Henry VIII’s Wives Have Their Say

Try Me, Good King

Tudor ensemble comes to venues across the UK in York, Cambridge and London

Classical music ensemble Transposed are bringing Tudor history to life in concert this autumn. The concerts will take place in exclusively Tudor and Elizabethan buildings around the UK and will be performed in specially tailored Tudor dress. British Soprano Eleanor Penfold and Pianist Eleanor Kornas will launch their UK tour in York at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall on 24th October and Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate on 26th October.

The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is one of the ‘finest Medieval guild halls in the world’ and dates back as early as 1357. Just a stone’s throw from the York Minster stands York’s Holy Trinity on Goodramgate, where you can marvel at stained glass dating as far back at the 1470’s and be whisked back to Medieval times in magical candlelight.

On 1st November Transposed will perform at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge University, a beautiful and historic site founded by Henry VIII himself. Their final performance will be at the only remaining Elizabethan Church in London, Old Church in Stoke Newington, on 23rd November.

Try Me, Good King

The concert is centred around a powerful set of songs called Try Me, Good King by American composer Libby Larsen. Each song is a musical setting of words that were addressed to Henry VIII by his wives. The evening will feature a feast of fiery females including a haunting encounter with Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth.

Penfold has performed in the BBC Proms as well as the Paris Opera House. ‘This tour is a real celebration of music, Shakespearean theatre and the Tudor period’, said Penfold. ‘Performing within exclusively Tudor buildings in a tailor-made Tudor dress brings audiences the spectacle of the operatic stage or the Globe in completely unique settings’.

Penfold first discovered the song cycle Try Me, Good King during her time at the Royal College of Music in London. ‘I was completely blown away by the power of the work’, said Penfold. ‘The work breathes life into the letters and speeches of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard.  Far from the well known list, ‘divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,’ these songs give visceral energy and humanity to each woman’s testament and individual voice.’

Transposed was recently founded to celebrate the incredible spaces we have across the UK and the unique impact they have on performances of Classical music.

Costume Designer and recent graduate of Wimbledon College of Arts, Victoria Rodriguez, says she ‘grew up idolising historical feminist figures and being taught the power they had that’s been written out by men and forgotten over the centuries. I fell in love with the Tudors and specifically the female courtiers and wives of Henry VIII; how they flourished and fell during this iconic monarchy and I couldn’t help but find out more and more information to the point where my obsession took me into my career.’ The incredible costume design of Victoria Rodriguez and fellow Wimbledon College graduate Brontë McFadyean can been seen in the beautiful Tudor dress and specially designed headpieces worn by Penfold throughout the performance.

Having recently performed the notorious role of the Queen of the Night at Waterperry Opera Festival this summer, Penfold says ‘we can’t wait to bring audiences the thrill of a period drama with the passion and beauty of this Classical music’.

How to buy tickets

Tickets for the show cost £15 for adults, £12.50 for under 18, students and disabled audience members. They are now available to purchase online from www.transposed-ensemble.com/events via EventBrite or on the door. 

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