Il BaccioHow did Il Bacio form?

Il Bacio was formed when I fell in love with Anna Dennis’ voice and knew I wanted to perform with her again. We met working together on the renaissance rock opera ”Dr Dee” written by Damon Albarn at the ENO, along with the gamba player Liam Byrne, and then together with his university pal, harpsichordist Tom Foster Il Bacio was formed.

Why have you chosen to focus on solo sonatas and arias?

Solo sonatas and obligato arias form the main basis of our repertoire primarily because it suits our line up the best … it is also the perfect chance to showcase the individual musicians and their personalities. Within those genres you are both a soloist and a chamber musician at the same time which is a very exciting situation and the baroque oboe and soprano voice blend really well – which might be why so much music was written for that combination!

As a group, what message do you try to convey during a performance?

For me the most important thing is emotional expression and the ability to communicate that to an audience. I specifically chose musicians who were highly musical and had in addition to that a fantastic stage presence and a way of capturing the hearts and minds of those listening. To top it all off a concert must be fun and friendly – we have to be having a blast playing together so the audience feels like it has stumbled into a private party to which they are more than welcome.

What do you think is so special about performing in Handel’s Rehearsal and Performance room?

It is an absolute delight to perform and rehearse at the Handel House … just to be within the four walls which Handel himself lived and to play music he composed or would have heard gives me chills down my spine. We spend so much time researching historical accuracy in our performing but it is not so often you then have the chance to play in a historically accurate room.