Renowned Warwick-based choir moves one of its first 20th anniversary celebration concerts due to continued restrictions

The concert forms part of a UK tour of St Matthew Passion and the beginning of a year of celebration for Armonico Consort

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 12:00 pm
Armonico Consort at Coventry Cathedral in 2018. Photo provided by Armonico Consort
Armonico Consort at Coventry Cathedral in 2018. Photo provided by Armonico Consort

A renown Warwick-based choir and ensemble has moved one of its first 20th anniversary celebration concerts due to the continued government restrictions.

Armonico Consort were due to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion at St Mary's Church in Warwick alongside international soloists, tenor Toby Spence (Evangelist) and bass baritone Sir Willard White (Christus).

Following the government’s extension to stage three of the roadmap, the entire concert and audience have moved from Armonico’s ‘home’ venue of St Mary’s due to the venue being unable to host concerts of more than 75 minutes under the continuing restrictions.

Armonico Consort and Orchestra. Photo by Simon Jay Price

The concert is now due to take place at Coventry Cathedral on July 8.

Both soloists have illustrious careers that have taken them to the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls of the world.

Toby Spence describes St Matthew Passion as “one of the great masterpieces of all time: beautiful, cathartic and meaningful,” while Sir Willard White says of Bach’s music, “there is a sense of being taken to an elevated state of being: sacred, spiritual and human”.

The Armonico Consort will be playing on instruments of the period to give 'a vivid insight into the way Bach would have heard his masterpiece performed'. St Matthew Passion was first performed in Leipzig on Good Friday 1727.

Christopher Monks, artistic director and founder of Armonico Consort. Photo by Simon Jay Price

The concert forms part of a UK tour of St Matthew Passion and the beginning of a year of celebration for Armonico Consort’s 20th anniversary.

Artistic director and founder of Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks, said: “It feels incredibly exciting to celebrate our milestone as the world emerges from lockdown.

"Tickets for all concerts have never sold as quickly as they are now, and to start the year with a work which has been by my side for all of my time with Armonico feels totally fitting.

"During the past year we have developed, adapted, re-invented and remained agile whilst staying present for our musicians, audiences and community groups.

"This has certainly been our biggest challenge to date - and at such short notice - but there was no way we were going to be defeated."