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Rediscover Handel's Messiah

Why our Messiah?  Most simply put, because our presentation of Messiah is the closest you’ll get in Chicago to the way Handel presented the work.  We offer an intimate, historically informed performance that pairs the period instruments of the Callipygian Players with professional singers specifically trained in the vocal practices of early music.  

And what does that mean? It means that you’ll see and hear instruments that existed at the time the work was composed.  And those instruments have special materials, tunings, and timbres that enrich performance with nuances distinct from modern instruments, not to mention being played by musicians who are professional experts on those unique instruments.

Moreover, it means you’ll hear vocal interpretations by a disciplined choir of 21 voices, and each of those singers trains specifically in the art of early music. And our Artistic Director, Andrew Lewis, conducts with a scholarly attention to performance practice, as well as a great passion for re-creating early works in engaging performances for modern audiences.

Come hear the difference.  Re-discover the nuance and artistry of Handel’s great masterwork on November 18 & 19.  


Vespers of 1610, Claudio Monteverdi — Chicago Tribune Review

In October 2017, we celebrated the 450th year of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth with two moving performances of the Vespers. Our partnership with The Callipygian Players made for a beautifully crafted and historically informed presentation, which Chicago Tribune Classical Music Critic John von Rhein praised for “exceptional musicality, expressivity, and fervor” as well as “historically informed scholarship and lively re-creative intelligence.”  Click here to check out the full review.

A German Requiem, Johannes Brahms — Chicago Tribune Review

Our April 1 and 2 performances of Brahms’ German Requiem were stunning—emotionally moving for audience and artists alike.   Chicago Tribune Classical Music Critic John von Rhein writes of our intimate presentation of the work that “The choral singing was clear, precise, well-balanced, engaged with the Brahmsian ethos." Click here to check out the full review, or listen to a selection from the April 2 concert below.  

Our Story

Bella Voce proudly enriches Chicago’s rich cultural tapestry through intimate, moving performances of early music and the music of our time. Since 1983, our ensemble has enchanted audiences with historically informed presentations of fascinating choral and chamber works, whether well-known, rare, or new. We invite our audiences to join us in discovering artworks that have the power to lift us up, move us, and transform us. Our concerts are crafted through research and careful attention to performance practices, and we partner with Chicago’s top period instrument ensembles to bring works for voice and orchestra to life. Our repertoire and performance practices are rooted in the discipline of the English Renaissance and European Baroque traditions, and we boldly break boundaries to challenge our audiences to explore the expressive and artistic potential of the human musical imagination. We are committed to Chicago and to making the world a more peaceful & more beautiful place through art.

Bella Voce Documentary

In this brief documentary video, Bella Voce's Artistic Director Andrew Lewis reflects on the art and craft of singing and of making choral music.

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