”Le Roman de Fauvel”
Christopher Preston Thompson, tenor and medieval harp • director
Amber Evans, soprano
Clifton Massey, countertenor
Thomas McCargar, baritone
Niccolo Seligmann, vielle
With additional support from the Departments of French and Italian, Comparative Literature, and The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at UC Davis, Concordian Dawn brings life to a fourteenth-century French allegory, “Le Roman de Fauvel,” illuminating its relevance to modern audiences through a multimedia presentation of music, text, and art.
Their adaptation of the Roman includes musical transcriptions and translations of poetry from Chaillou de Pesstain’s ‘edition’ of Fauvel, found in F-Pn fonds fr. 146, accompanied by a projection of manuscript illuminations and original artwork by visual artist, Benjamin Thorpe.
Altogether, the music, art, and text evoke resonance with modern times, as the manuscript itself represents not only an interdisciplinary tour-de-force of the fourteenth century, but also an important historical document rife with political and social commentary.
It tells the story of an orange-hued half-donkey / half-human whose contentious rise to power unsettles a nation—a story all too familiar to us today.
About Concordian Dawn
Concordian Dawn, ensemble for medieval music, specializes in 12th- through 14th-century vocal repertoire, drawing on primary source material and focusing on socio-philosophical similarities between texts from centuries ago and the mindset of modern society. In doing so, the ensemble produces a musical experience accessible to contemporary audiences, relating the human condition of the past to the familiar experiences of the present. Concordian Dawn, a 2024 UC Davis ensemble-in-residence, was founded in 2012 and performs regularly on the east coast, annually with Gotham Early Music Scene in NYC, and at venues across the country. The ensemble’s “mesmerizing” (Early Music America) debut album, Fortuna Antiqua et Ultra (MSR Classics), was released in December of 2021 to critical acclaim. The ensemble’s second album—based on their collaboration and publication with medieval studies scholar Sarah Kay, entitled Medieval Song from Aristotle to Opera—was released in October of 2023 (MSR Classics) following the 2022 book and website publication (Cornell University Press). Concordian Dawn made its West Coast debut in 2022 with the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and at UC Berkeley and UC Davis. The ensemble, which received a 2020 Ensemble Forward Award from Chamber Music America, and its director, Christopher Preston Thompson, have performed and led workshops and lectures for Princeton University, Stanford University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Modern Language Association, the CUNY Graduate Center and the Medieval Academy of America, among others. For more information, please visit www.concordiandawn.com.