New release Vivaldi x2 hit the market on 20 July and entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart at No. 1. This extraordinary achievement reflects growing interest driven by a recent successful crowdfunding campaign and developing followers through recent flagship programmes The Four Seasons and Gramophone Award winner The Italian Job. The new record has been widely featured on BBC Radio 3 programmes Essential Classics, In Tune and Record Review and was celebrated on Classic FM as John Suchet’s ‘Disc of the Week’ with the immortal observation that La Serenissima ‘really put the rock into baroque’. The Telegraph critic Ivan Hewitt continued the theme by saying that listening to Vivaldi x2 prompted him to realise that ‘It was Vivaldi, not Louis Armstrong or Hendrix, who invented the riff’. We couldn’t agree more!
We are thrilled to share the news that Tabea Debus, outstanding German recorder player and much-valued colleague, has been chosen by the Young Classical Artists Trust for representation this year. Tabea gave a winning performance at London’s Wigmore Hall yesterday. She is one of three chosen artists, whittled down from 8 finalists and more than 100 applicants. This is an outstanding achievement and very richly deserved. Brava Tabea! https://bit.ly/2Lu5vnM
Very simply: we want to reach 600 donors who will give £25 (or $35) to the campaign, in recognition of our 25th Anniversary in 2019.
La Serenissima is participating in Global Giving’s March Accelerator to raise the remaining funds needed to release new recording Vivaldi x2. This is the first time we have used crowdfunding to support our work.
We have a funding goal of £15,000 (or $21,000). Raising this money will enable us to produce, manufacture and launch Vivaldi x2 and will release the project globally. Supporters will enable CDs to be sold worldwide on behalf of the charity and will also make the project freely available via radio-play and streaming. Recording is the single biggest way that we can widen our mission’s reach. It renews our connection with an audience in excess of 8 million.
We receive no recurrent funding and have no permanent staff. In taking part in Global Giving’s training programme, we aim to diversify La Serenissima’s income streams and grow our crowd of supporters which will help to sustain our unique work.
Global Giving is a charity based in the UK and US with a mission to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change. They represent the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors and companies. Global Giving is a registered charity in the UK and US.
La Serenissima enjoyed 4 blissful days of recording Vivaldi double concerti in the beautiful surroundings of Cedars Hall in Wells, Somerset during February; we made some of the best performances we’ve ever recorded during those days and we are extremely excited about the prospect of releasing the new record ‘Vivaldi x2’. It was also the first time that we have had the support of any extra help during the sessions: new Operations Manager Emma Wilkinson was a stellar addition to the team and enabled Artistic Director Adrian Chandler and General Manager Camilla Scarlett to concentrate on violin-playing for the whole 4 days…
We’re so grateful to Mr & Mrs J A Pye’s Charitable Settlement for their support of the majority of the artistic costs, as well as to the many generous individuals who have donated.
We are now preparing to launch a crowdfunding initiative via Global Giving who have accepted us on their March Accelerator. More about Global Giving here: https://www.globalgiving.org/aboutus/
We hope supporters will be willing to respond to our appeal for help in raising sufficient funds to release and launch this new CD. It’s an important part of delivering our mission: to bring Italian baroque music to the widest audience.
Watch this space and SAVE THE DATE: 12th-30th March 2018
We will send out our next newsletter once our project is posted on the Global Giving site and explain more about the campaign, including how Global Giving will offer additional funding and benefits to La Serenissima if we generate a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Enjoy this video of part of the sessions made in February, to get you in the mood to donate:
We are delighted to announce the addition of Emma Wilkinson to the La Serenissima family. Emma has begun this month in a new role of Operations Manager for the orchestra; her responsibilities include developing UK and foreign touring plans, with special focus on our 25th Anniversary Season during 2018/19. She brings with her enormous experience and widely-acknowledged expertise in the field, having worked for 27 years as Orchestral Manager for the European Union Baroque Orchestra, prior to its departure from the UK (post-Brexit vote). Her arrival is hugely significant as it is the first time in our history that there will have been sustained support from an experienced professional from outside the musicians of the group. She joins Artistic Director Adrian Chandler and General Manager Camilla Scarlett in the charity’s new office in Oxfordshire. Partial funding for the role has been generously provided by The Foyle Foundation and an anonymous donor; we are working to raise sufficient funds to secure the role in full. To help support this vital innovation, please contact General Manager Camilla Scarlett.
