Les Canards Chantants is an American solo-voice ensemble performing renaissance polyphony, and praised for their ‘elegant vocalism’ (Philadelphia Inquirer), ‘brilliant and moving programming’ (Early Music America) and ‘liveliness and theatricality’ (Boston Musical Intelligencer).
Founded in England in 2011, Les Canards Chantants are now based in Philadelphia, where they are Ensemble in Residence at Glencairn Museum, and present concerts of renaissance polyphony at home and abroad. Les Canards Chantants has toured in the UK, Germany, and China, where they headlined the inaugural festival of Western Early Music at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing alongside Red Priest in 2016. They have collaborated with Piffaro, ACRONYM, lutenist Jacob Heringman, lutenist Charles Weaver, and lute-viol duo Pellingman’s Saraband, and in 2019 they look forward to sharing the stage with Parthenia Viol Consort, the Folger Consort and Arcadia Viols.
Innovative programs like 1.500 Surround Sound (an immersive polychoral experience), Dowland’s Table (lute song choose-your-own-adventure) and Sex, Drugs and Madrigals (staged Italian madrigals) have cemented the ensemble’s reputation for daring and entertaining presentation in concert, and for engaging with the most unusual repertoire from the Renaissance. Some of their quirkier side projects include an appearance on BBC One Countryfile singing illegal sixteenth century catholic polyphony, staging a flashmob performance of the music engraved on the Eglantine Table at Hardwick Hall, and teaming up with Brown University in lecture recitals on Michael Maier’s 1618 musical-alchemical treatise Atalanta Fugiens.
Les Canards Chantants has recorded two CDs to date: Two in the Bush, sacred vocal music from the Catholic underground in Reformation England, recorded in an historic family chapel with lutenist Jacob Heringman and lute-viol duo Pellingman’s Saraband, and Giovanni Valentini’s Secondo libro de madrigali (world premier recording) with baroque string band ACRONYM.