I Fagiolini

If there's a more enterprisingly theatrical vocal group than this one, I've yet to encounter it...

The Telegraph

a glittering simulacrum... first-rate concert...

The Independent

I Fagiolini's ravished and ravishing singers...

The New York Sun

I Fagiolini

Director: Robert Hollingworth

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. It has staged Handel with masks, Purcell with puppets, and in 2004 premiered The Full Monteverdi, a ground-breaking dramatised account of the composer’s Fourth Book of Madrigals (1603) by John La Bouchardière, since turned into a highly successful film shown all over the world. In 2006 I Fagiolini toured its South African collaboration Simunye and in 2009 created Tallis in Wonderland, a new way of hearing polyphony with live and recorded voices. 

I Fagiolini’s next recording on Decca Classics, Monteverdi: The Other Vespers, will be released in April 2017. Amuse-Bouche (French Choral Delicacies) was released in April 2016, was CD of the Month for Gramophone Magazine and shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. It includes the world premieres of Roderick Williams arrangement of the Adagio from Ravel Piano Concerto in G and Ode à la gastronomie with an accompanying film by Jean Françaix: “entirely fresh and unexpected, a recording that’s a bit sexy, a bit silly and absolutely, unmissably superb.” (Gramophone)

In 2011, I Fagiolini semi-staged Purcell King Arthur with the English Concert and released the world premiere recording of Striggio Mass in 40 Parts on Decca which 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 Royal Albert Hall Prom debut, a new production for Opera North with shadow puppetry, The Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang, and the release of 1612 Italian Vespers (Gramophone CD of the Month) premiering multi-choir music by Viadana and a reconstructed Gabrieli Magnificat. It also saw the launch of yet another unlikely collaboration, How Like An Angel (HLAA), this time with Australian contemporary circus company, C!RCA. HLAA premiered as part of the Perth International Arts Festival, premiered in New York and continues to tour throughout the UK and EU.

2014-15 included debuts at the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Shakespeare’s Globe), Carnegie Hall and I Fagiolini's first tour of Australia with Musica Viva, as well as another collaboration with John La Bouchardière, Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama. Sung to the music of Gesulado, this immersive theatre work with dancers and singers was set in 'crime scenes' and premiered at the Barbican in May 2015. 

Forthcoming projects and performances include the return of Striggio 40 Part Mass to Florence, a year-long celebration of Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary, Living Monteverdi, featuring Flaming Heart, 1610 Vespers, The Other Vespers, and L'Orfeo with concerts at Edinburgh International Festival and BBC Proms amongst others, all alongside a virtual reality project, films, and education work.

The name I Fagiolini continues to be misspelt and mispronounced wherever it goes from Africa to Australia. I Fagiolini has recorded 22 discs and five films and is delighted to be Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of York.

This biography is for information only, and should not be re-printed. Please use the link below to download the version for concert programmes.

Download 2017-18 Biography (.docx)

Download 2017-18 Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Keith Saunders