Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Millenium Orchestra & Leonardo García Alarcón
Biography Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Millenium Orchestra & Leonardo García Alarcón
Chœur de Chambre de Namur
Since its creation in 1987, the Chamber Choir of Namur has promoted the musical heritage of its region of origin through concerts and recordings of works by Lassus, Rogier, Hayne, Du Mont, Fiocco, Gossec, Grétry, while also taking on great works from the choral repertoire.
Invited to perform at the most renowned festivals in Europe, The Chamber Choir of Namur regularly sings under the direction of prestigious choral directors such as Ottavio Dantone, Peter Phillips, Christophe Rousset, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Jérémie Rohrer & Richard Egarr.
The Choir has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings (nominations at the Victoires de la Musique Classique, Choc de Classica, Diapason d’Or, Joker de Crescendo, 4F de Télérama, Editor’s Choice of Gramophone, ICMA and the Prix Caecilia of the Belgian Press). It was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros in 2003, the Prix de l’Académie Française in 2006, the Octave de la Musique in 2007 and in 2012 the Chamber Choir of Namur won in the categories of ‘Classical Music’ and ‘Show of the Year.’
In 2010, the artistic direction of the Chamber Choir of Namur was entrusted to the young Argentinian choral director, Leonardo García Alarcón. In 2016, the Chamber Choir of Namur took part in its first stage production at the Paris Opera (Cavalli’s Eliogabalo), and in 2017 was in the cast of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, in Liège, conducted by Guy Van Waas.
The 2017-2018 season was marked by the 30th anniversary of the Choir. Monteverdi’s Orfeo, performed in 2017, was the first celebration of this anniversary throughout Europe and South America. Highlights in 2018 included productions of Lully's Grands Motets, Veneziano's Passio del Venerdi Santo, Jacques Arcadelt's masses and motets and Handel's oratorio Samson, all conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón with various TV and CD recordings.
In 2019 the Namur Chamber Choir added further operas to its repertoire, including Handel’s Saul (Namur and Beaune), Lully’s Isis (Beaune, Paris and Versailles), and Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Paris Opera. It has also created a new work by the Belgian composer Michel Fourgon.
The repertoire of the choir is very broad, ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary music.
Leonardo García Alarcón
After studying piano in Argentina, Leonardo García Alarcón moved to Europe in 1997 and entered the Geneva Conservatory in the class of harpsichordist Christiane Jaccottet. It was under the aegis of Gabriel Garrido that he embarked on the Baroque adventure. He created his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea, a responsibility that he combined shortly afterwards with that of the Millenium Orchestra, which he founded to accompany the Namur Chamber Choir, of which he became artistic director in 2010. He divides his time between Geneva, where he teaches the class of Maestro al cembalo at the Haute Ecole de Musique, France, notably as a regular pillar of the Ambronay Festival and artist in residence at the Dijon Opera, Belgium, but also sporadic returns to his native South America. We owe him the rediscovery of Cavalli's operas: Elena and Erismena at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2013 and 2017, Eliogabalo, to open the 2016 Paris Opera season, Il Giasone in Geneva, Antonio Draghi's El Prometeo in 2018 at the Dijon Opera, and again in Dijon La Finta Pazza by Francesco Sacrati, the very first opera imported from Italy to Paris. As a conductor or harpsichordist, he is invited to festivals and concert halls all over the world. In 2018, he conducts Monteverdi's Orfeo in the staging of Sacha Walz at the Berlin Staatsoper. In 2019, he triumphed with Rameau's Les Indes Galantes at the Opéra Bastille on the occasion of the 350thanniversary of the Royal Academy of Music.
He was recognized as the best conductor in Forum Opéra's 2019 Palmarès. He is in residence at Radio France during the 2019-2020 season. In 2020, he conducted, among others, Alcina at the head of his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea in Nancy. But many of the projects initially planned for 2020 have been turned upside down. Leonardo García Alarcón adapts his concert programmes and takes an active part in virtual festivals before returning to public concerts whenever possible. In December 2020, the Rossi’s opera Il Palazzo Incantato is maintained at the Opéra de Dijon, despite of the absence of the public, and its video recording, that was broadcast online, was a great success.
His discography is unanimously acclaimed by critics. In 2016, Leonardo García Alarcón recorded for Alpha Classic I 7 Peccati Capitali: an imaginary programme of Monteverdi arias, hailed by the press. In 2018, Joan Manuel Serrat's recording De vez en cuando la vida and a box set dedicated to Jacques Arcadelt were released, winning numerous awards. Critics hailed the release of El Prometeo in which he composed the 3rd act, the original score having disappeared. In March 2021 was released on Sony classical Rebirth, the collaboration of Leonardo García Alarcón and the soprano Sonya Yoncheva. 3 other albums will be published this year: Lamenti & Sospiri, a collection of madrigals by Sigismondo d’India with the sopranos Mariana Flores and Julie Roset, on Ricercar, then for Alpha classics Monteverdi’s Orfeo, and finally Le violon selon Bach with the violinist Chouchane Siranossian.