La Serenissima gave three outstanding concerts with choir, orchestra and soloists in Venice for Martin Randall Travel’s Vivaldi in Venice festival. Works performed included the other Gloria (RV639 & 588) and Beatus Vir (RV795), opera Teuzzone and The Four Seasons. Soloists included sopranos Lucy Crowe & Elizabeth Karani, mezzo sopranos Rowan Hellier & Renata Pokupic, contralto Hilary Summers, tenor Charles Daniels and bass-baritone Ashley Riches. The performances were the culmination of some very exciting rehearsal sessions in London and months of editing and research (into the choral and operatic works in particular) by Artistic Director Adrian Chandler. The group performed at Sala Apollinea (Teatro La Fenice), Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Derelitti known as Ospedaletto (a venue with no electricity, severely damaged by fire and water ingress) and Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The group gave some staggering performances in spite of tropical heat inside La Fenice and freezing temperatures combined with damp at the other two historic venues. Other performers in the festival included Italian colleagues Il Giardino Armonico (Giovanni Antonini) and Modo Antiquo (Federico Maria Sardelli).
Photograph taken by principal trumpet player Simon Munday at Santa Maria dei Derelitti
La Serenissima took part in the Culture Hive Small Scale Development Programme organised by the Arts Marketing Association, supported by Arts Council England. The course focused on building a realistic marketing plan to develop audience engagement. The 3 day programme brought together a large number of touring organisations (such as La Serenissima) as well as regional promoters and arts centres who all face similar challenges from the sector. It was a fantastic event and we will be developing plans to spread our vision more widely over the coming months with the support of online coaching from the AMA. Watch this space!
Last night 12 musicians of La Serenissima, including contralto Hilary Summers, performed works by Albinoni, Brescianello, Caldara and Vivaldi to guests of His Excellency The Italian Ambassador. It was the first event of its kind in La Serenissima’s history and has heralded the beginning of an exciting period of change for the organisation. Guests were invited to attend the private concert at the Residence’s Ballroom and were treated to a sumptuous dinner. His Excellency entreated those attending to support the group’s activities which promote Italian culture in the UK and beyond, particularly at this time of great difficulty between the UK and Europe. La Serenissima was represented by the General Manager, Camilla Scarlett, in a short speech outlining the 25th Anniversary plans; Martin Randall also spoke passionately on our behalf about the importance of supporting the work of the charity. A very special evening was enjoyed by all!
You can visit the Italian Embassy’s news page (here) to read their press release about the occasion and view a short clip of the scene.
La Serenissima celebrated its prestigious win at the 40th Anniversary Gramophone Awards ceremony in London on 13th September with representatives from Avie Records and associated distributors. In a ceremony which showcased two wins from our Italian colleagues Il Giardino Armonico and a notable award to the iconic Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Adrian Chandler was proud to accept the award for Baroque Instrumental on behalf of La Serenissima and all the musicians performing on TheItalian Job. Gramophone Editor James Jolly and violinist Jennifer Pike presided over a ceremony in which atleast one British Maestro had to force his way through the chaos of tightly-packed diners; Adrian was presented with his award back-to-front which caused some problems for the awaiting photographer! The edited version of the presentation can be viewed here
Picture by Benjamin Ealovaga: (left to right) Melanne Mueller (Avie), Adrian Chandler (Artistic Director), Camilla Scarlett (General Manager), Barry McCann (Avie) celebrating La Serenissima’s 2017 Gramophone Award.
We are thrilled to share the news that The Italian Job was announced as winner in the Baroque Instrumental category of the 2017 Gramophone Awards. The project was on a hugely ambitious scale and La Serenissima are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported the group during the 2016/17 season, and especially those who specifically donated to The Italian Job appeal. Artistic Director Adrian Chandler will be accepting the award on 13 September at the 40th anniversary ceremony in London.