Frescobaldi: Arie Musicali con fuoco


In a symbiosis of 3 different cultures, Sospiri Ardenti pairs the inimitable songs of Wannes Van de Velde with Irish folk music, and all that in a baroque setting! Wilfried Van den Brande, bass-baritone, joins Sospiri Ardenti for this special program.

Both Ellen Delahanty, of Irish/American origin, and Wilfried Van den Brande, born and bred in Antwerp, sing in their mother tongues, bringing heartfelt authenticity to the songs of Wannes, and to the folk music which was a deep source of inspiration for Van de Velde. Accompanied by Sospiri Ardenti, specialists on baroque period instruments (recorder, harpsichord, baroque lute and guitar, and viola da gamba), the songs are fresh and familiar at the same time.

 Wilfried Van den Brande




Frescobaldi: Arie Musicali con fuoco

Spanish Early Baroque musica(watch video)


In the 17th century, Spain experienced its golden era (Siglo de Oro). Wealth was pouring in from its colonies in the New World, and the courts and the theaters were flourishing. The vitality of that era sparkles to life in songs by Juan Hidalgo, El Maestro Capitán (Mateo Romero) and Juan Arañés, and in instrumental works by Gaspar Sanz, Diego Ortiz and Bartolomeo da Selma y Salaverde. Ellen Delahanty, soprano; Maaike Boekholt, viola da gamba; Regina Albanez, archlute and baroque guitar; Geert Van Gele, recorder and harpsichord.






Christmas Program: J.S. Bach for Advent. A trio-program with Ellen Delahanty, soprano; Karin Gutsche, baroque violin; and Geert Van Gele, recorder and harpsichord. This program features music composed by J.S. Bach for the Advent- and Christmas periods, with arias from his church cantatas and from his beloved Weihnachtsoratorium, as well as instrumental works for violin and recorder.

Karin Gutsche 




The Nightingale

a a fairy-tale opera in a nutshell aaa(watch video) (read reviews)


"The Emperor and the Nightinale" by Hans Christian Andersen is the inspiration for the delightful fairy-tale opera by ensemble Sospiri Ardenti. A hit for adults and children alike, this new opera is fully staged and costumed by Gabi Bartels, with a libretto by Hans Wijers and the sparkling music of G. P. Telemann.

The little nightingale is not a beautiful bird, but his song touches everyone’s heart. The empress is delighted with him, until one day she receives a gift of a stunningly decorated mechanical bird. Thrilled by this beautiful machine, she sends the real bird away. But when the empress falls sick, it is only the real nightingale who can charm Death away from her bedside…

An opera about friendship, faithfulness, outward appearances, and the power of music!

This program is an answer to the wishes of many concert organizers who want to present high-quality classical music that captures the imagination of a young public. Since its premiere performance, The Nightingale has captivated both young and old. The many children at the premiere sat spellbound throughout. Children excited by baroque music? By opera? You bet!


Some Strange Felicity

Musical theater with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and The Tempest aa(read reviews)


The music of two generations of English composers comes vividly to life in a program created around Shakespearean theater music by the ensemble Sospiri Ardenti.
Based on the plays Twelfth Night and The Tempest - two of the best-loved Shakespearean comedies (which were richly provided by Shakespeare himself with musical moments), this program presents dramatized scenes from the plays, incorporating 16th- and 17th-century songs and instrumental works and dance. A simple but effective staging adds drama, humor and visual spectacle!

Another exciting feature of this program is the contrast in musical styles between the first and second half. IN THE FIRST HALF, the phantasmagorical world of The Tempest, inhabited with unearthly beings, is presented with the florid and sweeping music written for the English Restoration staging, approximately one hundred years after Shakespeare's time. IN THE SECOND HALF, the very human comedy of love and folly, Twelfth Night, is presented as Shakespeare himself might have heard it with original Elizabethan music;
Fresh and surprising! A not-to-be-missed event!!!!

Compositions from: Henry Purcell, Robert Johnson, Matthew Locke and John Banister (The Tempest); and from Thomas Morley, John Dowland and William Cornyshe (Twelfth Night)



a Airs de Court in transformation

Echo and NarcissusIn his Metamorphoses, Roman writer Ovid breaks through the boundaries between the natural and supernatural worlds; gods transform into mortals or animals, men into animals, plants or even into abstractions such as a disembodied voice!

Sospiri Ardenti, in its turn, breaks through the boundaries between early- and contemporary music, between concert and theater, using four of Ovid’s tales. Through tableaux vivants, beautiful 17th-century french airs-de-cour, and magical instrumental music created by Belgian composer Janpieter Biesemans, the nymphs and demi-gods tell their own stories. Staged and costumed by the exciting young German director, Gabi Bartels.

The show opens as a group of archeologists, fascinated by the stories in the Metamorphoses, have searched for and found certain artefacts from Ovid’s world. The contact with these ancient artefacts brings about amazing transformations: the archeologists metamorphose into characters from Ovid’s stories:

Pan, an ugly, goat-footed satyr, tries to win the sprightly nymph, Echo, through dance and music. She, on the other hand, has only eyes for Narcissus, who, in turn, only has eyes for himself, and finally pines away looking at his own reflection until he is transformed into a flower.

Marsyas, another old satyr, finds a flute. Deeply proud of his own ability to play, he challenges Apollo to a musical duel… And finally, the tragic love-story of Apollo and the youth Hyacinth brings the program to a close.