Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

History tells us that traveling in medieval times was very interesting for the various countries that could be visited. Naturally traveling in those days took more time then today. This Continuum presents music depicting some of those interesting journeys. Recordings uses are: Traveler (The Waverly Consort) - Angel CDC 7243 5 55559 2 2, and Schiarazula Marazula (Musica Antiqua) - Cantas C 9605.

Very early music was written for the human voices and later including instruments performing the same line of music. The music term, polyphony, refers to two or more different melodic lines that are sung or played instrumentally at the same time. This Continuum presents musical selections of the earliest forms of polyphony for voices and instruments. Recording uses are: The Birth of Polyphony (Various Artists) - Harmonia Mundi - Century 5 and, Die Blasinstrumente aus der St. Wenzelskirche in Naumburg (Krickeberg & Lerch) - Klingendes Museum KM2017-2.

Three important subjects on this Continuum: Love, Song & Carnival. All three are definitely related for the Mardi Gras celebration. They really fit the saying, “You can’t have one without the others!” The music is from five excellent CDs. The CDs used are: A Florentine Carnival (London Pro Musica) - IMP PCD 825, The Second Circle (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907269, Alfonso V el Magnanim (Capella Reial de Catalunya) - Aliavox AV 9816, D’Amor Cantando (Micrologus) - Opus 111 OPS 2033, and Canti Carnascialeschi (Josquin Ensemble - Wien) - Christophorus CD 74538

Carnival time is one of the most interesting times of the year in New Orleans. But, carnival is also celebrated in other countries. This Continuum presents Renaissance music of Italian carnivals and particularly the Florentine Carnival. Songs and dances with a particular Italian sound abound in this program. Recordings used are: A Florentine Carnival (London Pro Musica) - IMP PCD 825, and Italian Renaissance Carnival Songs (Josquin Ensemble Wien) - Christophorus CD 74538.

This Continuum presents early music from three diverse sources. They are Birds, Wind, and Masque. You must listen to find out the relationship of these three interesting subjects. Performances are by three ensembles of great note. You’ll be surprised to find out the reason for the titles of these selections. The CDs used are: Birds on Fire (Fretwork) Vanguard Classics - Harmonia Mundi - HMU 97478, Western Wind (Alfred Deller et al) Vanguard Classics - OVC 8111, and The Masque of Oberon (Musicians of the Globe) - Philips PH 446 217-2.

Any young medieval man would have been entranced to get a Sideways Seductive Smile from a young lady. This is even true of modern times. On this Continuum you’ll hear medieval music written about this. Performing will be three of early music’s noted ensembles.

The Multitude of Ladies on this Continuum have songs written about them, for them and by them. As might be expected the subject matter is always love in one form or another. This music is representative of the major compositions of the medieval period. And, it is performed by four outstanding early music ensembles.

What did Mozart’s music sound like to him when it was performed during his life time? This Continuum program attempts to answer the question. A few contemporary performers have researched what Mozart may have heard. This program presents performances by some of these contemporaries.

This special up-beat and foot-stomping program is devoted to Italian dances of the 14th century and includes a wide selection of estampies, saltarellos and a number of other dances of this period. Performing are members of the ensemble Chominiciamento di Gioia. The name means The Dawn of Joy. And, joyful are all of these dances. Recordings used are: Istampitte - Italian Medieval Dances (Chominiciamento di Gioia) - Tactus TC 300001, and Terpsichore (Ulsamer-Collegium) - Archiv DG 415294.

On this Continuum you'll hear excerpts from the Feast of Fools, a post-European Christmas event dating from the Middle Ages. Occurring between Christmas and Epiphany, this celebration was marked by much license and buffoonery. The clergy and the laity traded places for a day and interesting things happened, particularly in The Mass of the Ass. You'll hear it from these CDs: The Feast of Fools (The New London Consort) L’Oiseaus-Lyre 433 194-2, and La Fete de L'Ane (Clemencic Consort) Harmonia Mundi HMT 7901036.

Pages