Auguri Italia!

Tuesday 31 May 2011 – Methodist Church, Florence, Italy
Wednesday 1 June 2011 – 13th century church of Saint Augustine, San Gimignano, Italy
Thursday 2 June 2011 – La Badia Fiorentina (Florence Abbey), Florence, Italy
7.30pm, Thursday 16 June – St Margaret Patten’s Church, City of London
7.30pm, Saturday 18 June – St Martin’s Church, Brasted

Poster from the choir's Auguri Italia! tour to Italy

On 30th May, ‘Cantate’ set off for Florence, for a week of performances in Tuscany. They take with them a delightful summer programme celebrating 150 years of Italian Unity and will return to England for their UK concerts in London and finally Brasted. These ‘a capella’ concerts will feature music from the 15th to the 20th century, with a particular focus on Italian and English composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Antonio Lotti, Charles Wood, William Harris, John Dowland and Edward Bairstow. The concert will finish with Joseph Rheinberger’s wonderful Mass in E flat major.

In Florence, all three concert venues are ancient churches with rich histories. The first is the Methodist Church in Florence, built in the 12th Century as a monastery, and the place where the clavichord was perhaps invented. It is also only a few doors away from the palazzo in which dramatic recitative was first heard, the birthplace of modern operatic style. The church is only a few hundred yards from the church of Santa Croce, where Rossini is buried, whose Messe Solennelle the choir performed in March this year.

Photo of San Gimignano Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, one of the venues for the Choir's tour to Italy
San Gimignano Chiesa di Sant’Agostino

The 13th century church of Saint Augustine in the UNESCO World Heritage town of San Gimignano, south of Florence, is the choir’s second port of call. San Gimignano is famous for its many tall towers, used to dry long lengths of cloth dyed with local saffron, and visible for many miles around. The town was used in the film Tea with Mussolini, and is the setting for the video game Assassin’s Creed II !

For their final concert the choir perform in one of Florence’s most ancient churches, La Badia Fiorentina (Florence Abbey), which dates back to the year 978, and where Robin is currently organist. The monastic community there have given the choir special permission to give a rare concert, which will be the final highlight of the trip.

The choir also performed this summer programme on two occasions in England. First on Thursday 16th June when the choir sang in the City of London at St Margaret Patten’s Church and then on the opening night of the Sevenoaks Festival at St Martin’s Church Brasted on the 18th June.


Hugo Kelly – Magnificat
J. Arcadelt – Ave maria
G. Gabrieli – Jubilate Deo a 8
T. Weelkes – When David heard
A. Lotti – Crucifixus a 8
A. Bruckner – Ave Maria, Locus iste, Os justi
C. Wood – Great Lord of Lords
S. Rachmaninov – Blessed is the man
A. Bax – Lord, thou hast told us
E. Bairstow – I sat down under his shadow
J. Rheinberger – Double mass in E flat
W. Harris – Bring us, O Lord God

Programme notes

View programme notes