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Prima la Parola – a Zoom talk by Emma Kirkby

October 10, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Prima la Parola – In praise of Speaking Harmony.

Under this title, misquoting Salieri and stealing a phrase from Dowland, Emma aims to celebrate the power and joy of song lyric. Poems in Tudor England were often published as “Songs”, and “lyric” means “apt for the lyre”. Though the human voice was dutifully admired as the perfect instrument because it was entrusted with the words, it was the alchemical blend of a voice with an instrument that had, as Dowland said, “higher authority and power”.

These days the lucky singers of what we call “early music” have a plethora of historical instruments eager to accompany them, in a balance perfect for delivering the text. Emma has benefitted from this for decades now, finding endless interest and excitement in her search for ever more effective ways to “embody” a lyric.

In her presentation for MEMF she will share her ideas on this, and play tracks of singers she admires, both those who inspired her early on, and the new voices that excite her now.

Please book below.

Prima la Parola – a Zoom talk by Emma Kirkby


October 10, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Events Category:


Emma Kirkby



Online booking

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Please note that you will need to pay us separately by cheque or bank transfer – details below.