Reconstructed 17th Century theorbo used during first Ipswich performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach

Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy what is thought to be Ipswich’s first ever performance of a world-famous piece of music from 1610.

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach

Among the instruments used during the presentation of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Mary-le-Tower Church was a reconstructed theorbo, which is a 17th century bass lute with a very long neck.

Conducted by Christopher Borrett, the work featured Ipswich Chamber Choir, the Ravenscroft Consort and the choristers of St Mary-le-Tower.

Tickets sold out on the door, filling the church with 250 audience members.

Carol Scotland, chairwoman of Ipswich Chamber Choir, said: “Not only is it wonderful music it is also visually exciting with performers moving around the church.

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach


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“It is a difficult work to stage as it requires many performers. As well as the choir and the choristers there are six virtuosic solo singers and 14 instrumentalists and Ipswich Chamber Choir is grateful to Christopher for the opportunity to perform it.

“The musicians were well rewarded by an enthusiastic audience of 250 people who had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.”

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture:

Instrumentalist from the Ravenscroft Consort playing a 17th Century reconstructed theorbo. Picture: Ruth Leach

The St Mary-le-Tower choristers in their red cassocks and conductor Christopher Borrett with two bas

The St Mary-le-Tower choristers in their red cassocks and conductor Christopher Borrett with two bass, two tenor and two soprano soloists. Behind them are the choir members and the Ravenscroft Consort of early instruments. Picture: Carol Scotland - Credit: Carol Scotland

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