Cambridge-based classical group Eboracum Baroque plot live return
Cambridge-based collective Eboracum Baroque has managed to stay active during lockdown by performing a series of online concerts, but they are now hoping they can soon play together again in person.
This talented ensemble of young professional singers and instrumentalists was formed in York in 2012 by Chris Parsons. It has performed all across the UK and Europe in venues and festivals, including Senate House, Cambridge and the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester, and has been described by Classic FM as “spectacular”.
The group, which has also been featured on BBC Radio 3, performs Renaissance and Baroque music, specialising in English music from the 17th and 18th centuries. In January 2015, Eboracum Baroque recorded their first CD – at Wimpole Hall -– which was funded by the National Trust and Arts Council England.
Chris, artistic director and trumpeter, said: “We’re soldiering on; we’re still embracing what we can do and just trying to make it positive really, because I think there’s lots we have done and there’s lots that we’re trying to do. And there are more opportunities for live things to start, hopefully from June onwards.”
The online concerts have proved beneficial for Eboracum Baroque, who enjoyed a successful winter season thanks to performances such as the one they filmed in Wimpole Church and Wimpole Hall in October but premiered online in December, with pieces by, among others, Bach, Charpentier and Vivaldi.
“We’ve talked about this as a group, and they’ll be some element of the online concerts that I think will remain forever. In this time we’ve been able to reach out to people that we never dreamt that we would reach.
"We’ve had people watching in Peru and Spain and all over the place. So I think we will still stream things in some ways going forward. But the summer for us at the minute is we’re trying to do lots of outdoor things.
"We’ve got three dates at the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester confirmed again, which we can’t wait to do. We managed to squeeze in two concerts there in August and September last year to a reduced audience, but we’re very hopeful this year that we can pack a few more people in.
"And perform to an audience again because obviously that’s the big thing we’re all missing; that adrenaline rush of seeing people and then playing for them.”
Chris says that the ensemble has been able to get together sporadically and rehearse but the members have not seen each other since they came together to record Handel’s Messiah at Swaffham Prior Church in December.
“Even that was fraught with tons of planning and risk assessment,” he says, “but we’re hopeful – we’ve got a couple of concerts coming up. We’re recording a concert at Palace House in Newmarket this month.”
The group is also planning to conduct digital education workshops in primary schools. Their scheduled performances are as follows:
- Saturday, March 20 – Purcell and a Pint (virtual pub gig in collaboration with Calverley’s Brewery in Cambridge).
- Saturday, April 10 – Concert from Charles II’s Palace at Newmarket (now part of the National Horse Racing Museum). The concert is going to be filmed in what would have been Charles II’s bedroom.
- Thursday, June 24-Saturday, June 26 – Three concerts at the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester, including two operas.