The English Concert maintains an unsurpassed reputation for inspiring performances—on original instruments—of music of the Baroque and Classical periods. With its international group of close-knit musicians, many of whom are soloists in their own right, the ensemble gets to the essential core of the music.
The English Concert’s enviable reputation is the result of tireless work at home, on the road, and in the studio since 1973, guided along the way by founder Trevor Pinnock; his successor, Andrew Manze; and current Artistic Director Harry Bicket. In its pursuit of excellence, the ensemble also regularly works with other gifted directors, including newly appointed Principal Guest Director and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout.
The orchestra’s award-winning discography features masterworks from Bach to Purcell and Handel to Mozart, as well as some of the most renowned artists in recent history. The ensemble is always on the lookout for exciting new opportunities and new ways to tell a story, whether working with Tom Morris to stage Handel’s Messiah, bringing its emotional and dramatic essence to the fore, or interacting in a more intimate way in Shakespeare’s Globe Theater or the Wanamaker Playhouse.
Central to The English Concert’s activities is its series of Handel operas in concert, which continues to flourish after the success of Radamisto in 2013 and subsequent performances of Theodora and Alcina (2014), Orlando (2016), and, most recently, Ariodante (2017). The orchestra has performed these works in major concert halls across Europe and the US alongside artists who have included Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, and Sarah Connolly.
Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of Baroque and Classical repertoire. In 2007, he became artistic director of The English Concert, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. He became chief conductor of the Santa Fe Opera in 2013 and was recently appointed its music director, a post he will take up in October 2018. Born in Liverpool, Mr. Bicket studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University, and is an accomplished harpsichordist.
Highlights of the 2017–2018 season include return visits to the Metropolitan Opera (Le nozze di Figaro) and Lyric Opera of Chicago (Orphée et Eurydice), as well as a master class at The Juilliard School. Forthcoming guest-conducting engagements include performances with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Other highlights include recording work with The English Concert and performances of Bernstein’s Candide at Santa Fe Opera.
Recordings to date with The English Concert include releases for Virgin Classics, Chandos, and Harmonia Mundi that feature Elizabeth Watts, David Daniels, Lucy Crowe, Sarah Connolly, and Rosemary Joshua. Mr. Bicket’s discography also includes five recordings with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, collections of Handel arias with Renée Fleming (Decca) and Ian Bostridge (EMI), and selections from Handel’s Theodora and Serse, as well as the cantata La Lucrezia with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Avie), which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
After graduating with degrees in archaeology and anthropology from St. John’s College, Cambridge, Iestyn Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. An esteemed Handelian, he has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Orlando, Rinaldo, and David (Saul). His intelligent interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with composers who include Thomas Adès, George Benjamin, and Nico Muhly.
On the opera stage, Mr. Davies has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Scala in Milan, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and Welsh National Opera, as well as in Munich, Vienna, and Zürich. Concert highlights include performances at La Scala, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Tonhalle in Zürich, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center, and the BBC Proms. Mr. Davies has appeared in concert and recital at Carnegie Hall and regularly appears at Wigmore Hall, where he has curated his own residency. He recently delighted London audiences, singing the role of Farinelli in the play Farinelli and the King with Mark Rylance at the Globe Theatre and subsequently on the West End at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Engagements in the 2016–2017 season included a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for performances of Written on Skin and The Exterminating Angel, as well as concerts in Moscow, San Francisco, Cleveland, and London. In 2017–2018, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera for The Exterminating Angel and makes his Broadway debut in Farinelli and the King.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. Davies is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2010 Young Artist of the Year Award, the 2012 Gramophone Recital Award, the 2013 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent (Singer), the 2014 Gramophone Recital Award for his disc Arise, my muse on the Wigmore Hall Live label, and the 2017 Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award for his disc of Bach cantatas with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen. He was named a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2017.
