“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 are the fabulous early music soprano Josie Ryan and some of Australia’s finest viol players: The Emerald City Viols. Based in Sydney, Australia, the group performs rarely heard works from the Renaissance and arrangements and compositions by their director, Brooke Green. Music by other Australian composers such as Ross Edwards and Elena Kats-Chernin is often included along with works by international composers such as Arvo Part and Andrea Pandolfo. Brooke Green’s arrangement of Pandolfo’s Albanese – a moving lament from the perspective of a refugee mother – has been popularly viewed on You Tube.
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. 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.
Since 2011, Josie and the Emeralds have presented concerts in Sydney and Canberra, appearing each November at the Glebe Music Festival. They have been critically acclaimed for performing “…adoringly: not merely with precision and finesse, but a palpable and abiding admiration….” (Brad Syke, Australian Stage 08/01/2013). Their recordings have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM and their debut CD The Emerald Leopard (Tall Poppies) was released in late 2014.