THE GOOD PENNYWORTHS, a vocal quartet with lute accompaniment, closes an eight-city Midwestern tour with their return to the LSA’s Lute Festival. The ensemble was founded in 2007 to explore English lute songs and ballads with dramatic flair. Since then, their inventive interpretations and witty musicality have been a hit with audiences around the country. Notable appearances include the 2009 Boston Early Music Festival, the Lute Society of America’s 2008 Lute Festival, Early Music in Columbus’ 2008 Summer Concert Mini Series, and an eight-city Southeastern tour in January 2009. In January 2010, they were one of six Early Music ensembles to perform in the Gotham Early Music Scene/Nancy Carlin Associates’ showcase concert for music presenters from around the country. The ensemble released its first studio album, Love! Lust! Longing… Loss – an Elizabethan Romp, in December 2009.
Garald Farnham, Artistic Director (Baritone & Lutes) has entertained children and adults on four continents with his Renaissance spirit and song. He began collecting and studying lute songs in his 20s, when his interest was piqued while acting in Shakespeare plays. For fifteen years, Garald studied lute with renowned lutenist Patrick O’Brien. He spent years entertaining theatergoers outside the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, as well as at street fairs and Renaissance festivals. He has served as Musical Director for Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice at Pennsylvania Shakespeare, The Tempest at North Shore Music Theatre and The Winter’s Tale Off-Off-Broadway. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Lute Society of America and holds a music degree from the Capital University Conservatory of Music.
Erika Lloyd (Soprano) is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, with a Bachelors degree in Voice Performance – Early Music. She was a featured soloist in groups such as Pro Arte and The Early Music Ensemble at Indiana University, and has performed in numerous recitals including the Palais Corbelli in Vienna, Austria. She is the soprano section leader and soloist at the Union Church of Bay Ridge and a member of the choral ensemble Choral Chameleon. She is also the lead singer/co-composer/trumpet player for the indie rock band, Little Grey Girlfriend, whose third album, “Green-Wood,” was released this May. In an unexpected collision of Erika’s musical worlds, the Grammy-nominated group Chanticleer has announced that it will be performing a choral arrangement of Erika’s song, “Cells Planets,” written for her band’s second album of the same name, on the next Chanticleer world tour!
Alane Marco (Soprano) holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. In NYC, she had the unique opportunity to sing in four 10th century mystery plays with Voice & Vision at the Cloisters Museum. Other NYC credits include Opera Nova (Puck, Oberon; 3rd Lady, Magic Flute; ass’t director, Carmen), soloist at Advent Lutheran Church, and new works by composer Susan Stoderl in Under Construction: Works in Progress. While at Yale, she sang doo-wop in composer-in-residence Kim D. Sherman’s opera Long Island Dreamer, and appeared in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, directed by George Steel (now head of NYC Opera). In DC, she won vocal scholarships at the Levine School of Music, was a founding member of the DC-based vocal ensemble Polyhymnia, soloist for Luther Place Church, and appeared in DC-area recitals, plays and musicals. Alane cut her teeth on musical theatre, doing lead and ensemble roles in 18 operettas and musicals at the College Light Opera Company on Cape Cod. In another life, she worked in theatrical management and marketing on and Off-Broadway. Alane studies voice with soprano Marcia Young.
Christopher Preston Thompson (Tenor) is a versatile singer/actor whose experience ranges from Shakespearean roles to cabaret/musical theatre to opera. NYC credits include recent world premiers of The Theory of Everything as Anton with Encompass New Opera Theatre – a new opera by John David Earnest and Nancy Rhodes, and The Pig, the Farmer, and the Artist as the Artist – a new opera by multiple Grammy nominee, David Chesky. Other NYC credits include the roles of Remendado in Carmen, and Mercury in Orpheus in the Underworld with the Bronx Opera Company, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus with Opera Manhattan, the premier of new musical Verse of Fortune as Emile Deroy, Prince Edward and Lord Stanley in Richard III with Nicu’s Spoon Theatre, as well as Basilio/Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. Regional credits include Goro in Madama Butterfly with the Opera Company of the Highlands, Dr. Cajus in Falstaff at the Crested Butte Music Festival, Gastone in La Traviata with the New Rochelle Opera, Cymbeline in Cymbeline with the Great River Shakespeare Festival, cabaret performances with the Riverside Theatre, and the historic revival of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots at the Bard Summerscape Music Festival.
Katherine Harte-DeCoux, Guest Artist (Stage Direction, Shakespeare Text Adaptation) is an actor/director/playwright originally from Michigan and is the Founder/Artistic Director of Mortal Folly Theatre in NYC. She has studied Shakespeare, stage combat, and history while abroad in London and Scotland and also has a background in choral performance and musical theatre. Regional directing/ production/ performance credits include Bushwick Shakespeare Repertory, the New York Renaissance Faire, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Milestone Productions and Events, the Looking Glass Theatre and the Hudson Shakespeare Company in New Jersey. Other interests include social anthropology, fine wines and beers, and occasionally coming to blows with people who insist that Kit Marlowe and Francis Bacon did any of the heavy lifting in the canon.