The Choir of the Enlightenment is formed of a group of professional singers, many of whom are soloists in their own right. In recent years the choir has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at British and European festivals, as well as regularly performing with them as part of their annual London concert series at the Southbank Centre.
The choir has taken part in many of the OAE’s recordings, including J S Bach cantatas BWV205 and 114 and Purcell’s Odes for Queen Mary, both with Gustav Leonhardt, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Sir Simon Rattle, recorded live at Symphony Hall Birmingham. In July 2000, the choir and orchestra performed Bach’s B minor Mass on the 250th anniversary of his death. This concert, which was part of the BBC Proms Festival, was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on BBC Television.
During recent seasons the Choir of the Enlightenment has performed Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas directed by Richard Egarr at the BBC Proms and at the Utrecht Festival; Charpentier’s David et Jonathas to celebrate the tercentenary of his death, (conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm) and has also taken part in performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and his version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The choir took part in the OAE’s 21st Birthday Celebrations, Tim Carroll’s production of Dido and Aeneas, Bach’s St John Passion with Mark Padmore, Handel’s Belshazzar at the BBC Proms, directed by Sir Charles Mackerras, Haydn’s The Return of Tobias, conducted by Sir Roger Norrington and more recently, a performance of Haydn’s Creation conducted by Sir Mark Elder.