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Heritage

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Apollo: from a masque performed at Hampton Court.
Apollo, from The Arraygnment of Paris, at Hampton Court.

...costumed performers bring a building's history vividly to life...

Many of Britain's most beloved heritage sites were the setting for masques. For example, many of the Jacobean masques took place in winter in the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall designed by Inigo Jones in 1619. The presence of costumed performers or interpreters can often bring a building's history vividly to life for visitors. No amount of description can convey the sound of historical music or the impression of historical dance, and modern audiences are unlikely to have seen anything quite like the Masque.

All our performances are researched from original sources. Our performers have a great deal of experience and skill in their fields, and a wealth of knowledge which they are happy to share with visitors. In addition, if desired we can provide costumed interpreters to talk about or demonstrate various aspects of Tudor or Jacobean life, or even lead the audience in a song or a dance. We enjoy the opportunity to share our passion for history with the public.

Passamezzo took part in a reconstruction of Ben Jonson's Masque of Augurs at the Banqueting House in May 2016 and recorded the music for The Lost Palace.

In 2014 we provided musicians and singers for a reconstruction of another Ben Jonson masque, Love Restored at Bolsover Castle.

We were asked by Hampton Court to provide "entertainment fit for a queen" to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth I. We collaborated with the Lions part to create an adaptation of George Peele's The Arraygnment of Paris, staged in three consecutive parts with dance, music, costumes, masks and gesture replicating that of the time, and performed in the presence of Elizabeth I - or rather an interpreter portraying her. Between performances we chatted with the public, telling them about the masque, and teaching them some Elizabethan dance and music.

We performed The Arraygment again at The Old Naval College at Greenwich, and have appeared there several other times providing music and masque for late 16th century events together with Renaissance Footnotes. We performed medieval music at the V&A as part of the Gothic Exhibition and have played Renaissance music at the British Museum. We have appeared at a number of other heritage venues including: The National Gallery, The Banqueting House, Blickling Hall, Dr Johnson's House, Eltham Palace, the Golden Hinde, Parham House, Plas Mawr. Sutton House, Tretower Court, and Wolverton Manor

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