Jane Archibald’s recent engagements have included performances as Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in Zürich; Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Ophélie (Hamlet) at the Metropolitan Opera; Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra) at the Opéra National de Paris; Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) at La Scala and in Berlin; Zerbinetta at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Covent Garden, and in Munich; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the Theater an der Wien; and the title role in Semele and Ginevra (Ariodante) at the Canadian Opera Company. After beginning her professional opera career in her native Canada, Ms. Archibald was an Adler fellow with the San Francisco Opera before becoming an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, where she debuted many coloratura roles. Her concert highlights include Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with Lorin Maazel and the Filarmonica della Scala; Brahms’s Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas; Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi with Christian Thielemann and the Berliner Philharmoniker; and Mozart arias with the Camerata Salzburg and Louis Langrée.
In the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Archibald serves as the Canadian Opera Company’s first-ever artist-in-residence, singing the roles of Zdenka in Arabella, Konstanze, and the title role in The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Other upcoming engagements include Mathilde in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and the title role in Strauss’s Daphne, as well as concert performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Britten’s Les illuminations, Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide, and the Fire/Princess/Nightingale in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges.
Ms. Archibald is featured on multiple recordings and DVDs. Her first solo CD, a program of Haydn coloratura arias, was released on the ATMA Classique label and won a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year. Recent recordings of Die Entführung aus dem Serail with conductor Jérémie Rhorer and Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi with Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony received critical acclaim. Visit janearchibald.com for more information.
American soprano Joélle Harvey is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most promising young talents of her generation. In summer 2018, she returns to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her role debut as Cleopatra in David McVicar’s production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, conducted by William Christie.
Ms. Harvey began the 2017–2018 season in concert with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, performing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and subsequently made her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Further concert appearances included a return to the New York Philharmonic for Handel’s Messiah under Andrew Manze.
Recent operatic engagements include Servilia in La clemenza di Tito at the Glyndebourne Festival; Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Sicle in L’Ormindo at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Galatea in Acis and Galatea at Teatro La Fenice and the Aix-en-Provence Festival; and Zerlina in a revival of Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
In concert, Ms. Harvey recently performed Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem at the Mostly Mozart Festival; Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, and Bach’s Magnificat with the New York Philharmonic; Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas; John Adams’s El Niño with the London Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras; and Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also sang Tigrane in Handel’s Radamisto at Carnegie Hall with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, and Michal in Handel’s Saul at the Barbican with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, which she recorded with the company.
Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni has established himself as one of the most charismatic and versatile singers performing today. Since his debut at age 26 at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mr. Pisaroni has brought his compelling artistry to the world’s leading opera houses, concert halls, and festivals.
Mr. Pisaroni began the 2017–2018 season as Mahomet II in Rossini’s Le siège de Corinthe in his first performances at the Rossini Opera Festival, followed by role debuts as Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Opéra National de Paris and Mustafà in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri at the Vienna State Opera. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, sings Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, performs the roles of Alidoro in Rossini’s La cenerentola and Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera, and debuts as Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Teatro alla Scala under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung.
International concert appearances include Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Luxembourg; Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mariss Jansons; Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the London Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas; Schubert songs with the Filarmonica della Scala, led by Fabio Luisi; Mozart’s C-Minor Mass with the Concentus Musicus Wien at the Musikverein; and a Rossini gala with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi.
Mr. Pisaroni has recorded for major labels, and his discography includes Don Giovanni and Rinaldo at the Glyndebourne Festival; Le nozze di Figaro with the Opéra National de Paris; Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, and Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival; and Don Giovanni with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Mr. Pisaroni lives in Vienna with his wife, Catherine. Their golden retriever, Lenny 2.0, and miniature dachshund, Tristan, are the singer’s constant travel companions.
Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke’s engagements during the 2017–2018 season include performances with the London, Tokyo, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Dallas symphony orchestras; San Francisco Symphony; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; and Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain. She frequently performs works by Mahler, whose music she has sung to acclaim worldwide. Ms. Cooke is sought after by the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Seattle Opera. In 2017, Ms. Cooke sang in two world premieres: the role of Laurene Jobs in Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at Santa Fe Opera and the title role in Nico Muhly’s Marnie at English National Opera. Known for her commitment to new music, Ms. Cooke has also premiered works by Mark Adamo, William Bolcom, Laura Kaminsky, Lowell Liebermann, Marc Neikrug, Kevin Puts, Augusta Read Thomas, and Joby Talbot.
