The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment today launches a new digital platform, OAE Player.
Rather than simply offer concert recordings, the orchestra will instead offer a series of performances and programmes created specifically for an online audience and filmed over the past summer, with scripts written and music chosen by the musicians.
The Player’s content will initially focus on The Edge of Reason, a theme exploring the golden age of science and philosophy that gave the ensemble its name, and which was to have underpinned the current season prior to Covid cancellations.
An early addition to the player will be a performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 82 directed by baritone Roderick Williams and featuring soprano Rowan Pierce, an alumnus of the Orchestra’s ‘Rising Stars’ singers scheme. Venues used for other films include the Fitzrovia Chapel, an ornate Gothic Revival chapel that once formed part of Middlesex Hospital, and the Asylum Chapel in south London, in which the OAE recreated Don Giovanni’s palace party. Some programmes will offer a quirky spin – one series set to appear at a later date on the Player will be ‘Haydn Under the Knife’, in which OAE musicians gather in London’s Old Operating Theatre and dissect Haydn’s lesser-known quartets to better understand their brilliance.
The videos will be available on either a pay-as-you-view basis or via an annual pass costing £99.
The Player follows other recent initiatives by the OAE exploring different ways to relate to audiences. Earlier this autumn, it took up permanent residency at Acland Burghley secondary school – the first of its type for a British orchestra – and where it is working with the GSCE dance students to choreograph and record a project series for the OAE Player.
Find out more at the OAE’s website.