Chicago-based vocal trio Artemisia (Diana Lawrence, Alexandra Olsavsky, Kaitlin Foley) harnesses the power of the female voice to tell stories through the vocal traditions of the world.
Praised for “sincerity, wit, and mind-blowing technique” (Vocal Arts Chicago) and for encouraging audiences to "celebrate the eternal feminine" (Robert McBride, All Classical Public Media), Artemisia brings diversity and accessibility to their programming. Not your typical stand-and-sing ensemble, Artemisia draws from a vast repertoire of vocal styes - from Appalachian folk, Tushetian highlander cries, Cuban dance music, and everything in-between to take audiences on a journey of sound and spirit with every performance.
Artemisia actively commissions and performs newly composed works by living female composers. Most recently, they performed a commissioned arrangement of "Es savai māmiņai" from Latvian composer, Kate Pukinskis, a liturgical premiere of Sungji Hong's Missa Lumen de Lumine, and a world premiere of "O Nata Lux", which Hong wrote specifically for the group. In addition to new commissions, all three members of Artemisia regularly compose for the group internally, frequently adding new arrangements and original compositions of their own to their programs.
In addition to performing, Artemisia provides educational outreach to community and youth ensembles on subjects such as cultural literacy through singing, improvisational songwriting, and female empowerment.
WHO WAS "ARTEMISIA"?
Artemisia's namesake is shared with (and inspired by) three women that held unusually great strength.
The first is Artemisia I of Caria - a fierce naval queen of Halicarnassus from 480 BCE known for personally commanding 5 ships during the naval battle of Artemisium and the naval Battle of Salamis, leading the fleets to victory in her husband's absence. This was much to the surprise (and admiration) of her male contemporaries.
Second, Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi was considered one of the most accomplished painters of her time, becoming one the first women to be a member of the renowned Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. Her specialty? Painting the figures of women of all likelihoods - strong, suffering, biblical, mythical.
The third is, of course, the Greek goddess of the hunt herself - Artemis. Wielding a bow and arrow but also responsible for escorting in safe childbirth, Artemis was known both in her governance over the hunt, and in her nurturing role as a mother of nature. She was one of the most widely worshiped mythological figures of her time.