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
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.
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.