Acclaimed as one of the best choirs in the world, the Monteverdi Choir is a specialist baroque ensemble. Founded by Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 1964, for a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, it has become famous for its extensive repertoire, stretching from the Renaissance period to modern classical.
The ensemble is noted for its ability to switch composer and idiom with complete stylistic conviction. Last year, it undertook a variety of projects – from touring Bach’s Mass in B Minor and recording with the English Baroque Soloists to a tour of the US with Monteverdi’s Vespers and L’Orfeo. In 2015, the Monteverdi Choir also performed Mozart’s Requiem in D minor at both the Aldeburgh Festival and the annual Anima Mundi in Pisa: International Church Music Festival. It also collaborated with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra on Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
With more than 150 recordings to its name and numerous prizes, the Choir is particularly noted for an ability to communicate and engage with audiences worldwide through its dramatic flair and conviction in performance.
There have been a number of trailblazing tours – including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, during which the Choir performed all 198 of JS Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 different churches throughout Europe and America. The project was recorded by Soli Deo Gloria, the company’s own record label, and hailed as “one of the most ambitious musical projects of all time” by Gramophone magazine.
The Choir has also participated in several staged opera productions, including most recently Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in September 2015, working in collaboration with the Hofesh Schechter dance company. Other opera productions include Le Freyschütz (2010) and Carmen (2009) at the Opéra Comique in Paris, and in 2003 the Choir performed Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet.