The Cantastorie (story-singers) were performers who combined musical improvisation and sung poetry in Italy around the 14th and 15th centuries. Although there are many accounts of their performances, the work of the Cantastorie belonged to an unwritten tradition that has been lost in time. Their influence, however, is ubiquitous to the later Italian genres such as the frottola, the madrigal, and even the 17th-century monody. In 2005, Hector Sequera was inspired by the creative freedom of these 15th-century performers to form the ensemble Cantastorie. The aim of the group is to bring to life Hector's research projects that concentrate on music from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

The ensemble was started by Hector and soprano Rebecca Beasley. They worked together in the Americas on numerous projects such as The Coronation of Poppea, collaborations in smaller chamber programs as well as lute song programmes including concerts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Crested Butte Early Music Festival, and performances and masters classes in Venezuela, among others.

Hector moved to England in 2005 to read for a PhD in performance practice. He is now very active as a performer, musicologist, and tutor throughout Europe and the UK. Hector often performs with soprano Penelope Appleyard and with various combinations of instruments and voices as demanded by the different programmes based on his research and music editions. Please visit the Events page for up to date information on performances, conferences, and more.


Our story...

Hector performing at the Barber Institute of Arts, Birmingham 2009. Photo Trung Thanh Nguyen.

Baroque guitar rose, Michael Schreiner, Canada. Photo HS.