spectacles, comedies and plays alongside prominent stage directors; creating several productions with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie, including tours of Europe and America.

 

Ana Yepes currently lives in Paris and teaches Baroque and Renaissance dance in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, the United States, Canada and Japan.

ensembledonaires.com

LA MEIRA

K.  MEIRA GOLDBERG

FLAMENCO + SPANISH DANCE

The New York Times called the “purity and invention” of Meira's dancing “joyous, powerful."  Widely recognized as a master teacher and performer, Meira began her training in her native Los Angeles with Luisa Triana, Roberto Amaral and Carmen Mora. 

 

In Madrid in the 80s she studied by day and performed by night in several of Madrid’s best tablaos (Flamenco clubs).  She has performed with many of the giants of Flamenco, including Antonio Canales, Tony “El Pelao” y “La Uchi,” Dolores Amaya “La Pescadilla,” Diego Carrasco, Manolo Soler, Juanito Habichuela "El Camborio" and Joselito Soto of “Ketama,”

As a scholar, K. Meira Goldberg holds an MFA in choreography as well as an EdD in dance history from Temple University. She is the Author of  Sonidos Negros:  On the Blackness of Flamenco, Oxford University Press and has edited numerous scholarly volumes and editions. She co-curated the exhibit "100 Years of Flamenco in New York" at the New York Public Library for the Performing Art at the Lincoln Center, and co-authored the catalog. 

 

lameiraflamenco.com