Farewell to Alexander

We are sad to announce that Alexander Chance is leaving the group after three years. He has been a fantastic colleague, and his wonderful singing and musicianship, humour and cricketing prowess will be greatly missed.

“In the frantic rush to find Christmas presents for friends and family, I am minded to give only one thing this year: the recent Christmas CD by The Gesualdo Six. I do not say this in an attempt to plug the disc, which is selling very well; more out of pride that I can say I was part of it, and that I can cherish it as a memento of my time with the group. I was lucky enough to sing with The Gesualdo Six for three years–a time of great development for all of us–and left earlier this year with only the fondest memories, of splendid music-making in fantastic venues, and of great friendships. This disc represents, I think, the best of what we were able to achieve in those three years: a pure blend, which allows individual colour to shine through, and the versatility to engage with a vast repertoire. I am very sad to have left.”

Here are some of our favourite photos of his time with us. We wish Alexander the best as he pursues his solo singing career, and look forward to making an announcement about our new colleague shortly.

Alexander Chance Countertenor May 2016 – Sept 2019

Morning Star – Epiphany Concerts

We are looking forward our first concerts of 2020, when we will be performing a beautiful programme of music for Epiphany in Boxgrove, Salisbury and Dursley.

For centuries Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. Morning Star features renaissance and contemporary music sung around the plainsong propers of a mass for Epiphany.

The programme will include Cornelius The Three Kings, Sally Beamish In the stillness, Byrd Praise our Lord all ye Gentiles and works by Judith BinghamCecilia McDowallArvo Pärt and Palestrina.

“The Gesualdo Six are outstanding, shifting impeccably from Renaissance polyphony to twenty-first century music.” – Seen and Heard International


3 January 2020
UK | Boxgrove
Boxgrove Priory
Start time: 6:00 PM
Ticket Link


4 January 2020
UK | Salisbury
St Martin’s Church
Start time: 6:00 PM
Ticket Link


5 January 2020
UK | Dursley
St James the Great
Start time: 4:00 PM
Ticket Link

USA Tour October 2020

We are very excited to announce that we will be making our first trip to the United States in October 2020.

The tour schedule is currently being prepared by our Artist Manager, Tim Wayne-Wright, who is welcoming enquires by Email.

Our 2019-2020 season includes international tours to Australia: Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne (February 2020); and two trips to Canada: Ottawa, Toronto, Elora, CAMMAC, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Vancouver (July and October 2020).

We are looking forward to bringing our favourite music to new audiences across the pond!

Read about our first international tour to Canada here.

Australia Tour February 2020

We are excited to reveal that we will be making our first trip to Australia in February 2020.

We have been invited to give two concerts by Perth Festival, and will then travel to Adelaide to perform at the UKARIA Festival before finishing up in Melbourne to collaborate with SongMakers Australia.

14 February 2020
Australia | Perth
Perth Festival | Winthrop Hall
ANCIENT VOICES with The Giovanni Consort & Voyces
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


15 February 2020
Australia | Perth
Perth Festival | Winthrop Hall
ENGLISH MOTETS
Start time: 1:00 PM
Ticket Link


16 February 2020
Australia | Adelaide
UKARIA Cultural Centre
PASSION & POLYPHONY
Start time: 2:30 PM
Ticket Link


18 February 2020
Australia | Melbourne
CROSSING THE BAR with Songmakers


During 2020 we will also be touring Canada: Ottawa, Toronto, Elora, CAMMAC, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Vancouver (July and October 2020) and the USA (October 2020).

We are looking forward to bringing our favourite music to new audiences down under! Please direct enquires by email to our Artist Manager, Tim Wayne-Wright.

Christmas Tour 2019

We are excited to be touring a programme of festive works from our Christmas CD at the end of this year.

For centuries Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. This programme reaches across the ages, from the eternal beauty of the Tudor church right up to the twenty-first century, with each piece chosen to evoke a sense of mystery and joy.

Watch a collection of our Christmas videos on YouTube.

Purchase our Christmas CD recording.


26 November 2019
BBC Radio 3
Live from 5:00 PM
Programme Link


29 November 2019
Christmas CD Launch
UK | London | St Peter’s Eaton Square
Start time: 7:00 PM
Ticket Link


30 November 2019
UK | Uppingham
Uppingham School Chapel
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


2 December 2019
UK | Ely
Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


6 December 2019
Germany | Neuss
Basilica of St Quirinus
Start time: 8:00 PM
Ticket Link


8 December 2019
UK | York
National Centre for Early Music
Start time: 6:30 PM
Ticket Link


10 December 2019
UK | Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle School Chapel
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


11 December 2019
UK | Lincoln
St Nicholas’ Church
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


17 December 2019
France | Paris
Oratoire du Louvre
Start time: 8:30 PM
Ticket Link


20 December 2019
UK | London
King’s Place
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


Autumn Report

Hello from us all at The Gesualdo Six! As we await the start of Advent and our festive concert series, it feels like a good opportunity to talk about a few of the wonderful projects that we enjoyed this autumn before we look ahead to a few of the exciting things that are coming up towards the end of this year!

