I Fagiolini is internationally renowned for its genuinely innovative productions: “The group are musical shapeshifters, following Hollingworth’s giddy, eclectic imagination wherever it leads” (The Spectator). Signature projects have included The Full Monteverdi by John La Bouchardière; Tallis in Wonderland, a new way of hearing polyphony with live and recorded voices; Simunye, the South African collaboration; How Like An Angel (HLAA), with Australian contemporary circus company C!RCA for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and performed at the Perth International Arts Festival, New York and in cathedrals across Europe; and Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama (with John La Bouchardière), an immersive theatre piece sung to the music of Gesualdo with dancers and singers set in ‘crime scenes’.
A year-long celebration of Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary in 2017 featured performances of The Other Vespers and L’Orfeo at venues including Glyndebourne, Cadogan Hall for the BBC Proms and Queen’s Hall as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Monteverdi: The Other Vespers was released on Decca Classics to great acclaim and shortlisted for a Gramophone award; “achieving a thrilling synergy of articulate instrumental playing, fulsome choral ripienos and dexterous solo singing”(Gramophone). The celebrations continued in 2018 with performances of L’Orfeo in Antwerp (AMUZ) and further afield. In 2019 the production developed with director Thomas Guthrie’s use of masks, with performances in Stour, York and London.
I Fagiolini explored ‘Art through the prism of Music’ with leading da Vinci expert Professor Martin Kemp in Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible. Touring extensively throughout 2019, the programme celebrated the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in music and image. The album was released on CORO to high acclaim; “Yet again, the eight-strong vocal ensemble... has come up with an ingenious ‘concept’ programme that stirs the mind and heart, illuminates the past, and ravishes the ear” (The Telegraph). Tracks were premiered at The National Gallery in its own da Vinci celebrations; films and further commentary feature in Apple Music, Gramophone Magazine and Classic FM’s online galleries. Following its success, Robert and music from the album appeared in Phil Grabsky’s new da Vinci film for Exhibition on Screen Leonardo: The Works. The film received its UK premiere at Chichester Film Festival and appeared in cinemas across the world including Dubai and Vancouver film festivals - it will appear in Exhibition on Screen’s ITV series.
Touring more art and music, I Fagiolini – Au Naturel is a rich choral calendar inspired by Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s The Seasons, particularly poignant in our changing climate. The programme featured in I Fagiolini’s Moscow debut as part of the British Council’s ‘UK-Russia Year of Music’. A new programme based on T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ will showcase a series of five modern Nocturns including Victoria’s Tenebrae Responsories, the Lamentations of Jeremiah and Lassus’ Sibylline Prophecies premiering in 2021 for the Tenebrae Festival. Reprising its collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, an immersive Purcell dance programme, A Purcell Phantasy, is also in planning.
Previous Decca Classics discs include Striggio Mass in 40 parts (2011 Early Music Gramophone and Diapason D’or Award), Amuse-Bouche - French Choral Delicacies, and 1612 Italian Vespers. The group is delighted to be Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of York. I Fagiolini is managed worldwide by Percius. www.percius.co.uk