A happy reunion with a cheering, drunken party a British Baroque pub of 17th century.
When The Alehouse Sessions with Bjarte Eike & Barokksolistene made their concert debuted in Copenhagen during the last summer's Opera Festival, it was for full houses, in every possible way. The sessions are snapshots in eternal movement, constantly changing - not borrowed from the present, but from a tumultuous British pub in the 17th century. Here, the audience is lured in and swept up in a dynamic, humorous and pumping Baroque universe that exudes Purcell overtures and sailor songs. And a splash of Scandinavian folk songs, to be completely honest.
Although the concept is based in early music, the project has guested both venerable classical concert halls and various venues for jazz, folk, world and rock music, and these good gentlemen have cultivated a wonderful eclectic, modern attitude to live music that has knocked over audience from Northern Norway to New York, just as much as the improvised theater concerts have gathered dozens of highly-praised reviews from the upper echelons. Not least in the country that inspired it all, England, where the big newspapers have overbid each other with praising superlatives. The Times calls the musical melting pot for 'irresistible', The Scotsman for ‘superb,’ and The Guardian for ‘fabulous’.
Behind The Alehouse Sessions are the Norwegian Barokksolistene. The musical collective is led by violinist and ideator Bjarte Eike. The project was recorded in front of an audience in 2016 and soon after nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. In 2018, the release received the respectable German OPUS Klassik Award. On performing live, Bjarte says:
“The interaction between the musicians on stage and the audience in the room, as well as the desire to play with both form and content, is our strongest feature. If I have to put it in a historical context, it can be said that the project draws on the Shakespearean theater, where there was direct contact between stage and hall, and where in the audience there was room for all types of society. That we will be visiting Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London for the third time, with three concerts, is just perfect.”
Before that, however, the capital's old stronghold, the Stock Exchange, will be transformed into a baroque beerhall. It will definitely be fun to experience.