Founded by John Eliot Gardiner as part of the breakaway period instrument movement of the 1960s, the Monteverdi Choir has always focused on bringing a new perspective to its repertoire.
With a combination of consummate choral technique and historically-informed performance practice, its real difference as an ensemble lies in its ability to communicate music to their audiences worldwide. The Choir goes beyond the music, seeking to make the visual impact of its performance enhance the experience, even exploiting the venues themselves in the search for immediacy and drama. This approach has led the Monteverdi Choir to be consistently acclaimed over the past 50 years as one of the best choirs in the world.
Amongst a number of trailblazing tours was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which the Choir performed all 198 of J S Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe and America. The entire project, recorded by the company’s record label Soli Deo Gloria was hailed as ‘one of the most ambitious musical projects of all time’ by Gramophone magazine. The Monteverdi Choir has over 150 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes.
The Choir is also committed to training future generations of singers through the Monteverdi Apprentices Programme. Many Apprentices go on to become full members of the Choir, and former Choir members have also gone on to enjoy successful solo careers.
The Choir has also participated in several staged opera productions, including Der Freischütz (2010), Carmen (2009) at the Opéra Comique in Paris, and Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In 2015, the Choir performed Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, working in collaboration with the Hofesh Shechter dance company.’
In addition, the Choir has taken part in a variety of projects across different repertoires – from an extensive tour of Bach St Matthew Passion (performed from memory) with the English Baroque Soloists to Berlioz Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms and Festival Berlioz with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner they have also collaborated with both the London Symphony Orchestra on Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtsraum and the Tonhalle Orchestra on Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass.
Recent achievements include the acclaimed Monteverdi 450 trilogy tour, which saw them perform all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas across Europe and in the US, and performances of Verdi’s Requiem alongside the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique – including a landmark concert at Westminster Cathedral in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The Monteverdi Choir is under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.