Classical Opera and The Mozartists specialise in the historically-informed performance of music by Mozart and his contemporaries. Originally founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page, Classical Opera has earned a reputation for its imaginative programming, its outstanding period-instrument orchestra, and its ability to discover and nurture exceptional young singers. In 2017 it expanded to include The Mozartists, under which name it now presents its ever-expanding concert work alongside its continuing opera work.
The company performs regularly at the UK’s leading venues, including Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, Southbank Centre and Birmingham Town Hall, and has toured to Italy, Germany, Austria and France. Renowned for its fresh and insightful interpretations of well-known masterpieces as well as for its ability to bring rare works to light, it has mounted staged productions of many of Mozart’s operas (including the world première of the ‘original’ version of Mitridate, re di Ponto), given the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito, Telemann’s Orpheus, Jommelli’s Il Vologeso and Haydn’s Applausus cantata and, in 2009, presented The Royal Opera’s production of Thomas Arne’s Artaxerxes.
In 2015 the company launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project exploring the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences. Described by The Observer as “among the most audacious classical music scheduling ever”, this flagship project will present 250th anniversary performances of most of Mozart’s important works, placing them in context alongside other significant works being composed by Mozart’s contemporaries. Page and his ensemble have also received widespread critical acclaim for their studio recordings, and in 2012 embarked on an ongoing recording cycle of the complete Mozart operas. Titles in this series to date have been universally praised, with several being hailed as benchmark performances, and the company’s most recent solo recital discs – ‘Where’er You Walk’ with tenor Allan Clayton (2016) and ‘Perfido!’ with soprano Sophie Bevan (2017) – were both shortlisted for the International Opera Awards.