A Medieval love song duo
The body must depart ~ the heart remains with you
The World of Courtly Love & Arthurian Romance
Early Music America
"...intimate and deeply communicative...meltingly beautiful..."
— The New York Times
"...an exquisite feast for the eyes, the ears, the mind and the heart."
— Kathy Gaubatz, late President, Miami Bach Society
"...magical and mesmerizing..."
— Mark Cudek, Peabody Conservatory
"Asteria brings audience to tears with ancient love songs."
— Kelly J. Anderson, review headline, Washtenaw Voice
Current Touring Program
My Body Must Depart - My Heart Remains With You
The World of Courtly Love & Arthurian Romance
Medieval love songs by Gilles Binchois, Antoine Busnoys, Guillaume Dufay
In their latest program, Asteria follows the adventures of Sir Yvain, one of Arthur’s illustrious knights of the round table, embellishing the story with exquisite Medieval love songs from the courts of France and Burgundy. Created by the French poet Chretien de Troyes in the 12th century, Yvain’s story shows us the roots of the code of chivalry – or ‘courtly love’ – which infused the life of the nobility throughout Europe and was reflected in much of the poetry and music of the period.
These passionate songs, written by the greatest composers of their time, exude the heartbreak of forbidden love, and the infinite hope of a pure heart.
Asteria offers three different events:
♦ Semi-staged Concert
♦ Lecture with music and projected images
Asteria presents a concert of 15th century chansons with themes drawn from original Arthurian romances of the 12th century, following the story of Yvain, a knight of King Arthur's court, as he pursues his quest for glory, honor and love. VIEW THE COMPLETE PROGRAM AND NOTES
Title: Bringing Medieval Chansons to Life — a presentation with music and images
Illustrated with the beautiful songs of 15th century Burgundy, Asteria offers a discussion on performance practice for medieval music, taking a look at original manuscripts and how they transcribe what they find there for an ensemble today. Using images from original manuscripts, paintings and chateaux in France, they explain how they search through cultural clues and lyrics to perform ancient music that resonates with audiences of today. The 90 minute lecture includes approximately 30 minutes of music performed live on stage.
Title: Finding the Emotional Journey in your Song
Sylvia offers a master class in performance technique, working with singers of all ages and genres on how to connect to the emotional journey in vocal music. How do you connect to the material for yourself in a way that is both truthful and authentic to the music? How do you draw an audience into the world of the song you are singing? Drawing on her experience on Broadway and the concert stage, Sylvia works gently with each singer to bring out the best that they have to offer.
Semi-staged and performed entirely from memory, Asteria’s performances evokes all the passion of the age. Listen to these beautiful, ancient love songs and discover the source of today’s romantic love!
Asteria brings to life the exquisite love songs of Medieval Burgundy. Acclaimed by The New York Times for their “deeply expressive, intimate and often haunting interpretations,” Asteria brings a “delightful sweetness” and “a profound knowledge of the repertoire” (Goldberg Magazine) to the music of "courtly love."
Taking its name from the Greek word for stars, Asteria won the 2004 Unicorn Prize, the highest honor in Early Music America’s first Medieval and Renaissance Performance Competition, launching a career that has taken them across the United States and around the world.
Semi-staged and sung from memory, Asteria’s performances create an indelible impression, transporting the audience to the age of chivalry with radiant love songs of timeless appeal.
The duo’s four CDs feature a range of late Medieval music from the better-known Vergine Bella and Se La Face Ay Pale to re-discovered works gleaned from original source material, bringing to life songs rarely, if ever, heard since the 15th century.
Artists-in-residence at the Chateau de Germolles in Burgundy, France, Asteria has appeared in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Mexico, France and Japan and have performed at the Tage Alter Musik Festival in Regensburg, Festival Meridiennes in Tours, Musée de Cluny in Paris and the Chartres Cathedral.
In the United States, Asteria has given concerts and lecture-demonstrations at the Dallas Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Art, San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, Hollins University, Holy Cross, York College, Carleton College and at the Times Center, Bargemusic, the Cloisters and the Frick Collection in New York City.
More information on their website.
Eric Redlinger’s skill on the lute and sweet tenor voice are complemented by his background in musicology, earned through study at Switzerland’s Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and extensive archival research into original sources. A graduate of Middlebury College, Eric pursued post-graduate studies in composition and musicology in Marburg and at the Frankfurt Conservatory of Music before returning to New York to co-found Asteria in 2003. At the Schola, he studied with acclaimed early-lute guru Crawford Young and countertenor Richard Levitt, of Thomas Binkley’s legendary “Studio der Frühen Musik.”
Equally at home in the world of contemporary music, Eric has worked in the studio of NY composer Philip Glass and is the composer of numerous electro-acoustic compositions for dance.
Sylvia Rhyne, raised in London and the Pacific Northwest, brings to the partnership not only her quicksilver soprano but also a strong dramatic connection with the audience, gained from starring internationally as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and on Broadway as Joanna in Sweeney Todd under the direction of Harold Prince, Susan Schulman and Stephen Sondheim.
Sylvia has recorded with Dennis Russell Davies and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and appeared as a soloist with the New York City Opera.
From their first rehearsals together in Central Park in New York to their work with an original manuscript in Dijon and yearly residency at the palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in France, Eric and Sylvia have continued developing their passionate, historically informed approach to the music. Asteria’s performances convey the anguish and ecstasy of the poetry and the rapturous beauty of the interweaving vocal and instrumental lines, taking their audience with them into another place and time.
- Fees & Availability Upon Request -