St Mary's Church, Wendover

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Principals from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Pei-Jee Ng & Pei-Sian Ng / Benjamin Firth
Elias String Quartet

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© Wendover Music
reg charity no: 1072921

president : Ian Partridge CBE


JUNE 09th, 2007

St Mary's Parish Church, Wendover


[vocal ensemble]



I FagioliniI Fagiolini's Theatre of Music project presents newly commissioned or sixteenth/seventeenth century music theatre masterworks that have been otherwise ignored due to their difficult context or complicated staging needs. Purcell's Indian Queen with puppets, masked Venetian comedies and mini dramas by Janequin (La Chasse) and Da Flecha (La Bomba, El Fuego) have all been brought back to life in highly imaginative settings by Peter Wilson, John La Bouchardière (English National Opera) and John Fulljames (Royal Opera House). The Full Monteverdi was hailed by The Times as "a compelling but upsetting piece of theatre… A bleak but brilliant evening"; by The Guardian as "an unforgettable experience" and by The Independent as "music theatre hardly comes more visceral than this."

The name I Fagiolini has been misspelt and mispronounced throughout the world: as well as working extensively in Western Europe, I Fagiolini has visited some of the most interesting countries on the globe, often as ambassadors for the British Council. Particular highlights include Hong Kong, China, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, The Ukraine and the USA. In April 1997 they spent two weeks in South Africa working with a choir from Soweto on a partly improvised album, Simunye. This original and moving project was released by Erato on their crossover label Detour, toured to Europe, South Africa and Bermuda, returning to the UK in May of 2006 for an acclaimed UK tour.

Collaborations have been a feature of recent years: Bach's St. John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Christmas Vespers in Venice with the English Cornett and sackbut Ensemble, Byrd with Fretwork and Concordia and a new project with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Robert Hollingworth. In December 2006, they work with the Academy of Ancient Music for a Bach project which will also include a new commission from Adrian Williams. The group's achievements were duly recognised in May 2006 when the Royal Philharmonic Society presented them with their Ensemble Award.

I Fagiolini release the first disc of a New Monteverdi Series for Chandos in November 2006 and in January 2007 film The Full Monteverdi for TV and release on DVD in 2008. They have released twelve other CDs including English Renaissance works and a focus on Venice with Carnevale Veneziano, Andrea Gabrieli - The Madrigal in Venice: Politics, Dialogues and Pastorales, (nominated for a Gramophone award) and a DVD of Vecchi's masked comedy L'Amfiparnaso with actor Simon Callow. This was the first DVD of a staged Renaissance work described as "a silk purse [turned] into one beaded in gold… we end up with the best of all worlds" (Gramophone) and "a triumph for I Fagiolini and Chandos and a benchmark for the DVD industry as a whole" (International Record Review).

I Fagiolini's fast rising educational profile takes in all ages, from adult masterclasses at the Dartington International Summer School to children's workshops funded by the National Foundation of Youth Music.

Robert HollingworthROBERT HOLLINGWORTH founded I Fagiolini in 1986. Directing this group has taken up most of his time since but he has directed other ensembles at home and abroad, most recently the Netherlands Chamber Choir in a ground-breaking new music-theatre project (Faust) universally acclaimed by the Dutch press and set in startling venues such as an Amsterdam vast ship-building yard and a disused station. He directed Opera Zuid's underground production of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (with Rufus Müller in the title role), and the BBC Concert Orchestra in a project with The Full Monty composer, Anne Dudley. He founded the spectacular Islington Winter Music Festival, writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio 3 and has worked on a number of films including Quills. In June 2006 he was appointed to the panel of Artistic Directors at the York Early Music Festival.

PHOTOGRAPHS and text reproduced from the I Fagiolini and Hazard Chase websites.

I FAGIOLINI is acknowledged worldwide as the most innovative British vocal ensemble specialising in early music. Their stylish staged productions of Renaissance and Baroque music-theatre works together with virtuosic performances of contemporary repertoire have won them friends from the BBC Proms to Soweto, and brought this repertoire to both specialist and completely new audiences.


This new programme is the next step in I Fagiolini's exploration of Claudio Monteverdi, following on from The Full Monteverdi - acclaimed as one of the most innovative productions for vocal ensemble ever experienced. Flaming Heart brings together the rich variety of Monteverdi's secular music from a capella madrigals to intimate duets and grander works with strings
In the prologue to Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, La Musica tells how she can "inflame the most frozen hearts."


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