It so happened that autumn would take us to all the constituent parts of the UK, starting with St. Asaph in North Wales. The cathedral there is stunning and proved to be a perfect acoustic for our Mother Earth programme. We enjoyed a delicious cream tea in the sun overlooking the graveyard, which includes the last resting place of organist and composer William Matthias, who’s music all the members of the group have performed in other guises.

Rehearsal in St. Asaph

We had a wonderful time in early October working with the fantastic trumpeter Matilda Lloyd. These type of collaborations are a really wonderful way to refresh ourselves musically: allowing us both to explore new repertoire and to learn from and grow with fellow musicians. So it proved working with Matilda, and with her it was a delight to revisit some past venues in Wells and Clifton in Bristol. On our way back to London we performed at Hurstbourne Tarrant, at the kind invitation of some of our patrons.

We revisited a further three venues in the middle of this October: St Mary’s, Warwick with Leamington Early Music performing Music of the Heavenly Spheres, some English Motets at the Little Missenden Festival (followed by some karaoke!) and Passion and Polyphony at North Luffenham (after some cricket nets).

Rehearsal under some of the amazing frescoes of Little Missenden
Joseph Wicks to Owain “Out-of-the-” Park in North Luffenham. Josh is in the covers.

A few days later including rehearsals and preparation in London, we boarded a long train to St. Andrews to continue our tour of UK nations. The rail journey was stunning, especially along the Firth of Forth. We were very excited to work with the choir of St. Salvator’s Chapel and their director Claire Innes-Hopkins in a joint evensong as part of the St. Andrew’s Voices Festival. More collaboration here in Scotland too, as we performed live alongside light shows by LuxMuralis.

We were particularly pleased to run two workshops over a very busy few days! It was brilliant to work alongside two very talented young Scottish consorts: Cantus Firmus and a group formed from St. Salvator’s choir. We also ran a come-and-sing on Haydn’s Creation giving us a chance not only to meet lots of keen local singers but also to perform a few short solos from this great work!

Owain leading our come-and-sing Creation

In between singing we managed to play a little cricket on a windy Scottish beach, much to the bemusement of locals, tourists and golfers! Our last engagement in Scotland was a lovely chance to sing Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices to a packed St. Salvator’s Chapel as part of the Festival Eucharist.

Beautiful St. Andrews
Tenor Tom Castle executing a delightfully lazy flick off his pads, sending wicket-keeper Craddock scurrying to deep square leg. Joseph adjusts his hat at Gully.

Our final stop on our mini-tour of the UK was the Derry International Choir Festival, a first visit to the Emerald Isle for some of the group! It was a real pleasure to learn a little about the history of the beautiful maiden city and wonderful to meet so many international musicians at our concert there.

Looking ahead to Advent, we were very excited to release our second CD Christmas in early November, and recorded some videos with the wonderful David Hinitt to go alongside the CD, which will become available through advent.

A sneak-peek at our Christmas video recording!

Returning to the Belgian town of Verviers for a second time on the Eurostar, we were excited to present a small amuse-bouche of advent works at the end of our Passion and Polyphony programme. After travelling from Verviers to St. Pancras we headed to Muswell Hill and Owain’s kitchen for a planning meeting, in which we conceived this little round-up. So there you are! You’re up to date!

Keep tuned for Part II of our November Update, which will look forward to some of the coming events and projects that we’ve been busy planning!

New CD: Christmas

We are delighted to present our second album, Christmas, which is now available to order.

For centuries Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. This programme reaches across the ages, from the eternal beauty of the Tudor church right up to the twenty-first century, with each piece chosen to evoke a sense of mystery and joy.


Our launch concert will be held on Friday 29 November 2019 in London. Tickets are available here.

Order our album on iTunes here


O Radiant Dawn: music for voices and trumpet

We are delighted to be collaborating with rising star Matilda Lloyd in a programme of music for voices and trumpet. Our first two concerts will be in Wells and Bristol 4-5 October, and feature works from the English renaissance by Thomas Tallis and Robert White alongside contemporary pieces by Roxanna Panufnik and Sir James MacMillan.

