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Folger Consort, the early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, celebrates the holiday season with seven concerts of Gloria!: A Baroque Italian Christmas December 13 through December 18, 2019 in the nave of St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill.

These concerts share the best that Baroque composers of Italy have to offer for the season, including concerti, cantatas, and sacred works from the 18th century. Folger Consort, led by Robert Eisenstein, (violin) and Christopher Kendall (lute and theorbo), will be joined by a Baroque orchestra, featuring soloists Joelle Monroe (trumpet) and Margaret Owens (oboe), with acclaimed soprano Emily Noël (Folger's Macbeth and The Second Shepherds' Play).

Individual tickets are $52 ($20 for general admission) and may be purchased at the Folger box office at (202) 544-7077 or online at Discounts are available for students, senior citizens, military personnel and families, teachers, and groups.


Continuing its 2019/20 season focus on early music from Italy, Folger Consort brings together a Baroque orchestra, vocal soloists, and a women's choir for a holiday-themed concert of Italian Baroque music. The program of Gloria!: A Baroque Italian Christmas includes timeless holiday favorites including Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Concerto from his opus 6 collection of twelve concerti grossi, given the inscription "fatto per la notte di Natale" ("written for Christmas night") and Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria in D, RV 589. Vivaldi spent most of his life in the employ of the Ospedale della pietà in Venice, where he composed music for the girls of the orphanage and school. The first performance of his Gloria-a setting of the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" text from the mass ordinary-in 1715 would have been performed by the girls of the Ospedale. To recreate this soundscape of this first performance, the Folger Consort has assembled a small women's chorus.

The program also includes a lesser-known Christmas gem from 18th-century Italy in Alessandro Scarlatti's Christmas Cantata, a work for soprano and strings that concludes with a charming Baroque representation of the shepherds at the manger worshipping the baby Jesus. Soprano Emily Noël performs this work.

Rounding out the program are two more concerti: Francesco Geminiani's Concerto Grosso in E minor, H. 78 and Vivaldi's Concerto for Trumpet and Oboe, RV 781, featuring soloists Joelle Monroe (trumpet) and Margaret Owens (oboe).

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For these performances Folger Consort has assembled a Baroque orchestra featuring 9 string players, organ and continuo, and a women's choir of 8 singers. Soloists appearing on the program include:

DC-based soprano Crossley Hawn enjoys an engaging career in various styles of music, and is thrilled to be back for her fifth engagement with Folger Consort. She has also served as guest soloist with ensembles including The City Choir of Washington, Cathedral Choral Society (with Eya Ensemble), Choralis, Chatham Baroque, Cathedra, The Reston Chorale, Maryland Choral Society, and Maryland Summer Chorus. She looks forward to additional 2020 solo engagements with City Choir of Washington, Cathedra, American University Choir & Orchestra, and Chatham Baroque. Crossley was the winner of the 2018 Choralis Young Artist Competition. She is a member of Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music, an award-winning female trio. Crossley has also appeared with ensembles including Clarion Choir, Washington Bach Consort, The Thirteen, True Concord, Kinnara, Cathedra, Chantry, Bridge, and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants. Crossley has has performed the roles of Dido/Dido and Aeneas, Giannetta/L'Elisir d'Amore, Drusilla/L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Susanna/Le Nozze di Figaro, Adele/Die Fledermaus, Suor Dolcina/Suor Angelica, Amahl/Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Serpina/La Serva Padrona for which she was honored in DC Metro Theater Arts: Best of 2016. Other highlights include singing David Lang's the little match girl passion with the composer in attendance, performing in chamber choirs for two Popes, singing arias for Sir Anthony Hopkins in Italy, serving as cantor at Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral, and singing Defiant Requiem in Budapest and at the Lincoln Center. She enjoys employment at The National Shrine and at the Washington National Cathedral, where she will be the soloist for a holiday pops program in late December. She is an Artist Director of Bridge, a professional vocal chamber ensemble specializing in new works for voices and early music.

