In November 2022, vocal ensemble Fieri Consort will release a new album – The Destined Knot – featuring music by Italian composer Luca Marenzio. The album is released alongside an original animated film by illustrator and animation artist Eleanor Meredith.

The music is from Marenzio’s seventh book of madrigals (1595), which draws its texts from Giovanni Battista Guarini’s tragicomedy play Il pastor fido (the faithful shepherd). Following the courtship between two lovers, Amarilli and Mirtillo, this collection represents an important step between the 15th-century madrigal and 16th-century opera and is one of the first collections of madrigals which run as a narrative. This epic tale of lovers tossed by fate and fortune was once famous throughout Europe, inspiring hundreds of composers like Luca Marenzio.

Eleanor Meredith’s specially commissioned film accompanies the recording of Marenzio’s madrigals telling the story of Il Pastor Fido (the faithful shepherd). This visualisation crosses the language barrier between the music and the audience, engaging the listener and helping to communicate the story.

Hannah Ely, founding member, soprano and manager of Fieri Consort, said: ‘Fieri Consort continues to embrace the developments in the digital world by combining audio recording with visual film. These creative collaborations allow us to tell stories across language barriers. Our aim is to convey to the audience the passion these composers had for the texts that inspired them. This text, Il Pastor Fido, deserves to be championed and brought to light again. In its hey-day, it was arguably the most widely read work of secular literature in Europe throughout the 17th century. We hope that through this recording and the accompanying film, audiences can experience this music in a new and innovative way.’

Founded in 2012, Fieri Consort is one of the UK’s most exciting vocal groups, offering a unique blend of technical precision and theatrical innovation. Performing without a conductor, Fieri presents innovative and engaging programmes, and specialises in the rich and varied tradition of 16th and 17th century Italian repertoire. Performing a cappella, accompanied by early instruments and even with members of their audiences, Fieri’s interpretations are informed by the collective experience and knowledge of the ensemble.