Tessa Roos (mezzo-soprano) and Peter Croton (lute) have joined forces to create an inter-generational, intercultural duo to explore the riches of 16th and 17th century repertoire from England. Tessa, from South Africa, is known for the warmth, sweetness and lively expression of her singing and performance; Peter, a Swiss lutenist originally from the USA, combines his improvisational skills with expression founded in rhetorical performance practice.
Their first collaborations involve English ballad tunes and lute songs from the turn of the 16th century. A classically-trained singer, Tessa Roos sings these songs with touching simplicity and passionate expression; she is a true story teller, in the tradition of great folk singers and troubadours of the last centuries. Peter Croton, with a background in jazz guitar and composition, has been called “a creative musician who wishes to recapture the improvisational and inventive nature of the early lutenists” (British Lute Society). Since early balled tunes have no pre-existing accompaniments Peter has created these, in addition to composing and improvising lute solos based on the tunes. The result of the Roos/Croton duo is at the same time artistic, spontaneous, earthy and poignant.
OLD ENGLISH BALLAD TUNES. Rehearsal Excerpts: Greensleeves, The doleful dance and song of death, There were three ravens, Go from my window, Lord Willoughby, Fortune my foe.
THERE WERE THREE RAVENS
South African mezzo-soprano Tessa Roos moved to Europe in order to focus on Early Music. After having studied in Barcelona for one year, Tessa relocated to Basel in 2016 for a Masters in Vocal Performance at Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with soprano Evelyn Tubb. She simultaneously took part in their Advanced Vocal Ensemble Studies programme headed by Anthony Rooley, from which the vocal ensemble InVocare was born.
During this time Tessa has had the opportunity to explore earlier repertoires and has enjoyed studying music from the 12th to the 17th centuries. Since September 2018 Tessa has been focusing on Renaissance music for another Masters at SCB.
Also a choral conductor, Tessa has always been closely linked to a capella repertoires and has greatly appreciated getting to know various cultures and stories through this music. In addition to music, Tessa is working towards becoming a Wine Master.
Award-winning lutenist and romantic-guitarist Peter Croton is an active performer & recording artist as soloist & accompanist who has been teaching lute, romantic guitar, continuo, and historical performance practice at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis since 1989 and the Conservatory of Music in Bern since 1984. In the press he has been called a “lyric poet of the lute” and has been praised for his “breathtaking virtuosity” and “astonishing range of tone colors and dynamics”. His compositions for voice & lute have been described as “challenging and refined... highly suited for inclusion in today's concert repertoire.
He studied lute and classical guitar with Dr. Loris Chobanian (Oberlin Conservatory of Music) and lute with Eugen Dombois and Hopkinson Smith (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis). He won first prize at the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music in Cambridge MA (1984) and has also won prizes at other international competitions. He has recorded numerous CDs, appeared on television and radio as soloist and chamber musician, and has performed at many international festivals. Peter is the author of four books on the subject of lute, guitar and historically inspired performance.
Since 2011, Peter Croton has been included in the Marquis Who's Who in the World, featuring biographies of “the most accomplished men and women from around the world and across all fields of endeavor”. Peter is President of the German Lute Society (Deutsche Lautengesellschaft), and is the initiator & artistic director of BASEL PLUCKS - festival for lute & guitar.