Washington, D.C.-based mezzo-soprano P. Lucy McVeigh is an avid interpreter of early and contemporary music. Some of her recent solo engagements include performances of seasonal German early music with the Folger Consort, David Lang's the little match girl passion with the Bridge Ensemble, the premiere of Jenny Olivia Johnson's Sylvia Songs at the National Portrait Gallery, and J.S. Bach's Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 at the Baltimore Bach Marathon. She travelled to the Banff Center in Alberta last year to record Jenny Johnson's opera The After Time, and she is the featured vocalist on Johnson's GRAMMY-nominated record Sylvia Songs (Innova Recordings, May 2018). Upcoming engagements this season include Poulenc's Figure humaine and the Durufle Requiem with The Thirteen in October, premieres of three pieces by Boston-based composers at Wellesley College, Handel's Messiah with the Reston Chorale in Washington, D.C. and Holy Trinity in Gainesville, Florida, and early music of England with the Folger Consort in December. She enjoys positions with the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, The Washington National Cathedral Choir, The Thirteen, Cathedra, Chantry, the Washington Chorus, and the Bridge Ensemble.

Joelle Monroe has been a baroque trumpeter and bugler with The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps since 2003. She is the principal baroque trumpeter and ensemble leader of The United States Army Historical Trumpets, a premier chamber ensemble within the Corps and the only baroque trumpet ensemble in the U.S. military. With focus on the intersection of military, civic, and art music of the 17th and 18th centuries, the ensemble has been featured across the country in performances and master classes, most notably at the National Trumpet Competition and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. Ms. Monroe performs all over the Mid-Atlantic region, including venues such as The White House, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she frequently performs period music with many of the country's leading early music ensembles, including the Washington National Cathedral Choral Society, the Washington Bach Consort, and has appeared with Tempesta Di Mare, Opera Lafayette, and Apollo's Fire.

EMILY NOËL (soprano)
Soprano Emily Noël performs a wide variety of repertory expanding from the Medieval to the contemporary. Folger performances include: Davenant's Macbeth, The Second Shepherds' Play, An English Garden, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, Play of Love, Measure + Dido, Shakespeare and Purcell, The Merchant of Venice, A Renaissance Christmas, Christmas in New Spain, Map of the World. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Washington Bach Consort, Washington National Cathedral, LyricFest, Ente Concerti Città di Iglesias, Amsterdam Grachtenfestival, American Opera Theater, Seven Times Salt, Raven Consort, Spire Chamber Ensemble, and Santa Fe Desert Chorale. In 2018, her performance on Albany Records' Past Made Present was acclaimed for its "alluring clarity and fluidity" by The Wall Street Journal. A passionate educator, Emily has served on the faculties of Franklin & Marshall College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, and The Community College of Rhode Island. Emily holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a master's degree from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

Margaret Owens (oboe)
In demand as a performer on historical oboes, Margaret Owens has appeared with many of North America's baroque ensembles, including American Bach Soloists, Apollo's Fire, Ars Lyrica, Chatham. Baroque, Folger Consort, Handel and Haydn Society, Mercury Baroque, Opera Lafayette, Tafelmusik, Tempesta di Mare, and Washington Bach Consort. She is a member of the chamber music groups REBEL and Kleine Kammermusik (founding member), whose 2017 debut album, "Fanfare and Filigree," has received critical acclaim. Summers see her onstage at the Charlotte Bach Festival, the Staunton Music Festival, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, where she is on faculty. Ms. Owens earned degrees in oboe performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Manhattan School of Music, and the City University of New York. Ms. Owens is on faculty in the historical performance institutes of Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, and the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.


Friday, December 13, 7:00pm
Artistic co-director Robert Eisenstein and national radio personality Robert Aubry Davis (WETA) lead a lively pre-concert discussion. Admission is free, with a ticket for the evening performance.


What: Gloria! A Baroque Italian Christmas

When: Friday, December 13 at 8pm, Saturday, December 14 at 4pm and 8pm,
Sunday, December 15 at 2pm, Monday, December 16 at 7:30pm, Tuesday, December 17 at 7:30pm, Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30pm

Where: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 301 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

Tickets: $52 ($20 for general admission), with discounts available at (202) 544-7077 or online at

Metro: Capitol South (blue/orange/silver lines), Union Station (red line)

Parking: Limited street parking in Capitol Hill neighborhood

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