The Sixteen are to perform Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in cathedrals and concert halls across the UK in November 2014 and January 2015 in their most ambitious tour to date.

The choir and orchestra of The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, will transport audiences to the splendour of St Mark’s Basilica, Venice through performances of Monteverdi’s masterpiece as well as offering local choristers the opportunity to participate in workshops and perform the Sonata sopra Sancta Maria with the choir.

Alongside the tour, The Sixteen has devised a project with the Medway Music Hub to launch a new youth choir and instrumental initiatives. Young singers and players will work on excerpts of Monteverdi’s music with members of the choir and these will culminate in an immersive Monteverdi Day on 20 January 2015, with a public performance at the University of Kent.

Chief executive of The Sixteen, Marie-Sophie Willis, has said, ‘This is our most ambitious large-scale tour to date. The annual Choral Pilgrimage is traditionally music for unaccompanied choir and so to be able to bring this epic work to regional audiences is both a great privilege and a challenge.’

Director Harry Christophers describes the 1610 Vespers as ‘quite simply one of the greatest works of sacred music ever written: it is without doubt the most varied and inspired work before Handel and Bach began writing their oratorios and passions.’

The Sixteen’s performance of the Vespers will feature in an upcoming BBC Two documentary by Simon Russell Beale, the date and time of which is to be confirmed.

Watch The Sixteen’s introduction to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 below and click here to view the tour dates.

Peter Wagstaff

Photos: Arnaud Stephenson

The Sixteen’s recording of the Vespers of 1610 is out on 29 September on the Coro label. Visit: to find out more


Claudio Monteverdi

The Sixteen at Paris's Musée d'Orsay

Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610