Our constantly growing a cappella and accompanied repertoire includes songs spanning the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries:
- Ah, Comme C’est Chose Belle (traditional)
- A Lieta Vita (Giovanni Gastoldi)
- Amarilli (Guilio Caccini)
- Amor Ch’Attendi (Caccini)
- L’Ardito (Giovanni Gastoldi)
- Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie (Thoinot Arbeau)
- Canto, Canto, Festa, Festa (Andrea Gabrieli)
- Celia Learning on the Spinnet (John Isum)
- Come Again, Sweet Love (John Dowland)
- Come Away, Come Sweet Love (John Dowland)
- Donna da Vostri Sguardi (Luca Marenzio)
- The Female Smuggler (traditional)
Fuggi, Fuggi, Fuggi (Giuseppino)
- Gush Forth My Tears (Antony Holborne)
- Here Dwells a Pretty Maid
- La Sirena (Giovanni Gastoldi)
- Non E’ Tempo d’Aspettare (Franciscus Bossinensis)
- Now Is the Month of Maying (Thomas Morley)
- Now O Now I Needs Must Part (John Dowland)
- O Occhi, Manza Mia (Orlando di Lasso)
- Plaisir d’Amour (Giovanni Batissta Martini)
- Si J’ayme Ou Non (Thoinot Arbeau)
- So Ben Mi Ch’Ha Bon Tempo (Orazio Vecchi)
- Some Say Women Are Like the Seas
- Sweet Nymphe, Come to Thy Lover (Thomas Morley)
- This Love Is But a Wanton Fit (Thomas Morley)
- Three Country Dances (Thomas Ravenscroft)
- Ti Partir Cor Mio Caro (Filippo Azzaiolo)
- Tutto Lo Mal Che Va Facendo Amore (Giovanni de Antiquis)
- We Be Sailors Three (Ravenscroft)
- Wie Schon Bluht uns der Maien (Georg Liedlein)
- Instrumental pieces
Our members include accomplished harpers and recorder players, as well as talented singers. We often perform with the New Queens Ha’Penny Consort, a 16th century musical ensemble.
We can perform lively and graceful historical dances, from 16th century court and folk dances, to 18th century minuets and country dances, to Victorian waltzes and polkas. We can also teach simple dances to your guests, allowing them to join in the fun.
musical pieces (primarily sung in Italian and English, both a cappella and accompanied)
witty dialogue including a short, humorous poetry duel between two courtesans
lively period dancing
MEET & GREET/IMPROVISATIONAL STREET THEATER
In character with audience interactivity.
HISTORICAL ERAS & PERSONAS
While we can portray characters from any historical era (or fantasy!), from upper class to lower, we currently specialize in the following personas:
Bella Donna Venetian Courtesans: the courtesans of Renaissance Venice were highly educated upper class women trained in singing, dance, classics, poetry, rhetoric, and more. We portray these glittering ladies along with their courtiers and servants, providing singing, dancing, gambling, and flirtation, all in sumptous 16th century costumes.
- House of the Rising Sun: the legendary New Orleans house of ill repute — populated with French & Creole tarts, dancing girls, pirates, gamblers and the like — providing songs, games of chance, raucous improvisations, and historical anecdotes about 18th century New Orleans.
- Italian and French accent and language
- 16th, 17th, and 18th c. Italian, English, and French music
- 16th, 17th, and 18th c. clothing
- Female poets of 16th c. Italy
- Italian and French languages
- 16th c. sumptuary laws in Venice and England (as they relate to foreign visitors)
Our original, handmade costumes (made by Bella Donna members) are accurate reproductions of historical clothing. They have won numerous awards, including:
- Kendra Van Cleave’s Caterina costume was featured in the Italian Showcase at the Realm of Venus, where it won the runner-up award, 2009.
- Kendra Van Cleave’s Angelica costume was featured in the Italian Showcase at the Realm of Venus, where it won the Golden Rose Award (1st place) in the Italian Showcase of the Year Awards’ post-1550 category, 2006.
- Jennifer Erlichman’s Lucrezia costume was featured in the Italian Showcase at the Realm of Venus, where it won the Copper Rose Award (3rd place) in the Italian Showcase of the Year Awards’ post-1550 category, 2006.
- Jwlhyfer de Winter’s Seresina costume won Best in Class, Master, Interpretation in the historical masquerade at Costume Con 22; and was featured in the Italian Showcase at the Realm of Venus, where it won the Golden Rose Award (1st place) in the Italian Showcase of the Year Awards, 2003.