Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Monteverdi Vespers (2CD)

Price: £15.00 Buy Now

Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers is one of the towering musical achievements of the 17th century. A fascinating and rewarding musical experience, it is deeply spiritual, yet extraordinarily theatrical.

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Robert Howarth


Rob was already studying piano at age 6 when he first encountered a harpsichord.

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Wed 4 Jun 2014


Who doesn’t like a sing song from time to time?  Impress your neighbours next time you’re in the shower with our handy phonetic guide to Ich ruf zu dir Jubilate Domino and Vater unser in Himmelreich by Praetorius, courtesy of Robert Howarth – both of which we perform this Friday at the Spitalfields Festival.

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Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

Thu 29 May 2014


Spitalfields!  If it was an actual field you wouldn’t visit it, but it’s not, it’s a hive of cultural activity that we love, and this year we’re all over it.

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Our musician & staff picks for the 2013-2014 Southbank Season

Tue 10 Sep 2013

With the new season fast approaching, we spoke with the OAE staff and players about what they’re most looking forard to…

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A Souvenir from Beverley

Thu 30 May 2013

Education Director Cherry Forbes discusses her time at the Beverley Early Music Festival.

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And now for something completely different…

Thu 16 May 2013

It’s that time of year again, when we reveal our ‘look’ for the new season. You might have seen a few things that hinted at our forthcoming brochure, most notably our recent video showing it on the printing presses, but here for the first time we can reveal the full set of pictures.

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Sing the Passions

Fri 22 Mar 2013

Our Sing the Passions event at Kings Place is coming up tomorrow afternoon and we’re busy practicing our scales and warming up our vocal chords.

For those of you able to make it, here’s a bit about what we’ll be exploring in the workshop…

Our Principal keyboard player Robert Howarth will be joined by tenor Norbert Meyn, to sing the role of the Evangelist. Norbert is a specialist in language and will work with Robert and the audience to explore such matters as pronunciation and characterisation.  We’ll be looking at a mixture of numbers from both Passions with such choruses as Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschwunden and Kreuzige, kreuzige!

If you already have a score of the St Matthew and St John Passion, then please feel free to bring along your copies to the session. If not, don’t worry as music will be provided. (We’ll be working from the Barenreiter Score.)

Get those singing voices ready and we’ll see you there!

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Chi-chi Nwanoku’s Russian Video Tour Diary

Fri 11 Jan 2013

Our Principal Double Bassist, Chi-Chi Nwanoku MBE, took some footage when our Messiah Tour took us all the way to Moscow, Russia, for our first ever performance there. 

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Messiah on tour

Tue 18 Dec 2012

The Orchestra are currently on a festive tour- taking Handel’s Messiah to Las Palmas, Alicante and Moscow with director and OAE Principal Keyboard player, Robert Howarth.

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Robert Howarth On Messiah

Fri 7 Dec 2012

Co-Principal Keyboardist Robert Howarth talks about what the OAE brings to Handel’s epic masterpiece.

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Speed Interview: Robert Howarth

Fri 30 Nov 2012

In the lead up to Messiah on 11 December, we fired some quick questions at director Robert Howarth.

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The Glory of Venice: Audience Reaction

Mon 30 Jan 2012

A few weeks ago we kicked off 2012 at the Southbank Centre with The Glory of Venice – a celebration of the music of Gabrieli. If you’re near Bristol there’s another chance to hear this concert at St George’s, on 19 February.


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Recent reviews: The Glory of Venice

Wed 18 Jan 2012

Friday 13 January wasn’t an unlucky day for the OAE, as we had some great audience feedback following our concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Robert Howarth directing a programme celebrating the music of Giovanni Gabrieli on the 400th anniversary of his death.

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Have a drink on us

Fri 8 Oct 2010


Last month Matthew Truscott appeared on these drinks tray mats at Southbank Centre as part of the classical music season launch. Rivalling Rob Howarth (who is appearing on a billboard near Waterloo), for OAE poster-boy status Matt also appear on banners outside the Royal Festival Hall too.

You may also spot our tube adverts at Waterloo station – Robert Howarth, Jonathan Manson, Roger Montgomery and Tony Pay star in these – we’ll post pictures of them up soon.

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Speed Interview: Robert Howarth

Thu 26 Aug 2010


What do you fear the most?

Loneliness, or spiders.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

My wife’s.

What – or where – is perfection?

Unfortunately perfection is impossible, but my cat Basil comes close.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

Charlie Brown, I can relate to his many disappointments.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?

My wife, for her manifold talents and infinite beauty. She is a constant inspiration to me and without her I would be useles

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What quiet summer? Announcing…a special Vespers performance

Thu 1 Jul 2010

So the other thing which will be keeping us busy this summer is a special extra performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers. This has already been on tour across the UK and Europe (see previous blog entries), and following packed out performances, we’re bringing it back for one last show, on 30 August at Kings Place. It should sound amazing in the near-perfect acoustic of Hall One. We’ll also be recording the concert, so there’s that little extra frisson of excitement too! Its a matinee performance, at 3pm, and tickets are a bargain at just £9.50.  Details and booking here.

You may wonder why having one extra concert would cause us lots of extra work (not that we mind it!). Well, first we have to consult with Rob Howarth who is directing the performance, finding out his availability, as well as finding a venue, and making sure that they have suitable dates free. Once Robs and the venues availability coincide then all the players and singers who did the tour previously have to be contacted one by one, making sure they are available, and if not, then finding a suitable replacement. While this work is happening in our Projects team I’ve been talking to Kings Place about what price tickets will be sold at, when it can go on sale etc etc. Now I’m thinking about how we promote the concert, liaising with designers to produce a flyer. Because the performance is being recorded there are all sorts of extra details surrounding that too.

People are often very surprised that 16 of us are needed to run the OAE from the office – in future posts here we’ll look at what each of the office team members does.

William Norris, Marketing Director

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Gaffer tape pics – No.15

Wed 2 Jun 2010

Second pic for today, our keyboard player and director of our recent Vespers tour, Robert Howarth.

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