Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya

From EastKingdomWiki
Revision as of 19:07, 21 December 2018 by Lilya (talk | contribs) (Introduction)
Jump to: navigation, search
Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya
Resides: Canton of Broken Bridge
Status: Active
Awards: Order of Precedence
Gules, a winged ounce rampant contourny, head to sinister, argent incensed and a base rayonny Or
Award & Office Badges
HarpArgentCaid.png Troubadour


Sayyida Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya is an artist who specializes in late medieval and Renaissance vocal and theatrical performance. She is most known for her performances of 13th-15th century Ladino music, and her groundbreaking research into the roots of Sephardic musical traditions. Laila is also building a reputation as a visual artist, receiving particular notice for her Renaissance-style chiarascuro figural studies in charcoal and clay.

Laila teaches classes on vocal performance, classical Arabic music, late Renaissance English theatre, and the historical role of courtesans in the performing arts. She is currently working with The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan to develop new classes on color theory and figure drawing. Laila is the head of the House of the Lotus, a 16th century Safavid Persian house of courtesans. She is the Chair of Opera Studies for the East Kingdom College of Performers, and is a member of the Keepers of Athena's Thimble, the Velvet Mask, the Known World Courtesans, Clan Blue Feather.

Sayyida Laila has been in the SCA since 1993, almost all of that time spent in Caid (Barony of the Western Seas, Barony of Angels, and Barony of Lyondemere). She has recently moved to the East Kingdom, and expects the move to be permanent. She is in a relationship with The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan and Sayyid Jibril al-Ghazal.

Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya is the former Bard of Caid, and a member of the Order of the Troubadour and the Order of the Harp Argent (Caid). She was formerly known as Elizaveta Arievna Lebedeva.

Sayyida Laila is currently serving as the Arts & Sciences Champion for the Barony of Bhakail.


"Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī


Coming Soon!

Offices & Positions

  • LyonBard (Baronial Bardic Champion), Barony of Lyondemere, Caid, 2004-2005
  • Arts & Sciences Officer, Barony of Lyondemere, Caid, 2005-2006
  • Bard of Caid, Caid, January 2007 to January 2008
  • Retainer to TRM Willhelm and Vienna, East Kingdom, October 2018-present
  • Chair of Opera Studies, East Kingdom College of Performing Arts, December 2018-present
  • Bhakail Arts & Sciences Champion, Barony of Bhakail, December 2018-present

Recent Competitions

  • 2nd Place, Vocal Performance, Ffesty Pen Eisteddfod, Barony of Settmour Swamp, 11/3/2018
  • Winner, Paper & Ink, St. Eligius Arts & Sciences, Barony of Dragonship Haven, 11/10/2018
  • Winner, Bhakail Arts & Sciences Championship, Bhakail Yule, Barony of Bhakail, 12/8/2018

Event Staff

  • Class Instructor, Harper's Retreat, August 2002
  • Class Instructor, 100s of events in Caid, 2003-2008
  • Class Instructor, Hunter's Moon, 08/31/2018 to 09/03/2018
  • Class Instructor, The Feast of John Barleycorn, 09/07/2018 to 09/09/2018
  • Court Musician, Coronation of Wilhelm von Ostenbrücke and Vienna de la Mer, 09/29/2018

Classes Offered

  • Medieval and Renaissance Vocal Performance
  • Introduction to Classical Arabic Music
  • Songs of Sorrow: Ladino/Sephardic Song
  • Shakespeare's Advice to the Players: Authentic Renaissance Acting Technique
  • Diaries, Speeches & Letters: Non-Traditional Monologue Material for the Discerning Actor
  • Renaissance Vocal Ornamentation
  • Courtesans and the Performing Arts

Projects & Publications

Research Projects

Compendium of Arabic Musical Modes & Structures In Use Before 1600

IN PROGRESS. I am systematically collecting and categorizing the maqamat (musical modes), iqa'at (rhythmic modes), musical forms and structures whose use can be documented before 1600. This includes in depth analysis of period sources, including al-Farabi, al-Kindi, al-Ghazali, and Safi al-Din, as well as a study of modern scholarship on the topic, especially the work of H.G. Farmer. If you are interested in contributing to this project, especially if you are able to read Arabic, Persian, or Turkish, please contact me.

Compendium of Period Ladino & Sephardic Music

ON-GOING. I am building a library of period Ladino and Sephardic music (sheet music, recordings, and videos). In cases where I have been unable to locate published sheet music, I have been transcribing the songs from recordings. The compendium includes multiple versions of some songs, as well as a range of options on ornamentation. If you have pieces that you would like to contribute to the compendium, please contact me.

Resource List: Courtesans in the Performing Arts

ON-GOING. I am building an anotated bibliography (with links) of resources pertaining to the role of courtesans in the performing arts before 1600, categorized by time period and culture.

Design Projects

Household Architecture Project: The Lotus House

IN PROGRESS. Led by The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan, The House of the Lotus is embarking on a large-scale project to design our household estates, located in Isfahan, Persia, in the year 1599. The project will include a research paper, drawings and elevations, and a scale model.

In Case of Court

Sayyida Laila usually attends court. She does not mind being called up without notice. She is in a wheelchair and it may take her some time to process to the dais.

More Information

Artistic Interests

Performing Arts

  • Period Vocal Music (Ladino, Persian, Arabic, early Italian opera, European art song)
  • Classical Arabic Music (vocal performance, composition)
  • Persian Music (vocal performance, composition)
  • Renaissance English Theatre (performance, composition)
  • Persian Poetry (performance, composition)
  • Persian Dance
  • Bharata Natyam (Classical Indian dance) - no longer practicing, due to disability

Visual Arts

  • Italian Renaissance Drawing (chiaroscuro)
  • Renaissance sculpture
  • Indian sculpture

Scribal Arts

  • Calligraphy (preferred hands: English Bastard Secretary, Batarde, Fraktur)
  • Arabic Calligraphy
  • Hebrew Calligraphy
  • Sanskrit Calligraphy
  • Illumination (multiple styles)

Fiber Arts

  • Embroidery (multiple styles)
  • Kumihimo
  • Costuming (especially Persian and Turkish)

Research Interests

  • Safavid Persia
  • Andalucia before and immediately after the fall of Cordoba
  • The role of courtesans in the performing arts
  • Women's history
  • Professional performing artists in the Renaissance
  • Jewish history
  • The silk road

Guild Memberships & Affiliations

  • East Kingdom College of Performers
  • The Velvet Mask (Company of the Sable Domino)
  • Knowne World Courtesans Guild
  • Clan Blue Feather
  • Keepers of Athena's Thimble

Disability Needs

Sayyida Laila has a rare disease that affects her mobility and causes her joints to subluxate and dislocate frequently. She uses a wheelchair, but can walk short distances with forearm crutches, and very short distances unaided. Should an emergency occur at an event, please inform paramedics that she has Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome with Hypermobile Crossover, and is at severe risk of aneurysm and organ rupture due to faulty collagen. She must not be handled roughly, as this could result in multiple dislocations.

Parting Words

"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī