Tognetti takes to podium as Gardiner bows out of 2013 season due to health concerns.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir's tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra was highlighted in the NovemberLimelight's Season Preview among the most highly anticipated concerts 2013. Alas, the long-planned tour, scheduled for December next year, has been cancelled.
The acclaimed British conductor who has recorded all Bach's cantatas on period instruments with his Monteverdi Choir cited health as the reason for his withdrawal. “I was eager and really looking forward to working with the ACO, having heard so many fabulous reports of the quality of their playing. However, 2013 is an incredibly busy year, and coincides with a time in my life when I must acknowledge, however unwillingly, the need to conserve energies.
"I had to regretfully accept that coming to Australia would have been a trip too far in this context, but I will try and make sure I can reschedule this visit in the future," he continued.
Artistic director Richard Tognetti will lead the Orchestra and Choir of London in the same repertoire.
ACO general manager Timothy Calnin said, "While we're very disappointed that Sir John Eliot is unable to bring the Monteverdi Choir to Australia, we are thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with the amazing ensemble of soloists in the Choir of London – a perfect match to the ACO's exceptional collective of instrumentalists."
The choir began in 2004 as a small ensemble of British singers helping a Palestinian choir put on the Christmas Oratorio in the London West Bank. Tognetti has directed them previously at the 2010 Maribor Festival in Slovenia.