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The Cape Consort is a Cape Town based ensemble dedicated to stylish and historically informed performances of Early Music. Part of a wider initiative to introduce HIPP to South African concert stages, the Consort collaborates with international specialist practitioners and musicologists, thereby linking local musicians to the on-going debates and research in the field of HIPP.

Since its inception in 2011 the ensemble has appeared regularly on South African stages, exploring and presenting early vocal repertoire that otherwise rarely features in local concerts. To date it has presented over 20 different programmes in more than 60 performances interpreting works by composers such as Monteverdi, Caccini, Carissimi, Strozzi, DŐIndia, Gesualdo, Sances, Bassano, Mealli, Caresana, Geminiani, Schütz, Buxtehude, Bruhns, Biber, Purcell, Keiser, Joh. Christoph and Joh. Sebastian Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Porpora, etc. In line with current trends in the interpretation of early music, the Consort follows an approach of translating and re-contextualizing ancient musical expressions into credibly contemporary articulations, rather than to evoke an air of historicism..

Conceived as a flexible group, the Consort adapts its core forces of 5 singers and basso continuo of cello and harpsichord or organ to the requirements of the repertoire. Individual singers may appear in solo programmes or the group may be extended to accommodate a double choir of 16 voices. Period instruments such as viols, violins, recorders, lute or theorbo join forces as needed.

In its Monteverdi Project, a self-curated performance series at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, the Consort explores innovative ways of communicating and conveying the dramatic content of early music. The series has included concerts with synchronised and animated text projections, a semi-staged version of John BlowŐs Venus and Adonis, as well as a fully staged production of PurcellŐs Dido and Aeneas directed by Mar’ Borstlap.

To date the Cape Consort has released 2 CDs, both of which gained a SAMA nomination. It was awarded the WOORDtroFEE for Best Classical Music Production at the 2012 Stellenbosch Woordfees for which it also garnered a KykNet Fi‘sta Award nomination. The group gratefully acknowledges the on-going support of the Rupert Music Foundation, the Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, the South African Early Music Trust (SAEMT), as well as that of a number of individual patrons.

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