SOUNDS BAROQUE loves communicating the passion and theatricality of music written largely in the 17th and 18th centuries. Directed by Julian Perkins, the group have appeared with stars such as Dame Emma Kirkby, Simon Callow, Peter Capaldi and David Wilson-Johnson, as well as leading younger singers including Anna Dennis, Ashley Riches, Anna Starushkevych and William Towers. 2016 saw the world première of their opera pasticcio, Casanova, at London's Kings Place. Devised by Stephen Pettitt and Julian Perkins, it is a theatrical entertainment inspired by the alleged adventures of Giacomo Casanova. Praised by Opera magazine as 'a witty pasticcio', it features an array of works by 17 composers including Vivaldi, Handel, Hasse, Gluck – and even Bellini. It also has what is possibly the world's longest-held dramatic note in a recitative!
No stranger to the airwaves, Sounds Baroque broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3 and have appeared at London’s Southbank Centre and Kings Place, and at international festivals in Cheltenham, London, Ryedale, Tel Aviv, Two Moors and York. They have given world premières of works by Paul Ayres, Stephen Dodgson and Iain Farrington, and often stage educational projects and pre-performance conversations in conjunction with performances.
They have so far released two discs for Avie Records. Entitled CONVERSAZIONI, they explore the wealth of vocal and instrumental music that may have been conceived for artistic gatherings – or conversazioni – in Rome at the turn of the eighteenth century. They have been praised for their ‘stylish aplomb’ in The Sunday Times, and described as ‘a winner’ by Early Music Review and ‘a model of clarity and warmth’ by International Record Review. Plans for 2017 include a recording of Purcell's solo songs, a performance of Casanova for the opening of the Two Moors Festival, and a return to the JAM on the Marsh Festival.