Bella Voce Announces its 2019 - 2020 Season

(CHICAGO 8/26/2019) - Our 37th season builds on the founding last season of Bella Voce Sinfonia, our own period instrument orchestra. 


This season, our Sinfonia will usher in the return of our popular period-instrument Messiah, as well as the modern oratorio, Lost Objects--a haunting and profound meditation on our own times--by the composers David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe. The season also offers the rich, disciplined a cappella of English cathedral choirs that is the trademark of Bella Voce. 

In December, we bring a new program of joyful, meditative, and profound holiday music, both ancient and new, in Of a Rose Is All My Song. And in May our season concludes with the ceremony of Outcast, a concert that explores spiritual struggle in volatile times: in distinct but connected idioms of style and symbolism, Robert White’s sixteenth century Lamentations of Jeremiah and James MacMillan’s twenty-first-century Sun-Dogs both depict a primal tension between darkness and light. 

Come discover the sounds of early music, the new Sinfonia, and a year of exploring connections between masters of early music and new!


Tickets range from $10 - $70 and can be purchased online at www.bellavoce.org or by calling 312.479.1096. Discounts are available for purchasing online, for purchasing a season package, and for groups of 10 or more.

Our 2019 - 2020 Season

For more information on our performance spaces, see our Venues.

Messiah  (with Bella Voce Sinfonia)

George Frideric Handel, Messiah (1741)

Saturday, November 23   7:30 pm @ Old St. Patrick’s Church (Chicago)

Sunday, November 24   3:30 pm @ St. Luke’s (Evanston)

Andrew Lewis, Conductor

Of a Rose is All My Song  (a cappella)

Works by Kenneth Leighton, Herbert Howells, Thomas Tallis, Robert White, James MacMillan, and more

Friday, December 13   7:30 pm @ St. Vincent de Paul  (Chicago)

Saturday, December 14    7:30 pm @ St. Procopius (Lisle)

Sunday, December 15      3:30 pm @ St. Luke’s (Evanston)

Andrew Lewis, conductor

Lost Objects (with Bella Voce Sinfonia)

Lost Objects, by David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe (with Bella Voce Sinfonia)

Saturday, March 14 7:30pm @ St. James Cathedral (Chicago)

Sunday, March 15 3:30pm @ St. Luke’s (Evanston)

Andrew Lewis, conductor


Outcast (a cappella)

Lamentations of Jeremiah (c. 1560)       Robert White (1538-1574)

Sun-Dogs (2006)                                      James MacMillan (b. 1959)

Saturday, May 16   7:30 @ St. Vincent de Paul (Chicago)

Sunday, May 17     3:30 @ St. Luke’s (Evanston)

Andrew Lewis, conductor
Tickets and more information available at www.bellavoce.org

About Bella Voce 

"...one of the crown jewels of choral music in the city” —Chicago Tribune, April 2018

“...historically informed scholarship and lively re-creative intelligence” —Chicago Tribune, October 2017

"...like honey, rich and shining, with soprano voices soaring above the altos, tenors and basses, like light through darkness.” —Chicago Sun Times, 2006

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 safer, more peaceful, more beautiful place through art. 

In 2004, Bella Voce received the prestigious Alice Parker ASCAP Chorus America Award for programming that was "an adventurous stretch" for both singers and audience, notably the 2002 Midwest premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's “Vigilia.” The ensemble has recorded for Centaur, Harmonia Mundi, Narada, and Cedille Records and also has four self-produced CDs in release.  Bella Voce has commissioned choral works by composers including Frank Ferko, Gustavo Leone, Gabriel Jackson, Janika Vandervelde and Rami Levin.


About Bella Voce Sinfonia

November 2018 marked a great milestone in the evolution of Bella Voce: the debut-- with the performances of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor--of the group’s own period instrument orchestra, the Bella Voce Sinfonia.

Since Bella Voce’s first season in 1983, the ensemble has enchanted audiences with historically informed performances, backed by discipline and scholarship, that reawaken the sound world of early music for today’s audiences. Throughout its history, the chorus has collaborated with many of Chicago’s great period instrument orchestras—among them Ars Antigua, The Callipygian Players, and Rook—to stage early works that required both vocalists and instrumentalists.  The sustained success of Bella Voce over the years in working with these gifted ensembles empowered Bella Voce to take another step in its artistic development.

The move has given Bella Voce greater artistic and administrative control over concerts—it also gives the organization the opportunity to use its administrative strengths and brand reach to help build awareness of Chicago’s excellence in early music, and to work with other leaders to build a stronger period-instrument scene in Chicago. Although the orchestra is newly founded, it is composed of the same pool of Chicago’s finest, world-class, period instrument players of past collaborations.

About Andrew Lewis 

Profiled by John von Rhein in the Chicago Tribune as “the inspiring conductor, scholar, and educator,” Andrew Lewis is Artistic Director of Bella Voce and the Bella Voce Sinfonia, Music Director of the Elgin Master Chorale, Choirmaster at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston, a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. He is also Artistic Director Emeritus of the Lutheran Choir of Chicago and a former member of the conducting faculty at DePaul University. Mr. Lewis has been a guest lecturer at Concordia University Chicago, in the nationally recognized Lectures in Church Music series, and at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston; he has also appeared as a guest conductor with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. Mr. Lewis’s performances have been heard live on WFMT 98.7.

Mr. Lewis attended Northwestern University, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in music theory. While still a student at Northwestern, he received a scholarship to observe the rehearsals of Daniel Barenboim and Asher Fisch at the Staatsoper-Unter-den-Linden, Berlin. After college he moved to California, worked as a church musician, and was an original member of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale of San Francisco, having sung with Baroque specialists Nicholas McGegan and John Butt. He then attended the Eastman School of Music to study choral and orchestral conducting with William Weinert and orchestral conducting with David Effron, receiving his Master of Music degree in 1998.

He has also studied with conductors Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, James Paul, Gustav Meier, Stephen Cleobury, Duain Wolfe, and Dale Warland in the United States and Michel Tapachnik in Copenhagen, Denmark.