An autobiographical mediaeval French romance in a time of war and plague – as told by poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut.

Displaying its trademark ability to inform and delight, The Song Company's latest program is a semi-theatrical exploration of the legacy of one of the greatest poets and composer of the so-called Ars Nova (New Art), Guillaume de Machaut...
...[The] Song Company rekindled a 700-year-old passion with affection, vividness, and enchantment."
(Sydney Morning Herald, June 2018)

Tues 5 June | Yellow House Sydney | 7.30pm
Fri 8 June | Deakin Edge Federation Square, Melbourne | 7.30pm
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Fri 15 June | The Street Theatre, Canberra | 7.30pm
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Sun 17 June | Wollongong Art Gallery | 3pm
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Thur 21 June | Newcastle Conservatorium | 7pm
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Sat 23 June | The Independent Theatre, North Sydney | 3pm
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Tues 26 June | Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre | 7.30pm
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Against the backdrop of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death this “true” love story from the Middle Ages charts the passionate affair between the 14th century’s most celebrated poet and composer, Guillaume de Machaut, and his super-fan, a beautiful noblewoman called Péronnelle d’Armentières. Their poetry, their letters, and Machaut’s extraordinary music combine to produce a unique semi-staged multi-sensory experience. Duration 90' (no interval).

Roberta Diamond – Péronnelle d'Armentières
Chloe Lankshear – The Messenger
Philippa Dracakis – Guillemette
Carmel de Jager – Lady Hope
Owen Elsley – Sir Desire
Mark Donnelly – The King Who Never Lies
Andrew O'Connor – Morpheus
Antony Pitts – Guillaume de Machaut

Leonie Cambage – Associate Director
Antony Pitts – Artistic Director

Journey with The Song Company to the coronation city of Rheims in the early 1360s, where, between entertaining the heir to the throne, Machaut begins a serious correspondence with his new and ardent young admirer. His relationship with Péronnelle is meticulously documented in what he called Le Livre du Voir Dit – “The book of the true story”. From his melancholy state of mind in the opening ballade Ploures dames, in which he requests “ladies to weep for your servant” and wear black, to the extraordinary Lay of Good Hope and the unforgettable tune of Puis qu’en oubli, Machaut charts the highs and lows of true love with profound honesty and humanity.

Although Péronnelle is flattered by the songs that Machaut sends to her in return, he is petrified about actually meeting her, thinking that he would be a big disappointment off the written page. He even considers using a stand-in lover in the manner of Cyrano de Bergerac, but at last they do meet, and Machaut is so overcome by her beauty and her tenderness that this most accomplished of wordsmiths can hardly string two words together.

Drawn from over 9000 lines of poetry, letters, love-poems, songs, and pictures that they sent to each other, True-Love-Story is the ultimate 14th-century multimedia presentation - which can now be seen and heard in The Song Company's revival of a classic semi-staged production (TONUS PEREGRINUS at Opera Fringe / Penshurst Place / York Early Music Festival).

Guillaume de Machaut:
Ballade 32 – Ploures dames
Rondeau 13 – Dame se vous n’avez aperceu
Ballade 33 – Nes que on porroit
Rondeau 4 – Sans cuer dolens
Lai 13 – ‘Le Lay de bonne esperance’
Rondeau 17 – Dix et sept, cinq
Rondeau 18 – Puis qu’en oubli
Ballade 34 – Quant Theseus / Ne quier veoir
Ballade 36 – Se pour ce muir
Ballade 31 – De toute flours

Buy 2020 tickets with a subscription discount!