“The viols wrap around each other as lovers, entwined in a sensual dance of melody and meter…” (Brad Syke, Australian Stage 08/01/2013)
Josie and the Emeralds is the critically acclaimed chamber group performing music from medieval to modern, including compositions by Artistic Director Brooke Green. Fundamentally a soprano and viol consort with soprano Josie Ryan, the group expands according to their diverse and innovative programs.
The consort includes some of Australia’s finest viol players such as Laura Vaughan, Laura Moore, Daniel Yeadon, Fiona Ziegler, Catherine Upex, Alice Chance, Imogen Granwal, Annika Stagg and Anthea Cottee. Guest artists have featured Richard Boothby (Fretwork, UK), Wendy Gillespie, Lisa Terry, Mary Springfels, Sarah Mead, Rebecca Humphrey, (all from USA), Joelle Morton (Canada), Elizabeth Rumsey, (Switzerland), bass player Jacques Emery, lutenist and theorbist Simon Martyn-Ellis and sopranos Amy Moore and Belinda Montgomery.
Josie and the Emeralds’ programmes have been variously themed around topics as diverse as the lives of Jeanne d’Arc, Orlando Gibbons and Dorothy Porter. A Very Emerald Shakespeare focuses on music and drama in Shakepeare’s times with the actor Alex Bryant-Smith. One of their most sumptuous programmes was for the National Gallery of Australia: Music and Painting of the Italian Renaissance exploring connections between music and art. In 2018 Josie and The Emeralds presented Music in this Stillness: five concerts of 15th century music with several premieres of works commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW in association with The Lady and The Unicorn Exhibition. The premieres included works by Moya Henderson, Bree van Reyk, Alice Chance, Amanda Cole, Victoria Pham and Brooke Green.
Brooke Green’s arrangement of Andrea Pandolfo’s Albanese – a moving lament from the perspective of a refugee mother – has been popularly viewed on You Tube. Since 2011, Josie and the Emeralds have appeared each year at the Glebe Music Festival. Their recordings have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Fine Music. Their CD The Emerald Leopard (Tall Poppies) includes works by Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Morley, Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin Andrea Pandolfo and Brooke Green.