Please note: The below information pertains to the 2017 Madison Early Music Festival. Feel free to browse these sections in order to learn more about our annual week-long program.

Information on the 2018 Madison Early Music Festival will be added as it becomes available.

Class Descriptions

MEMF Early Opera & Continuo Workshop

Christa Patton, Music Director

Scenes from La Púrpura de la Rosa, Lima (1701)

Nell Snaidas - Baroque vocal style, Spanish diction and stage direction
James Kennerley - harpsichord
Peggy Murray - Spanish dance
Jennifer Sayre - Spanish Baroque harp
Charles Weaver - lute and guitar

Composed by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, a student of the great harpist/composer Juan Hidalgo, father of Spanish baroque opera, La Púrpura was the first opera performed in the New World. It is a treasure trove of high-style theatre music from Spain's Golden Age including sumptuous Tonos Humanos (solo songs), sparkling duets and spectacular four-part choirs, often consisting of SSAT voices.

  • ¡All voice types are welcome!
  • Continuo players, in addition to lute, theorbo, harpsichord, bass gamba and baroque cello, our continuo section would benefit from as many harps and guitars as possible!

To apply for this intensive one-week workshop, advanced singers and continuo players should print out and complete this application form by Monday, June 5, 2017. Please scan the form and send it with the audition materials and links requested to Christa Patton at

Participation is by audition or by permission of the instructors. For advanced singers and continuo.


Saturday, July 8
TBD Morning meeting
3:15 - 5:00 pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Sunday, July 9 - Thursday, July 13
9:00 am - 12:15 pm Rehearsals, Coachings, Staging
11:30 am - 12:15 pm Dance and Coachings
1:30 - 3:00 pm Early Afternoon Small Ensemble Classs of your choice
3:15 - 5:00 pm All-Festival Rehearsal 
Friday, July 15
TBD Dress Rehearsal Early Opera & Continuo Workshop
1:00 pm Participant Concert
3:15 - 5:00 pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Saturday, July 16
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
All-Festival Concert Dress Rehearsal 
2:00 pm Performance: Advanced Loud Band and Early Opera & Continuo Workshop
7:30 pm All-Festival Concert