The vocal and instrumental ensemble Il Canto di Orfeo was founded in 2005 by Gianluca Capuano. A key focus of its repertory is the music of Giacomo Carissimi and of his students and musical contemporaries in Rome. The ensemble is also dedicated to performing a variety of other important works written in Italy and elsewhere in Europe between 1600 and 1750, along with compositions from both the late Renaissance and the present day.
The ensemble’s recordings include an album of arias by Galuppi with the mezzo-soprano Catherine King (2006, named as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone), a CD dedicated to madrigals composed in Mantua and Ferrara during the 16th century, produced for the Italian magazine Classic Voice (2012) and a CD of music by 17th-century North German composers, recorded in collaboration with the organist Kei Koito (2017).
Much valued for its interpretations of Italian Baroque vocal music, Il Canto di Orfeo appears at leading early music festivals in Italy – chief among them Musica e poesia a San Maurizio in Milan – and in France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The vocal ensemble has appeared several times in contemporary works at La Scala, Milan: in 2007 in Fabio Vacchi’s Teneke, in 2013 in Alexander Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart (also performed in Lyon in 2014) and in 2015 in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. In 2018 the male members of the choir appeared in a concert of works by Kurtág at the Milano Musica Festival.
In 2017 Il Canto di Orfeo appeared in an acclaimed production of L’incoronazione di Poppea directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier in Nantes. Other recent highlights include the ensemble’s Salzburg Festival debut in Caldara’s oratorio La morte d’Abel at the 2019 Whitsun Festival, and a European tour of La clemenza di Tito in autumn 2022, conducted by Gianluca Capuano and featuring Cecilia Bartoli as Sesto.
For ten years Il Canto di Orfeo has organized the concert series Vespri musicali in San Maurizio in Milan.