This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 13 June 2024, 6pm to 7.15pm
  • Location: In-person only
    National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

The Jesuit missions of South America were the source of a very large number of musical compositions, some by Jesuit musicians, but many more by anonymous Indigenous composers. All the compositions had one thing in common - they were written for indigenous people to sing and play.

Members of El Parnaso Hyspano, an Hispanic early music ensemble, will give the first UK performance of one of the most significant of these anonymous works, the 40-minute opera, San Francisco Xavier, written in the Chiquitano language in the early 18th century. It is the first known opera to be written in an indigenous language.

The concert performance will be framed by a panel discussion of some of the issues around authenticity and respect for Indigenous traditions and culture when approaching such music in a contemporary Western context.

This concert is presented as part of the 'Sound Faith: Religion and the Acoustic World' conference, and is generously supported by the University of York's Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies, Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, the Department of History and the Department of English and Related Literature.

Find out more about El Parnaso Hyspano.


  • San Francisco Xavier - Rafael Montero (tenor)
  • San Ignacio de Loyola - Kate Smith (soprano)
  • Violin 1 - Edmund Taylor
  • Violin 2 - Charlotte Amherst
  • Baroque harp - Emilia Agajew
  • Viola da gamba - Miriam Nohl
  • Percussion - Johnny Rodriguez


Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible