"Barbara Strozzi’s music is steeped in the experimental language of early opera. Every word receives its own musical shape that magically conjures up images and emotions. Although she never wrote an opera herself, Strozzi studied with Cavalli, one of opera’s earliest and greatest practitioners. I have always been drawn to the music of Barbara Strozzi. I find her tenacity, confidence, and virtuosity enormously inspiring. And so her first publication, the Madrigals (Op. 1) of 1644, was the perfect choice of music for Pinchgut’s first film project. Just as Barbara’s Op. 1 was her formal debut into professional life, so too does our film represent our first foray in the world of cinema. In this project I was honoured to be joined by director Constantine Costi and designer Charlotte Mungomery. Both brought their considerable creative talents to bear on this project, which brings contemporary focus to universal issues of human existence whilst respecting the traditions and conventions from which the music sprang."
Erin Helyard, Musical Director, Conductor and Keyboards
"Working alongside Erin Helyard and the Pinchgut Opera team was an unforgettable and extraordinary experience. Their courage to shoot a film of this scale and daring in the midst of global unrest and uncertainty is nothing short of inspirational."
- Constantine Costi, Director
"Crafting a film for the music of Barbara Strozzi was an honour. At the age of 25 she wrote a series of madrigals, that unbeknownst to her, 4 centuries later, would be transformed into a work of visual poetry: A Delicate Fire. Whilst working on this project I became hyper aware of my own age (also 25): as I simultaneously felt a synergy with Barbara yet was also intimidated by her profound capacity to create a work of art so universal & intimate at such an age. I think it was this strange transhistorical pressure and the connection I felt to her as a creative that inspired the depth and delicacy of my work production designing and co-creating the visuals for this operatic film. There was also something wildly exciting about the challenge of shooting a film amidst a global pandemic. While the world was falling apart outside the film studio, we were creating new worlds within it. I deeply respect Pinchgut for taking the risk to facilitate such an ambitious project in these uncertain times. I have a feeling however that the unique circumstances of 2020 are what made the content of this film so special and truly unique."
- Charlotte Mungomery, Production Designer
Pinchgut Opera acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the first story-tellers and singers of songs. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging.