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January 18, 1999

I Fagiolini to Perform at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts

"I Fagiolini brought out perfectly the balance between restraint and underlying passion in a powerful and compelling performance."--The Times (London)

"I Fagiolini brings such life to music 400 years old it could have been written yesterday."--Sheffield Telegraph (England)

"…sung as smoothly as silk…"--The Independent (London)

I Fagiolini, a seven-strong English a cappella vocal group, will perform in the Concert Hall at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. The group will sing a wide range of music, from Tallis motets and arrangements of South African songs to an original composition by one of its members.

I Fagiolini's roots are at Oxford University, where the group gave its first concert in 1986. Initially specializing in secular Renaissance repertory, the group's members now enjoy a reputation for tackling all kinds of western vocal music, commissioning new works, and providing a solo team for oratorio and opera.

I Fagiolini first came to national prominence in England in 1989 by winning the Early Music Network's Young Artist Competition and, in the same year, Italy's International Marenzio Competition. The group has since traveled to much of Europe and further afield to Israel, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa. In England, its members often appear by invitation at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room.

The group has collaborated with other musical performers in recent years. I Fagiolini has performed Schubert opera with the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and fully staged touring productions of Handel's "Acis and Galatea" and Purcell's "The Indian Queen" with the Brook Street Band.

One of the group's most exciting joint projects is its work with Soweto's SDASA Chorale. In April 1997, I Fagiolini spent two weeks in Pretoria, Soweto, and Johannesburg working on a collaborative album, "Simunye," released by Erato on the company's new crossover label, Detour.

Other recent recordings to hit the stands are "The Caged Byrd" (following "The Early Byrd" in their Chandos Byrd series) and "All the King's Horses," the sequel to "All the King's Men," a series of early Renaissance secular recordings for Metronome that was named the editor's choice in Gramophone magazine.

Tickets for this concert series performance are $9.00 general admission and $7.00 for senior citizens. A pre-performance dinner at 6 p.m. at the Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts is also available. To order tickets or make dinner reservations, please call the College box office at 802-443-6433.