Jane Austen: The French Connection
A concert of music for voice, harp and cello from Jane Austen’s manuscript music books.
About this Event
A Concert for Voice and Harp
This concert will bring together Gillian Dooley (soprano), Christine Morphett (historic harp) and Mark Smith (baroque cello) for a unique performance of pieces from Jane Austen’s rich collection of manuscript music books in the grandiose setting of the Reading Room (Barr Smith Library). This event will particularly focus on French music, and songs with a French connection, e.g. English versions of French songs, or English songs about French subjects. Historical background will be provided via programme notes and/or explanation on the day.
This concert is part of the 2020 South Australia’s History Festival.
Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Humanities at Flinders University. She has published widely on literary topics, and has been researching music in Austen's life and work for more than 20 years. Since 2007 she has presented many concerts of the music from the Austen family collections in Australia and Europe. She was one of the convenors of the ‘Immortal Austen’ conference held at Flinders University in June 2017, and her long-term project is cataloguing all the music in the Austen Family Music Books. As a singer, she appears frequently at concerts of early music in Adelaide and is a member of Corinthian Singers.
Christine Morphett is a passionate Celtic harper and is one-third of the band Telenn Tri, who perform at Celtic festivals around Australia. Christine has achieved ABRSM Grade 8 in Lever harp, AMEB Grade 7 piano and is a serving committee member with the Harp Society of SA, Adelaide Scottish Fiddle club and Comhaltas. She has been instrumental in both Australian Harp Festivals that have been held in Adelaide, in 2006 and 2012, and the Australian Harp Festival in Canberra. Christine also conducted a Breton harp workshop at the World Harp Congress in Sydney and participates in harp festivals in Scotland, Ireland and Brittany. Christine plays a beautiful antique pedal harp made in London in 1813 by Erat, and bought at an auction in Adelaide. It is one of only three of these harps left in the world, with a special double action.
Mark Smith did his Ph.D. at Flinders University from 1976 to 1983 on the Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. He has been a specialised performer on Baroque Cello since c.1975. Since then he has also done very extensive research on Bach, and on early cellos and their methods of playing. Mark plays with the Adelaide group Passionately Baroque. His cello is an English instrument c. 1680-1710, restored to its probably original design and proportions.