Venus Unwrapped: Kings Place’s Year-Long Focus on Women Composers



A new light on music by women (January – December 2019) opening on Thursday 10 January with a concert that marks the 400th birthday of singer and composer Barbara Strozzi. Kings Place’s Venus Unwrapped is a year-long series focusing on the creative firepower of women composers.

For more information about Venus Unwrapped events and how to book click here.

Pupil of Cavalli and performer of Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi was also an illegitimate daughter and single parent, and is just one of the many female composers, song-writers and rule-breakers whose music will be brought to life during the course of Venus Unwrapped. Despite being treated by many as a courtesan and unable to secure a position in any court, Strozzi published seven volumes of increasingly ambitious music between 1655 and 1664.

Venus Unwrapped is about women from all races and backgrounds as much as it is about a wide and eclectic range of music from jazz and folk, contemporary to electronic, and the artists who inspired them. From Francesca Caccini in 16th century Italy to Meredith Monk in 20th century New York, Kings Place unlocks the secret history of music by women: a shadow canon that begins with the music of the medieval nuns, moves on to the gifted professionals working in the European courts, the stifling world of the 19th-century drawing room, radical voices of the 20th century and into an explosion of creativity from female artists today in all genres.

Word events include Deborah Frances-White of the Guilty Feminist in conversation with special guests, Vikki Stone’s Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra, an array of poetry events and a comedy gala night, while Kings Place sculpture gallery Pangolin will feature key female sculptors.

Research released in 2018 revealed that of a total of 3345 orchestral works to be performed on the international classical stage during 2018-19, only 2.3% will be composed by women. While Venus Unwrapped may only be able to present a small though significant percentage of the 6000 female composers that date from the 11th century to the present day who are currently identified and catalogued, it demonstrates that women were not restricted to the passive roles of muses, performers and on-lookers. Reclaiming music history from a female perspective and taking a broad overview of a thousand years of music from Hildegarde of Bingen to Pan Daijing, Venus Unwrapped celebrates the diversity of creative voices today.


Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

  • UPDATED ONLINE NEWS! IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC __________________________________
  • NEW! BBC Proms turns 125 years old – 17 July to 12 September 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera North in 2020-2021 – postponements and plans __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich 2020-2021 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Glyndebourne Festival Opera opens for a 2020 summer season __________________________________
  • NEW! Baritone Federico Longhi’s Rigoletto is part of Parma’s June Verdian renaissance __________________________________
  • NEW! 69th Wexford Festival Opera – 11 to 18 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Dresden’s Semperoper reopens with Anna Netrebko on 19 June __________________________________
  • NEW! Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal in 2020-21 __________________________________
  • NEW! LMP’s first UK chamber orchestra performances since Covid-19 struck __________________________________
  • NEW! Oxford Lieder Festival – 10-17 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Metropolitan Opera (2020–)2021 season update __________________________________
  • NEW! Royal Opera House announces first live concert since beginning of lockdown __________________________________
  • NEW! Semi-staged Das Rheingold on Deutsche Oper Berlin’s parking deck from 12 June __________________________________
  • NEW! A breath of fresh air: Opera Holland Park announces 2021 season __________________________________
  • NEW! Grange Park Opera’s 2020 Found Season – 4 June to 12 July __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2020 Salzburg Festival – 1 to 30 August __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival’s 2020 online series of concerts and talks __________________________________
  • The Singapore Symphony in 2020-2021 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Search S&H

    News and Featured Articles

  • NEW! We’ll be back! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra weathering the Covid-19 storm __________________________________
  • NEW! World Ballet School Day – inaugural edition 7 July 2020 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience __________________________________
  • NEW! The Music Critics Association of North America Best New Opera Award to Blue __________________________________
  • NEW! Lincoln Center honors Pride with a light installation on its iconic plaza __________________________________
  • R.I.P. Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020): Did we really need Vera Lynn during the war? __________________________________
  • NEW! What price Sherlock Holmes? __________________________________
  • NEW! BBC to show the ROH’s first post-lockdown performance and their other recent music news __________________________________
  • NEW! Woody Allen comes back fighting with a book and A Rainy Day in New York __________________________________
  • NEW! Educating Rita, says who? __________________________________
  • NEW! 2020 Three Choirs Festival – postponed __________________________________
  • NEW! Need to escape reality? Enter into the magical world of composer David Hertzberg __________________________________
  • NEW! BTHVN2020 – Beethoven anniversary goes into overtime __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month