I Fagiolini

Grounded in the classics of Renaissance and Twentieth-century vocal repertoire, I Fagiolini is renowned for its innovative and often staged productions of this music. I Fagiolini has staged Handel with masks, Purcell with puppets, and in 2004 premièred The Full Monteverdi, a dramatised account of the composer’s Fourth Book of Madrigals (1603) by John La Bouchardière, which has since been turned into a highly successful film, shown all over the world. In 2006 I Fagiolini toured its 1990s South African collaboration Simunye and in 2009 created Tallis in Wonderland, a new way of hearing polyphony with live and recorded voices. 

In 2011, I Fagiolini celebrated its 25th anniversary with a commission from Orlando Gough The Spell, a new semi-staged production of Purcell's King Arthur with the English Concert, and the hugely successfulworld première recording of Striggio Mass in 40 Parts on Decca. The recording stayed at the top of the specialist classical chart for nearly four months and won the 2011 Gramophone Early Music Award and a Diapason d’or de l’année.

2012 featured a tour of Striggio Mass in 40 parts, the group's Royal Albert Hall Proms debut and the release of 1612 Italian Vespers (Gramophone CD of the month), premiering multi-choir music by Viadana and reconstructing a ‘lost’ Gabrieli Magnificat. It also saw the launch of yet another unlikely collaboration, How Like An Angel (HLAA), this time with Australian contemporary circus company Circa. HLAA premièred in February 2012 as part of the Perth International Arts Festival and toured the UK as part of the London 2012 returning in 2013 with 22 sell-out shows. I Fagiolini closed the year with a new production for Opera North of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion. 2014-15 included debuts at the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Shakespeare’s Globe), Carnegie Hall and sees I Fagiolini's first tour of Australia with Music Viva, including a new commission by Andrew Schultz and Timothy Knapman. 

I Fagiolini's most recent immersive theatre project, Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama, premièred at the Barbican in May 2015. Again conceived by John La Bouchardière, this immersive theatre work with dancers and singers was set in 'crime scenes' and used the unsettling music of Carlo Gesualdo.

Forthcoming projects include Carnivale Veneziano (Monteverdi to Monty Python), further performances of Betrayal, the release of Draw on Sweet Night (a film and CD about John Wilbye), BBC broadcasts, two Wigmore Halls, a semi-staged production of Monteverdi L'Orfeo in Venice, a new Bach collaboration with Circa and for Monteverdi's anniversary in 2017, Monteverdi on the Move. 

I Fagiolini's next recording project for Decca, Amuse-bouche, includes the world première of Jean Francaix's Ode a la Gastronomie and an arrangement for piano and voices by Roderick Williams of the slow movement of the Adagio from Ravel Piano Concerto in G. The CD will be released in spring 2016 and toured in summer 2016.

The name I Fagiolini continues to be misspelt and mispronounced wherever it goes from Africa to Australia; in 2005 the group was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Prize. I Fagiolini has recorded 20 CDs and four DVDs is delighted to be Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of York.

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