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

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.

On this Continuum you’ll hear a special program of early and relatively new Christmas music performed by New Orleans Musica da Camera. The music is from their CD, Natus Est - A Christmas Celebration, directed by Continuum hosts Milton Scheuermann, Jr. and Thais St. Julien. Recordings used are: Natus Est (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Centaur CRC 2208 and Forse Che Si, Forse Che No (Ferrara Ensemble) - Fonti Musicali fmd 182.

Continuum presents “The Lost Spindle”, a Renaissance Spanish “folk opera”; the CD notes call it “a romance in song”. It is full of folk tunes from the 15th and 16th centuries, very well presented by Live Oak and Company. The Spanish rhythms are infectious, the performance is spirited and fun. If you enjoy Renaissance music you will like this music.

This Continuum presents music from two important medieval collections. The Glogauer Liederbuch (Glogau Song Book) is a Liederhandschrift (medieval songbook) of sacred and secular songs and instrumental music, written about 1480. The A-LA-MI-RE collection was constructed around the manuscripts written by the famous calligrapher-publisher, Petrus Alamire (fl. 1497-1535).

Continuum presents a program devoted to early music performed by the famous Clemencic Consort. Founded in 1967 by Rene Clemencic, Austrian composer, recorder player, harpsichordist, conductor and clavichord player, they have produced over 100 records and CDs. You’ll hear excerpts from four of these historically outstanding recordings including the Roman de Fauvel and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - OEHMS OC 635, and Troubadours - Cantigas de Santa Maria I&II - Harmonia Mundi France HMX 2901524 & 2901525.

The early music ensemble, Atrium Musicae de Madrid, was founded in 1964 by Spanish monk, Gregorio Paniagua. Performing in the ensemble were members of the Paniagua family. The ensemble disbanded in the 1980s. Many recordings were made by the family and this Continuum presents selections from four of their CDs. Their performances are unique and unlike any of the other early music ensembles of that period.

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