Blurb all about the collaboration blah blah
From the end of the XVII century onwards it was common use for musicians, historians, poets, and artists who could afford it, to visit Italy and Europe to savour some of the cultural legacy of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance and to meet some of the aristocratic and fashionably polite European society. It was also a unique opportunity to hear music played by Italian musicians and see specific works of art.
This is why this year's series of concerts are inspired by Charles Burney’s book “The present state of Music in Italy” published in London in 1771. As we see ourselves travelling alongside Mr Burney we imagine what he might have seen, enjoyed, and maybe even wished to create from the different musical flavours he picked up across the continent.
Each event will focus on one or more Italian cities, towns or regions, and their historical and modern connections with London and the UK in general. Milano, Trieste, Venezia, Roma and Napoli will feature this year, but of course this is only the start of our journey! We hope to continue the trip next year with more cities and programmes to explore.
Along his Italian travels Charles Burney enjoyed opera performances, private receptions, meeting with famous artists, composers and performers. But we like to think that he was curious to meet local traditions, and in general interested in any artistic input that he perceived as ‘different’ and ‘peculiar’. He would have definitely experienced more common music, for example Italian folk music, street performances and comic musical sequences. This year we include (alongside music for the concert hall, the opera and the theater) music influenced from these less privileged settings.
Serio&Faceto folk duo, award-winning soprano Hilary Cronin, bass-baritone Phil Wilcox, stage director Irene Biancalani and eclectic ‘maestro al cembalo’ Mario Sollazzo will join together to reimagine Pergolesi’s Neapolitan comic intermezzo Livietta e Tracollo.
We will also have an international presence: Paris based Il Groviglio (Marco Angioloni and Leo Brunet) will join Istante Collective to imagine Handel's visit to Rome. Finally, Venetian folk songs arranged by 21st century composers will meet Vivaldi in the Venetian Laguna.
Most concerts will take place at Heath Street Baptist Church, (incidentally founded in 1861, the same year as Italian independence!) with its revered clear acoustics and intimate setting.
You can hear the Pergolesi Intermezzo opera in the church, or also at the Candid Arts gallery near Angel tube station in Islington. Brent Library will host stories across Europe of bagpipers and classical music, while the Gallery Cafe at St Margaret's House in Bethnal Green will open for an evening of folk baroque tunes and songs of Italian musicians making their way to London.
The farest journey will be with Trieste born pianist and composer Adriana Vasques: her EP launch ‘about time and places’ will bring us as far as Brazil!
For the first concert of the series we reimagine the opening of the La Scala Theatre with our own collection of music by composers, musicians and singers who were present in the first days of the famous opera house.
Istante Collective will be our resident band and Musicologist Dr.Alessandra Palidda (Oxford Brookes University) will join us running the pre-concert talks 15 min before each concert.
As per tradition for the concerts at Heath Street Baptist Church , homemade Italian focaccia and wine will be available before the concert starts and during the interval.
The team of Italian Sounds in London
Nicola Barbagli , John Henry Baker, Bianca Baldacci, Guido Della Lena Guidiccioni
Born and raised in Arezzo, Italy, Nicola possesses an unquenchable thirst for finding new 'old' music, be it digging through old manuscripts and bookshops to find old scores from which he can make parts or make an arrangement. Still has a CD collection.
Born in Arequipa, Peru and raised in Lima and Lincolnshire, JHB loves nothing but a challenge. As well as playing the double bass, is responsible for recording and filming and risograph printing aspects, among others.
Guido is from Luca, Italy and is an archaeologist by training, but his skills are many and far ranging - from making focaccia to managing front of house and managing logistics.
Bianca Baldacci is the Bi of Binomi, a graphic design practice based in East London, founded with Noemi Caruso in 2016.Their work is based on creative and strategic thinking. No element is arbitrary, instead founded on aesthetic and conceptual coherence.Binomi works with clients from the cultural and commercial sectors, developing projects that include identities, books and magazines, campaign materials, packaging, digital and environmental graphics.