We will also be performing a selection of Italian Madrigals, Shakespeare settings and World Folk Songs.

Tickets

4 October 2019
UK | Wells
St Cuthbert’s Church
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link


5 October 2019
UK | Bristol
All Saints Church, Clifton
Start time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Link

Matilda Lloyd, trumpet | “She played impeccably, with great assurance, a secure technique and a beauty of sound” – Seen and Heard International

A clip from our first rehearsal with Matilda Lloyd

Guy and Joseph in Gesualdo

After a busy and rewarding two weeks performing in Cambridge, Germany’s Black Forest and the now familiar rolling green hills of the Herefordshire borders, Joseph and I set off early for Bristol airport to meet up with our Italian friends Odhecaton in Naples. In-between rehearsals and the performance in Wagner’s garden in Ravello, we managed to sneak in a little sightseeing in Campagna… Odhecaton’s concert featured music by contemporary Italian composer Mirco di Stefani and Carlo Gesualdo alongside works by Tallis and John Tavener, and was very pleasing it was too to see a little British influence on our European friends’ repertoire! 

Although Gesualdo’s tomb was destroyed by an earthquake, the inscribed plaque survived in the church of Gesù Nuovo near to his palace in Naples. We were searching the walls desperately and found it just before we had to leave, right under Joseph’s feet!

A spare morning provided an opportunity to visit Carlo’s house and tombstone at Gesù Nuovo in Napoli. I was particularly keen to visit Carlo Gesualdo’s hometown in the hills near Avellino and the morning after the concert Joseph and I jumped in a tiny Neapolitan hire-car and headed for the hills, weaving through the infamous Italian traffic. We stopped first in Pompeii, having driven around the foothills of Vesuvius, and we enjoyed a flying visit of the Roman ruins, including Joseph’s impromptu debut in the amazing acoustics of the Amphitheatre.

The view straight down to the Roman Forum, with Vesuvius brooding in the background.

Feeling a little toasted by the midday Mediterranean sun, we hopped back in our battered Toyota and whizzed past the Amalfi coast to Salerno for a spot of lunch. Spurred on by what may well have been acute sunstroke, it occoured to us to hire a little boat from the nearby marina and (once Joseph had been satisfied that our rental acquisition had an impressive enough turn of speed) the next three hours we spent very happily dipping in and out of the Mediterranean just below the cliffs that supported the concert venue the night before in Ravello. Finding the bluetooth connection on the way back to Salerno, we skipped across the waves to Joseph’s choice of a mix of Supertramp and Gerald Finzi.

The Amalfi Coast, with Guy at the helm and Joseph possibly angling for a sponsorship deal.

Taking encouragement in rumours of a festival happening in the small town of Gesualdo, we plumped for the more direct, much more winding road from Salerno. We were both completely astounded by the journey. Rounding one of many breath-taking corners, we finally spotted a sign for the town and, looking that way, saw the hill-top castle of our namesake. Our first stop under the setting sun was the Cappuccin Monastery which we had been told housed the only known portrait of Carlo, Il perdono, which he commissioned near the end of his life. Seeing the small chapel from afar, we were very pleased to find it still open at 8pm and it was particularly moving to see the dark portrait above the main altar in the dim light from the doorway.

Il Perdono, with Gesualdo dimly visible in the bottom left, in the Cappiccin Chapel in Gesualdo.

Having read a few things about the man and his life it was very moving to see his image and feel so connected to the over 400 years since the picture was painted. Charging back the short distance to the castle, we saw that the Saperi e Sapori festival was getting into full swing. We were amazed to find a drama taking place in the gardens of the castle, and a man being referred to as ‘Principe’, in renaissance garb plucking a lute.

A rare photo opportunity with ‘Carlo’ and his lute in the garden of the castle.

Gesualdo is normally a quiet town of around 3000 people, but we learnt that the weekend festival attracts over three times that number. Wondering the castle’s exhibitions of reconstructed instruments and outfits from Carlo’s time we met the extremely helpful and friendly Alberico, who very kindly adopted us for the evening and showed us round the town. We were treated to davvero Southern Italian hospitality! It was amazing to see the Castle’s ruined chapel, and see the space that the Carlo’s famous Tenebrae Responsories were first performed in.

Our new friend Alberico with a background of just some of the stunning hills you can see from the Castle in Gesualdo.

Having sampled a few of the festivals many culinary delights and feeling extremely fortunate and more than a little overwhelmed, it was soon time to get the car back to Naples. A flying visit this time, we hope to return to the town to stay and hopefully perform one day!