Ms. Cooke’s orchestral engagements have included performances with the Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Shanghai, and Singapore symphony orchestras; the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras; Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Los Angeles and New York philharmonics; Houston, New World, and Seattle symphonies; and the Orpheus, Los Angeles, and Saint Paul chamber orchestras. Leading conductors with whom she has worked include James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Edo de Waart, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jaap van Zweden, Gustavo Dudamel, and Sir Mark Elder. With pianist Julius Drake last season, Ms. Cooke released Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 4, on Hyperion Records. Other recordings can be found on the Naxos, Bridge, Yarlung, GPR, and Sono Luminus labels. Ms. Cooke is a graduate of Rice University, The Juilliard School, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
A prizewinner at the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 2015 Marcella Sembrich International Vocal Competition, Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński is quickly gaining a reputation as a singer of striking vocal beauty and daring stagecraft. In the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Orliński makes his house and role debut at Oper Frankfurt as Handel’s Rinaldo; joins the Aix-en-Provence Festival on tour singing Orimeno in Cavalli’s Erismena at the Palace of Versailles and Festival of Saint-Denis; and tours Handel’s Rinaldo as Eustazio with The English Concert and Harry Bicket, including performances in Seville (Teatro de la Maestranza), Madrid (Auditorio Nacional de Música), and London (Barbican Centre). Additional concert appearances include evenings with Il Pomo d’Oro at Salle Gaveau in Paris and Germany’s Usedom Music Festival, a televised performance on the 25th Victoires de la Musique Classique award show at La Grange au Lac in Evian, a program of works by Vivaldi with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Handel’s Samson at the Theatrum Musicum festival in Kraków, and Handel’s Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
In summer 2018, Mr. Orliński gives recitals in London for his Wigmore Hall debut and at National Sawdust in Brooklyn as one of the 2017 HSBC Laureates of the Académie du Festival d’Aix. Mr. Orliński has performed with the Houston Symphony, Musica Sacra, and Oratorio Society of New York, as well as at the International Handel Festival in Karlsruhe and Oper Leipzig. He has been a prizewinner in vocal competitions that have included the 2016 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition (New York), International Early Music Vocal Competition (Poland), Rudolf Petrák’s Singing Competition (Slovakia), Mazovian Golden Voices Competition (Poland), and Le Grand Prix de l’Opéra (Romania). Mr. Orliński earned his master’s degree in vocal performance at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and his graduate diploma at The Juilliard School. He has been featured as a dancer, model, and acrobat in campaigns for Levi’s, Nike, Turbokolor, Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, MAC Cosmetics, Danon, and Algida. He is an exclusive Erato / Warner Classics recording artist.
British countertenor James Hall’s current and upcoming projects include Farinelli and the King at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway, Narciso in Agrippina at The Grange Festival, Guildenstern in Brett Dean’s Hamlet and Eustazio in Rinaldo on the Glyndebourne Tour, Pallade in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Opéra National de Lyon, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Royal Opera of Versailles with the Monteverdi Choir, Adelberto in Handel’s Ottone at the Festival de Beaune, Zephyrus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus with Classical Opera, and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Handel’s Jephtha with the Academy of Ancient Music.
Operatic highlights include L’Orfeo at the Bavarian State Opera and BBC Proms, Oronte in Riccardo Primo at the London Handel Festival, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Temple Ensemble, Cupid and the Huntsman in Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Dunedin Consort and Opera Lyrica, Osmida in La Didone with Ensemble Serse, Endymion in La Calisto with Hampstead Garden Opera, and Bertarido in Rodelinda with The Amadè Players.
Recent performances have included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Solomon’s Knot; Bach’s St. John Passion with the Lavenham Sinfonia; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at St. John’s, Smith Square; Bach’s Mass in
B Minor at St. Albans Abbey; Handel’s Messiah with Ars Eloquentiae; and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with La Nuova Musica, as well as recitals with Albion Baroque and pianist James Baillieu.
Recent contemporary music projects have included A Night at the Chinese Opera with the British Youth Opera, the premiere of Na’ama Zisser’s Black Sand at Grimeborn, Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica in Utrecht, and Johan in the world premiere of David Bruce’s Nothing, a community opera led by Glyndebourne in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.