...."I enjoyed it immensely... [Amy's] is a lovely natural voice, suitably sexy for the sentiments...fine lute playing.... it is a fascinating program...you can purchase single tracks on the internet but I'd rather get the whole CD: it's too good just to select a few tracks.... highly recommended..."
- Clifford Bartlett, Editor, Early Music Review, UK
Amy Elizabeth Wheeler REVIEW:
Rural Renaissance Festival "...[Wheeler's] voice was a joy to hear...something in her seems to resonate easily with the period, making the music not only exquisite but somehow authentic..."
-The Recorder, Greenfield, MA USA
Amy Elizabeth Wheeler, Soprano:
Raised in New York City, Amy Elizabeth Wheeler graduated from the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and from the Manhattan School of Music.
Her career, which began with club dates in New York as a singer/songwriter, followed by the film Fame and a European tour of the Broadway musical Hair, has since led her to the Warsaw Chamber Opera in Poland where her debut as Fauno in Mozart's Ascanio in Alba was greeted with a standing ovation. More Mozart roles followed - even the coveted mezzo-soprano role of Cherubino in "The marriage of Figaro". She quickly became a popular guest artist in Poland appearing on television and radio and performing with Polish orchestras at international music festivals such as Madrid Mozart Festival, Le Festival d'Europe Nord in Paris, and the 49th International Chopin Festival. As a developing concert artist and ensemble leader in her own right, she organized the Peregrine Consort with musicians from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Concerto Copenhagen and the Drottningholm Court Theater. They performed in the International Wratislavia Cantans Festival, Bach Celebration 2000 (Royal Castle Warsaw) and the prestigious 100th Anniversary season of Poland's National Philharmonic. Highlights from concerts include Baldessare Galuppi's motet "Confitebor tibi Domine", staged versions of Alessandro Scarlatti's serenata "A battaglia pensieri", and Handel's "Amarilli Vezzosa" as well as English renaissance songs and duets for soprano and bass.
Amy Elizabeth's voice, while classically trained, is rooted in the folk/jazz tradition making her vocal style intimate and accessible to listeners with different musical tastes. Her style and expression was clearly evident in her performances as Cupid in the WCO's production of John Blow's "Venus and Adonis" which attracted the attention of Poland's leading renaissance lutenist, Jaroslaw Lipski. They have since recorded a CD of English lute songs titled "What Thing Is Love" and have performed sold-out concerts at every major early music festival Poland as well as receiving a standing ovation for their performance at Poland's National Philharmonic.
Archguitartist Peter Blanchette found Amy Elizabeth's synthesis of styles perfect for two of his CD's: 800 Years (Archguitar Records 2001), which featured versions of Mark Knopfler's "Ironhand" and Irving Berlin's "Reaching for the moon", and Una Limosa (Archguitar Records 2001) on which she sang Schubert's "Der Jungling an der Quell". Amy Elizabeth and Peter received critical acclaim for their concert presented by The Rural Renaissance Festival where they performed music by John Dowland and Nino Rota together with Peter's ensemble the Virtual Consort.
Amy Elizabeth collaborates regularly with Swedish contemporary composer Jan Alm, who invited her to perform the Swedish premier of his songs scored for voice, harp, piano and string quartet and set to the poems of Nobel laureate Harry Martinson. Joining her were members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and the concert presented by the Gothenburg Konserthus. A repeat performance of the songs was made in a program arranged by Amy Elizabeth titled "Scandinaviana" which featured vocal and chamber music by Grieg, Sibelius, Stenhammar and Nielsen, presented by Poland's National Philharmonic to inaugurate their newly renovated chamber hall, Sala Kamerlana.
In 2000, Amy Elizabeth was a recipient of The Fund, a Rockefellar/Kennedy Foundation award for her work as a U.S. artist performing in international festivals, and, in 2004 she received a Delmas Foundation Award, supporting her research on the 18th century Venetian composer Baldessare Galuppi.
Jaroslaw Lipski, Renaissance Lute and Theorbo:
Jarolsaw Lipski graduated from the Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, with a degree in classical guitar, and received a diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he won the "Principle's Prize." He studied classical guitar with Gerald Lee and Robert Brightmore, and the lute with Nigel North at Guildhall and at the Summer Academy for Early Music at Innsbruck, Austria. Mr. Lipski has regularly appeared in concerts as solo guitarist in Poland and Great Britain and frequently participates in early music festivals in Poland as a lutenist. He has collaborated since 1996 with The Warsaw Chamber Opera, performing operas by Monteverdi (Vespro della Beata Vergine), St. Landi (Il St. Alessio), and Purcell (Dido and Aeneas). He has also worked with early music groups such as Ars Nova, Lege Artis, Collegio Antico, and The Peregrine Consort. His repertoire focuses primarily on music of 16th -century Poland, 16th & 17th-century England, however in 2002, he organized Concerto Vago, a group devoted to performing Spanish music from the time of Columbus featuring works by Alonso Mudarra, Diego Ortiz, Juan del Encina, and Juan de Anchieta. Mr. Lipski has regularly conducted master classes at the Zywiez Early Music Festival in Poland, and he is the author of The Classical Guitar (Warsaw, Poland: Polskie Wydawnicwo Muzycznie, 2002). His recordings include: 16th Century European Songs and Dances and Music of the Polish Renaissance ( DUX Records) The Music of King Sigmund (Arche Records) Psalms of M. Gomloka (Polish Radio).
Check out the artist's website:
1. Sweet nightingale, anon
2. Mistake me not, T. Brewer
3. The dark is my delight, anon
4. My complaining is but faining, R. Jones
5. And is it night, R. Jones
6. What thing is love, P. Rosseter
7. As I walked forth, R. Johnson
8. My Lord Willoughby's welcome home, J. Dowland
9. Heigh ho holiday (solo lute), A. Holborn
10. Take, o take those lips away, J. Wilson
11. Fancy #5 (solo lute), J. Dowland
12. Full fathom five, R. Johnson
13. Woods rocks & mountains, R. Johnson
14. The cuckoo, anon
15. Fancy #73 (solo lute), J. Dowland
16. As I lay lately in a dream
17. Where the bee sucks, R. Johnson
18. Who's going to shoe your pretty little foot, anon
19. The tailor and the mouse, anon