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Flora, from Campion's wedding masque
Flora, from Campion's wedding masque

These sumptuous, colourful performances make a truly magical and unique addition to your day.
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For your wedding, we can provide anything from a single costumed lutenist to an entire masque. We understand how important it is for everything to be right on your special day, and will discuss our ideas at length with you to make sure that we create something which suits your wedding perfectly.

For one wedding, we created new music just for the occasion, and recorded it for the bride and groom to keep. At another, the bride and groom chose to play a part in the masque, speaking a scripted interchange before being seated in the place of honour to receive the blessings and good wishes of various classical deities and spirits. These sumptuous, colourful performances make a truly magical and unique addition to your day.

In creating our performances we draw on original Elizabethan and Jacobean masques such as Campion's masque in honour of the marriage of Lord Hayes, Earl of Carlisle and favourite of James I, to Honora Denny, daughter of the Sherrif of Hertfordshire. In this masque Flora, the goddess of flowers and representative of Phoebus (Apollo), arrives with Zephyrus, the west wind and her lover, to present their good wishes to the happy couple. However, Night appears with her nine Hours to protest against the marriage, which is robbing her mistress Cynthia (Diana) of a nymph (the bride) from her train. Fortunately the Evening Star Hesperus appears to announce that Phoebus has pacified Cynthia, who is now content to see her nymph married. All celebrate and bless the marriage, and Night causes the trees in the grove to dance for joy. The reconciliation between Phoebus and Cynthia symbolised not only the marriage which the masque celebrated, but also the union between Scotland and England formed by James' accession to the throne and further strengthened by this marriage.

Below is some text from this masque.

Firstly, the song which opens the play. The script tells us that as the masque opens the tune of the song is played and Flora and Zephyrus are seen plucking flowers from Flora's bower and filling baskets held by two Silvans. Then they process down stage followed by these Silvans and four more with instruments, and when they reached 'the dancing place' the four Silvans begin to play while Zephyrus and the two Silvans sing this song and Flora casts flowers all about.

The second is the short dialogue about marriage which in one of our performances was spoken by the bride and groom.

Now hath Flora rob'd her bowers
To befrend this place with flowers
Strowe about, strowe about,
The Sky rayn'd never kindlyer showers.
Flowers with Bridalls well agree,
Fresh as Brides, and Bridgomes be,
Strowe about, strowe about,
And mixe them with fit melodie.
Earth hath no Princelier flowers
Then Roses white, and Roses red,
But they must still be mingléd.
And as a Rose new pluckt from Venus' thorne
So doth a Bride her Bride groomes' bed adorne.

Divers divers Flowers affect
For some private deare respect,
Strowe about, strowe about,
Let every one his owne protect.
But hees none of Flora's friend
That will not the Rose commend.
Strowe about, strowe about,
Let Princes Princely flowers defend.
Roses the Garden's pride,
Are flowers for love, and flowers for Kinges,
In courts desired and Weddings.
And as a Rose in Venus' bosome worne,
So doth a Bridegroome his Bride's bed adorne.

Bridegroom: Who is the happier of the two,
a maide or a wife?
Bride: Which is more to be desired,
Peace or Strife?
Bridegroom: What strife can be where two are one,
Or what delight to pine alone?
Bride: None such true freendes, none so sweet life,
As that betweene the man and wife.
Bridegroom: A maide is free, a wife is tied.
Bride: No maide but same would be a Bride.
Bridegroom: Why live so many single, then.
Tis not I hope for want of men?
Bride: The bow and arrow both may fit,
And yet tis hard the marke to hit.
Bridegroom: He levels faire that by his side
Laies at night his lovely Bride.

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