Giovanni Consort — Reinvents Audience Experience

Putting audience engagement at the forefront of their goals, this professional choir delivers an unmatched performance experience every time.

What is something you do with your choir that others might find bizarre or strange?

We tend to come up with left field ideas that might engage an audience,
such as painting one of the singers while they sing and transforming them into a living canvas (see the video below!).


Choir Name: The Giovanni Consort
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Style: Consort singing – Gregorian Chant to Gospel
Number of singers: depending on the concert, 4-17
Find out more on our website!

What was a very special performance and what made it special?

In 2018 we performed in a cave, singing songs in a mixture of Chinese, Japanese and Aboriginal languages. In 2019, we performed to an audience who were lying on yoga mats and blindfolded, providing them a sensory deprivation experience. We enjoy challenging what it means to be an audience.

An emotional moment you had in a performance? 

Singing with The Rolling Stones on their last Australian tour and being met with a wall of sound from the crowd was a particular highlight.

A favorite inspirational quote?

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog it is too dark to read – Groucho Marx

How does your choir bond as a group?

Our singers all perform in a variety of ensembles together, or teach in the same schools, so we are friends as well as professional colleagues.

The Giovanni Consort provides a glimpse into their unique performance collaboration with artist Kristie Coakley, while the chamber choir sings the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Carlo Gesualdo (2019).

What is your audition process?

We combine the auditionee with three established members of the choir to form a quartet, and then provide them with some prepared renaissance music followed by a piece of difficult sight reading. This is not to test their sight reading skills as such, but more to how they react under pressure.

How does your choir approach a new piece of music?

The expectation is that each singer will look at the music before the first rehearsal, preferably listening to recordings if they exist. At the first session together, we read the piece through once in its entirety, before stripping it back and refining, with the input of each singer.

An emotional moment in rehearsal?

Whenever we get “that sound” which makes the singers smile at each other and feel really good about the quality of music making certainly makes it all worthwhile!

What is something you do in rehearsals that surprises new members? 

We mostly perform music that is one singer per part, which can be a little daunting, and the pace that we work at is often seen as quite fast. But the calibre of snacks during the breaks are repayment for this work rate.

A funny moment in rehearsal

I did manage to go to the wrong rehearsal venue once….

A challenging performance and how you faced it.

Singing Spem in Alium as part of the 2020 Perth Festival without ever actually having all 40 singers in the same room until the performance was quite a challenge. Our professionalism won the day though.

A favorite piece of repertoire & why

Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir. I was on the original recording of this piece in Westminster Cathedral, and I cannot think of a more perfectly composed multi-movement choral work that charges the emotions in that way.

A juicy fact about a composer/arranger you love to tell your choir members

Erik Satie liked to collect umbrellas

A turning point in the life of your choir?  

We now have The Honourable Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia as our Patron, so we are excited to see how we can further make a mark on the Performing Arts world with his support.

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