Effigy of William Marshall

Songs of Consolation

Music and Poetry in the Medieval Mediterranean

In his dying days, the medieval knight, William Marshal (d.1219 and buried in Temple Church) sought comfort in his favourite songs and poetry. He was far from alone. This programme takes a journey through William’s world, listening into the places and communities he encountered, to explore the common thread connecting them all: the consoling powers of songs and poetry.

Staged in the Round Church, the programme is part of an innovative collaboration between performers from Siglo de Oro (dir. Patrick Allies), actors and readers, and scholars from the UKRI-funded Musical Lives project. Join them, as they transform Temple Church into a space of sonorous memory, bringing together performance of medieval French songs, Arabic poetry and Latin charters with narration by the Musical Lives team. Together, they bring out of the shadows of history stories of medieval men and women – William included – for whom songs and poetry offered ultimate comfort, joy, and connection.

Paul Bentley-Angell (tenor)
Hannah Ely (soprano)
Rebekah Jones (mezzo-soprano)
with members of the Musical Lives project, King's College London

Programme lasts approximately 1 hour

Funded through Musical Lives: Towards an Historical Anthropology of French Song, 1100-1300 (EP/X022501/1) UKRI Frontier Research Grant, PI Emma Dillon, King's College London. In association with the King's College, London Sanctuary Season and the Temple Music Foundation. 

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Cover image source: gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 846, folio 106v.

Venue: Temple Church
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