Renaissance Vocal Ensemble to Perform, Hold Residency

St. Lawrence University will present Les Canards Chantants for two performances on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Peterson-Kermani Performance Hall. Both shows are free and open to the public.  

Les Canards Chantants is an American solo-voice ensemble performing renaissance polyphony and known for their “elegant vocalism” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “brilliant and moving programming” (Early Music America) and “liveliness and theatricality” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).

Founded in England while co-directors Robin and Graham Bier pursued their postgraduate degrees in early music, Les Canards Chantants made its debut in 2011 with a sold-out concert at the National Centre for Early Music in York, United Kingdom. The ensemble’s American debut at the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, performing its now signature staged Italian madrigal program “Sex, Drugs & Madrigals,” was hailed as “some of the best Gesualdo and d’India you are likely to hear” (Early Music America). Since then, the “Singing Ducks” have established a home concert series in Philadelphia, where they are Ensemble in Residence at Glencairn Museum and have appeared in concert across the east coast, including collaborations with period instrument ensembles Piffaro and ACRONYM.

Les Canards Chantants has gained a reputation for daring presentation in concert, and for engaging with the most unusual repertoire from the Renaissance. They have appeared on BBC One’s Countryfile, singing forbidden 16th century catholic polyphony, starred in a music video about the famous Eglantine Table at Hardwick Hall, received an Early Music American Outreach Grant for their immersive polychoral program and workshop “1.500 Surround Sound,” and are working with Brown University and the Chemical Heritage Foundation on a new digital edition and recording of 17th century German musical-alchemical emblem book Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier.

Les Canards Chantants will perform an afternoon matinee beginning at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and will perform “Dowland’s Table” during an evening concert starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26.

For more information, contact St. Lawrence’s Department of Music at 315-229-5166.